Semenuk wins every stage on Sno*Drift

He beat Tom Williams by 13 and a half minutes


Brandon Semenuk got his Green APU American Rally Association National title defense off to the perfect start with a dominant victory on the Sno*Drift Rally.

Subaru Motorsports USA driver Semenuk and his co-driver Keaton Williams won the event by just under 13 and a half minutes over last year’s RC2 champions Tom Williams and Ross Whittock.

On their first ARA round in a Hyundai i20 R5, Kyle Tilley and Martin Brady were third.

There’s been significant change to the ARA’s regulations this year with the Open 4WD class pegged back to match the performance of RC2. But it was still an O4WD car that was in control as Semenuk won each of the rally’s 15 stages.

However, the gaps flattered to deceive. On one of them Ford Fiesta Rally2 pilot Williams lost just 0.3s to the runaway leader – proving that there is closer parity between the machines.

Williams was made to work hard for his second place after losing close to nine minutes on the second stage of Saturday – effectively killing any battle for the lead as he slid to fourth behind Tilley and Patrick Gruszka.

But the former Junior WRC driver fought his way back up to edge Tilly by 55s with Gruszka settling for fourth on his debut in an i20.

Matthew Dickinson topped the Limited 4WD class to take fifth overall, while Open 2WD honors went to Micah Nickelson in his plucky Volkswagen Golf.

Last year’s surprise Sno*Drift winner Mark Piatkowski finished down in 13th overall after retiring his Subaru after the first stage with the car jammed in fifth gear.

He had been fourth overall at that point and set a string of top four times when he restarted on day two – including a second fastest time on SS11.

Virtue of his rally win and maximum points on the powerstage, Semenuk leads the championship by six points over Williams.

Words:Luke Barry