Rally Battle Set for Missouri at Rally America's Round Two

Tony CastaneiraAnalyst IFebruary 19, 2009

Round two of the Rally America Championship heads south from the frozen tundra of Michigan to scenic Ozark foothills of southern Missouri in southern Missouri Feb. 27 to 28.  It is early spring in this region, but the teams must come prepared for anything when it comes to the weather. Anyone who attended last year can attest to that as a freak storm blanket the region with a thick layer of ice in the days before the rally.

The Rally in the 100-Acre Wood course is fast, tight, and tortuous, on roads known as some of the best in the nation for rallying.

The fast an flowing course through the Missouri forest seems tailored made for  Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block as it suits his let-it-all-hang-out style.

How well does it suit him?

He all but owns this event.  Block took his first national win at Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in 2006 and has stood at the top of the podium ever year since.

But don’t think for a moment that Ken Block will have it easy as his dominance has made him a tantalizing target for the other competitors.  His greatest challenger will be his own teammate on the Subaru Rally Team USA, Travis Pastrana.  Pastrana wasn’t even finished celebrating his Round one win at Sno*Drift when he stated that he wasn’t prepared to let Block take his fourth consecutive win in Missouri.

Among the other challengers to Block will be Rockstar Energy driver Tanner Foust.  Currently second in the points after a superb drive at Sno*Drift in the “tired”, ex-John Buffman Hyundai Tiburon, Foust will debut a potent new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X rally car for this event.  NOS Energy’s Andrew “ACP” Comrie-Picard is looking for another solid finish after he claimed the third spot on the podium at Round One.

In a bid to be more competitive Rally America newcomer Andi Mancin, has used the time between events to upgrade his rally car.  Look for the young man from Poland to use this to challenge for the podium.

Rally America’s new Super Production class will provide it’s own furious competition with Dave Mirra’s anticipated debut with the Subaru Rally Team USA’s. Former two-time Production-GT champion Matt Johnson is looking to rebound after a disappointing first round in Michigan.

Rounding out the field will be a number of veteran two-wheel drive competitors who are also projected to participate at the Rally in the 100-Acre Wood which should make for thrilling battles all weekend.