Unless something extraordinary happens, this weekend’s New England Forest Rally will confirm Subaru Motorsports USA’s Brandon Semenuk and Keaton Williams as double Green APU American Rally Association National champions.
After an intense to-and-fro battle with the late Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino that went right down to the wire last year, things couldn’t have been more different for the Subaru stars in 2023.
Yet to be beaten to a rally win all season long, Semenuk’s season has been so perfect that he’s won 74 of the year’s 83 stages so far (89.15%) and is just one single point shy of a 100% championship score after he was beaten on the 100 Acre Wood Rally powerstage by 2020 champion Barry McKenna.
In fact, that dropped point is the only reason Semenuk and Williams have not been confirmed as champions already with a competitor’s best five scores from eight to count towards their final points tally.
All they therefore need to do on NEFR, the fastest rally of the season, is scoop one championship point and they will be champions for the second year running with two rounds to spare.
That means all Semenuk and Williams have to do is finish the rally, or be a minimum of fifth on the powerstage, to secure the title as ARA offers two championship points to any crew who reaches the end of the event.
“Getting to the end is important,” Semenuk told DirtFish. “As much as want to win the event, we could lock up the championship if we score these remaining points.
“If it’s going well, we’ll just push on.”
If they successfully retain their crown, Semenuk and Williams will become the first pairing to retain the American title since David Higgins and Craig Drew in 2018 and ’19.
You can follow every twist and turn of this weekend’s New England Forest Rally (July 14/15) on DirtFish Live Center.
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