Rally America: Ken Block Has Olympus Rally Lead After First Day

Tony CastaneiraAnalyst IApril 18, 2009

Ken Block has a 20 second lead after Day 1 of the Olympus Rally in western Washington, while a ferocious battle for second place rages behind him.

“It’s good,” said Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block. “But the stages tomorrow are even better suited to my style, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Andrew “ACP” Comrie-Picard in his NOS Energy Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, ended the day in second place after battling hard with Block’s Subaru Rally Team USA’s teammate Travis Pastrana.

The two drivers entered the last leg on Saturday tied. It wasn’t till after three stages and 25 miles of hard driving that ACP managed to pull a two second lead.

“Everybody is driving flat out,” said Pastrana. “I’m at 100 percent; I’m all in—tomorrow should be good and hopefully we can catch number 43 (Block).”

Tanner Foust dropped two positions to finish the day in fourth place in his Rockstar Energy Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. They finished Day 1 six seconds out of third place after they suffered mechanical trouble with their and began losing time. Foust said a driveshaft started coming loose, affecting the car’s performance and rattling his confidence.

“Things were going well until this happened,” said Foust as he watched his team’s mechanics working on the car Saturday evening. “But anything can happen on Day 2 and we’re still in it.”

In the new Super Production class, Piotr Wiktorczyk was leading the charge in their Subaru WRX STi. They took over the SP class lead late on Saturday after Matt Johnson and co-driver Jeremy Wimpey found themselves out of contention due to mechanical trouble.

Meanwhile Subaru Rally Team USA’s newest member, Dave Mirra, was struggling in his new Subaru WRX Sti, and finished that day second in class and seventh overall.
Heading into Round 3, ACP and Foust are tied for the series lead, followed by the Subaru Rally Team USA drivers, Pastrana and Block, who are tied for second place in the championship.