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Rally in the 100 Acre Wood - 24-25 Feb 12

Posted: February 29, 2012 11:47 AM - 4120 Hits

Round 2 - 2012 Rally America Championship

Ken Block/Alex Gelsomino and Chris Duplessis/ Karl Atkinson Power Fiestas to victory at 100 Acre Wood

Posted: February 29, 2012 11:47 AM

Ken Block and the Monster World Rally Team H.F.H.V. Ford Fiesta made their 2012 debut at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood and it ended the way every race ever has for Ken Block in rural Missouri, with a victory.

Block has dominated the Rally America National Championship Missouri stop winning six times in six tries. After missing the 2011 event with a WRC conflict and snapping a streak of five straight wins, Block and the Fiesta returned with a vengeance winning 15 of 17 stages and taking the overall win by 29.3 seconds over David Higgins and his Subaru STI.

“I am very happy to have my Ford Fiesta on top of the podium here in what is my sixth consecutive win at 100 Acre Wood,” said Block. “I absolutely love these roads here in Missouri and I am stoked to have been able to come out with this new H.F.H.V. Fiesta and win in its first stage rally. We built the H.F.H.V. (Hybrid Function Hooning Vehicle) to be able to do RallyCross, Gymkhana and stage rally. We spent time testing for stage rally, but this was its premier as a stage rally car and I am very happy with the Fiesta. We did a lot of testing with the H.F.H.V. to make sure we would be ready and we did exactly what wanted to do.”

The last time Block was at 100 Acre Wood, he was running in just his second rally for Ford Racing and was the lone Ford Fiesta in the field as he claimed victory. Twenty-four months later there is not only a growing presence in the 2WD class, but Fiesta is dominating the class.

Chris Duplessis claimed his second 2WD class win of 2012 driving the LA Shoe Company Ford Fiesta R2 to victory by nearly three minutes over Andrew Comrie-Picard. Dillon Van Way and the 300 hp turbo Fiesta missed out on second by only 2.8 seconds after they took a twenty second penalty for a flat tire. Ed McNelly and the Team O’Neil Motorsport Fiesta R2 endured a rollover accident badly damaging the rear of his Fiesta, but he finished fourth just 39 seconds behind Van Way.

“The Fiesta was awesome all weekend, not one issue,” said Duplessis who has now won three straight Rally American National Championship events in an Fiesta R2. “We started out strong and kept going all weekend. We came in with our fingers crossed because this event was the eighth rally for this Fiesta R2 motor, gearbox and everything. In rally years that is really old so we had some concern we might have to address an issue here and there, but once again the reliability of this Fiesta is unbelievable and we went strong no problem all weekend.”

“This is a great place to be sitting, two rallies into the championship with two wins under your belt,” said Duplessis who won seven of the first eight stages. “Hopefully we can keep doing it. I’d love to win them all this season and I really think we can put the Fiesta R2 on the overall podium at some point which is unheard of for a 2WD car, but the Fiesta R2 is that good. Right now we are going to just keep taking wins as them come.”

For Dillon Van Way it was his second podium of the season and for the second straight event he narrowly missed finishing second.
“Third isn’t where we want to be,” said the 2009 2WD national champ. “We came here hoping for a win we had a lot of issues with the brakes and that really hurt us. All in all we were only second by 2.8 seconds and that was after we had a twenty second penalty for a flat tire. With a clean run we would have been right there with Chris and fighting for the win. Hopefully we can have a clean run in Oregon and show off what this Fiesta can do.”

Rookie driver Ed McNelly driving in just his second National Championship event, missed the 2WD podium by 39 seconds after having run in the top three late in the rally. A rollover incident on Stage 14 which badly damaged the rear of his Fiesta was the difference in a podium finish.

“This run on gravel was crazy,” said McNelly, who is the lead mechanic for the Team O’Neil Driving School. “This Fiesta R2 is amazing because you can put it where you want. What really got me was when we rolled the car landed on its wheels and started and then it went down the stage just as fast as it did before the rollover. Come on, what other car is gonna do that? If it wasn’t for the damage to the rear hatch you wouldn’t even have known we had a rollover.”

Rally America returns to action May 4-6 in Oregon for the Oregon Trail Rally.


Posted: February 28, 2012 2:37 PM

Joseph Burke Motorsports Welcomes International Champion Rory Kennedy to Team

Posted: February 24, 2012 2:18 PM

Joseph Burke Motorsports (JBM) will have a change in co-drivers at Rally in the 100 Acre Woods. Four-time Irish tarmac champion navigator Rory Kennedy will be calling the notes for driver Joseph Burke the weekend of February 24-25, in Salem, Missouri. Burke heads into the second event in the Rally America Championship fourth overall in the championship standings.

“We are really excited to have Rory calling the notes for Rally in the 100 Acre Woods,” explains Joseph Burke. “After finishing in the top five at Sno*Drift Rally, we know Rory brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team that will help us continue our march to the top of the standings.”

In addition to the Irish tarmac championships, Rory Kennedy is a two-time British Rally Champion co-driver. Although this is Kennedy’s first visit to the Ozarks, he is no stranger to rally in the United States. He sat with Joseph’s father, Seamus Burke, in 2002 competing in the SCCA Pro Rally.

With the team’s regular co-driver Alex Kihurani on an extended off shore work assignment, this is the second time JBM has had to tap into the international community of co-drivers. Ireland’s Paddy Robinson stepped in and guided Burke to a fourth place finish at Sno*Drift in January.

Mechanical Upgrades

After being sidelined at 100AW in 2011 with electrical problems after only two stages, JBM is banking on a trouble free run this year. The team has made some significant upgrades to the open class Mitsubishi Evo between Sno*Drift and 100aw. They have moved to a 5-speed Drenth sequential gearbox and added an updated suspension.

“We have no doubt that this will be one tough rally. With the return of 5-time Rally in the 100 Acre Woods champion Ken Block and visiting Polish Champion Krzysztof Holowczyc we fully expect the pace to be insane right out of the gate,” continued Burke. “I really like this rally. The stages are some of the best on the circuit. With the mechanical updates and Rory on the notes, hopefully we will quickly gel and get ourselves in position to get a podium finish and advance in the standings.”

2012 Rally in the 100 Acre Woods will take place February 24th and 25th and will be highlighted on Rally-America.com through the live broadcast of RallyStream.tv. Follow JBM on their Facebook and Twitter outlets for behind the scenes work leading up to and during the race weekend. We would like to give a special thanks to our many fans through the U.S. and beyond, we hope to make you proud.

Entry List

Posted: February 17, 2012 11:08 AM

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Posted: February 17, 2012 11:07 AM

Rally America is proud to announce that Ken Block, WRC driver and creator of the Gymkhana videos, and co-founder of DC Shoes, is joining the 2012 Rally America National Championship to compete in the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. The event will be held on February 24-25 in Salem, Missouri. Fans who cannot attend in person can catch many hours of live event streaming and video recaps, as well as regularly updated stage times and results, at Rally-America.com.

“We are very excited that Ken Block will be competing in the upcoming Rally in the 100 Acre Wood,” said Bill Fogg, CEO of Rally America. “There is always a buzz around Ken, his racing skills and his personal brand. His participation is thrilling for our race organizers and Rally America fans all over North America.”

"Rally in the United States has definitely grown in popularity since I first got started back in 2005," said Block. "It's been great to watch that growth and I'm stoked that this year I'm finally getting back to the series I first started in by competing at Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. It's one of my favorite rallies, so I'm stoked that it's how I'm kicking off my 2012 season."

Block has won the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in five consecutive years from 2006-2010, breaking legendary driver John Buffum’s record for most wins at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. Block has ten overall wins at Rally America National Championship events.

Event Website / Details

Posted: January 24, 2012 2:56 PM

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