Rally race at the 100 Acre Wood
After a crash forced him to withdraw last year, Ken Block returned to the top of the podium in last weekend's 100 Acre Wood rally car race outside of Salem, Mo. Block has won seven of his past eight races at the 100 Acre Wood. Travis Pastrana, nursing a broken leg and a dislocated ankle, returned to rally for the first time in three years to take second place.
Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino led by only 20.6 seconds after Day 1 of the two-day race, with perennial podium favorite David Higgins close behind.
With Gelsomino shouting turn-by-turn directions as hairpins approach, Block can concentrate on maximizing the potential of his 2014 Ford Fiesta. Even though Block is very familiar with the 100 Acre Wood, a co-driver is essential for spotting turns and problem areas at speeds approaching 100 mph.
Travis Pastrana follows Block down the same roadway at a slightly different angle. Pastrana returned to the 100 Acre Wood for the first time in three years after taking a break from rally racing to concentrate on NASCAR and Global RallyCross.
Pastrana broke his leg and dislocated an ankle about a month before the 100 Acre Wood race. On the first day of racing, he used duct tape to keep his healing leg in place.
Healing While Competing
Luckily for Pastrana, he broke his left leg and his new Subaru STI rally car features a hand clutch, so his wounded leg was not needed to keep his car moving.
Pastrana, the former four-time Rally America champion, stayed relatively trouble-free during the two-stage rally, despite breaking in his new co-driver, Chrissie Beavis, and driving a car significantly faster than the Subaru he drove at the 100 Acre Wood three years ago.
Between his broken leg, a new co-driver and a faster car, you would think Pastrana would have a tough hill to climb. But like he does so often, Pastrana defied the odds and took second place in the grueling race.
Run Like A Rabbit
Adam Yeoman had the dubious distinction of being the "rabbit," or the first of the seeded drivers on the track. The rabbit sets the pace for the pack, but doesn't have anyone in front of him identifying trouble spots. Yeoman and co-driver Jordan Schulze took third place.
Top Of His Class
Nick Roberts took top honors in the Super Production class in his 2013 Subaru Impreza, and fourth overall. The Super Production class is made up of cars that more closely resemble factory automobiles because their chassis and parts must be the same make and model and any modifications must come from the manufacturer.
Dillon Van Way, also from the Super Production class, finished closely behind Roberts, missing fourth place by less than a minute.
Disaster for Higgins
David Higgins, a perennial podium favorite in rally, had trouble in a cancelled Stage 9 on Day 2 and had to withdraw. It marked the first time Higgins has missed a rally podium in 22 consecutive starts.