Rally America Rd. Three: Olympus Rally Returns to Its Roots

Tony CastaneiraAnalyst IMarch 25, 2009

The best rally teams in North America will be faced with a new challenge as they arrive at the 2009 Olympus Rally in Aberdeen, Washington for Round Three of the Rally America championship April 18-19.

Last year, the Olympus Rally was temporarily held in the dry eastern part of Washington State, which made for a very fast Rally.

The Rally returns to its roots in coastal Washington’s tree-lined roads around the ocean-side community of Aberdeen.  America’s finest rally drivers will take to the tight, tree-lined course mountain roads with intimidating drop-offs for round three of the Rally America Championship on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19.

"Pomeroy was a great location for the Olympus Rally in 2008, but we're glad to be back near the Olympic and Capital forests," stated Olympus Rally chairman Steve McQuaid recently.

“The springtime weather in Washington is extremely unpredictable at this time of year and everything from warm sunshine to blinding snow is certainly a possibility.”

The legendary Olympus Rally has a very rich history but is a relatively new event in the Rally America calendar, being added to the series calendar in 2007.  The Olympus Rally started in 1973 and was a stop on the World Rally Championship calendar from 1986 to 1988.

Rally racing legends including Rod Millen, Juha Kankkunen, and the American rally legend John Buffum are just some of the famous names that have taken the win at this event.

There is a tie for the lead in the Rally America point standings entering the Olympus Rally.  Surprisingly, neither is competing in the all-conquering Subarus, but in two different versions of the Mitsubishis EVO. 

NOS Energy’s Andrew Comrie-Picard in his Mitsubishi Evolution IX and Rockstar Energy’s Tanner Foust, driving a Libra Racing-built 2009 Mitsubishi Evolution X, are tied at 31 points each.

The two Subaru Rally Team USA drivers, Red Bull’s Travis Pastrana, and Monster Energy’s Ken Block have each emerged victorious in the first two races in the Rally America Championship, but find themselves tied for second place in the standings with 23 points. 

Third place in the championship is another tie, just one point back, between Andi Mancin and Bill Bacon, both behind the wheel of Mitsubishi Evos.

Matt Johnson and Dave Mirra, both driving Subaru WRX STIs will be challenged by Piotr Wiktorczyk with his Mitsubishi Evolution. They will battle it out for the win in the new Super Production class.  

As is the case with most Rally America events, expect representatives of various car manufacturers such as Subaru, Mitsubishi, Dodge, Ford, Mazda, and Volkswagen at the Rally Olympus, especially with local teams providing a strong turnout in the two-wheel drive class.

Photos and Quotes courtesy of Rally America.