Semenuk unrivaled in ARA again on Southern Ohio Forest Rally

It's now almost nine months since Semenuk last missed out on an ARA win


Brandon Semenuk’s winning run in the American Rally Association National championship has now stretched to six events after he won the Southern Ohio Forest Rally.

The last time he was beaten was the penultimate round of 2022, and this weekend was another big success for the Subaru Motorsports USA driver as he was victorious by 7m57.6s.

Semenuk built a lead of 4m40s acrosss the first two days of action, then extended that to 5m59.7s in the Saturday morning loop. He proceeded to win the repeat passes of the stages later in the day, as well as the powerstage, to add another 1m57.9s to his lead.

“An improvement for sure,” was how Semenuk described the second run through the Saturday stages.

“It was good. America’s Best [the stage repeated for the powerstage] is a lot of fun, feel like we had a pretty good go in there. It’s hard to disregard some of these little short stages, they seem so simple on the notes, but quite tricky still when it’s still loose in there.”

Tom Williams was usually Semenuk’s closest rival on pace in his Ford Fiesta Rally2, but a mistake on Friday that led to him losing eight minutes meant the best he could do in the overall classification was finish fourth, a position he claimed on the powerstage from Enda McCormack by 43.8s.

Between Semenuk and Williams were Patrick Gruszka, who worked to rectify his set-up misdirection from the morning, and Allen Dobasu who claimed his first ever overall ARA podium.

Paul Rowley was the only retiree fom the afternoon’s action, while Lia Block recovered from being 15th place early on to drive her Subaru BRZ to seventh place overall and O2WD class victory.

The ARA Regional drivers missed the powerstage, and Adam Kimmett comfortably claimed the rally win in a time that would have placed him ninth among the National runners had their rally ended on the same stage.

Kimmett won SS15 and SS16, Friday retiree Philip Wearn won SS17, a timing error meant Kimmett was not declared the winner of SS18 and then Martin Spanhel secured third place overall behind Kimmett and Jonathan Kramer by winning SS19.