Semenuk’s strategy to keep Pastrana at arm’s length

ARA champion is in confident mood ahead of this weekend's Rally in the 100 Acre Wood


It’s debatable whether Brandon Semenuk is familiar with making hay in the sunshine. But it’s what this week is all about for the two-time ARA champion as he chases a third American title.

This week is, of course, Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, round two of North America’s premier series.

Subaru’s Canadian star dominated the season-opening Sno*Drift Rally in Michigan last month, but he’s aware that team-mate Travis Pastrana’s pace and performance is only going to get stronger as the returning megastar rediscovers the speed that has won him six national titles in the past.

Landing into Missouri for the Friday-Saturday event, Semenuk’s keen to pick up where he left off last month.


“The conditions we had on Sno*Drift were actually a really good test for 100 Acre,” Semenuk told DirtFish, reflecting on an unusually dry Atlanta-based opener.

“100 Acre is an event which has been one of my favorites on the calendar and I’ve typically done quite well there. If we can keep the speed [from Sno*Drift] then I think this is an opportunity to bag some more points before we get to the trickier events – the events where Travis usually excels.”

As well as chasing a title hat-trick, Semenuk and his British co-driver Keaton Williams are also on the hunt for three 100 Acre Wood wins on the bounce this week.

“Like always,” added Semenuk, “the key is to keep it clean and keep the speed up. It’s important. Like I said, Travis seems to go better on the events later in the year – I would say the first half of the year is more my half and a chance to get into the driver’s seat of the championship.”


A comfortable win for Semenuk over Pastrana at Sno*Drift helped settle the mountain bike star in to the year ahead. After a fairly lonely year as Subaru Motorsports USA’s sole driver last season, Semenuk was happy with the way round one went.

“We know Travis is fast,” he said. “He jumps in anything and he’s just… fast. And he’s in the same car. He’s coming and he’s going to push 100% and maybe he went a little bit over that in Sno*Drift.

“For me it was nice to know we have the same car and we could show the pace. I think it showed my progression. You know, we haven’t raced in over a year and I’m like: ‘Hey, I’m here… bring your A game.’”