The long Rally America season stretches six grueling events over a nine month schedule that takes the teams across some of the country’s roughest trails. Everything came to a head at the Olympus Rally in Olympia, Washington, as driver Andrew Comrie-Picard and the Sparco Rally xD team geared up for their last race of the year.
The Rally xD quickly jumped out to first place after Saturday morning’s stages, thanks to extensive preparation by the team, precise navigation by co-driver Jeremy Wimpey, and of course, skillful driving from ACP. However, the team was unable to capitalize on their early momentum as concerns over potential forest fires caused a 6+ hour delay in the event. Upon the resuming of the race, the Rally xD hit some bad luck as they got caught in a dust cloud, forcing them to stop for several minutes as it cleared. By the time the team was ready to press forward, they had fallen to third place.
Seeking to make up for the time they’d lost, the Rally xD team would hit Sunday morning’s stages with everything they had left in the tank. An aggressive push helped cover much of the ground they gave up the night before, as the Rally xD streaked to the end of both the Olympus Rally and the Rally America season. ACP’s assault on the course drove the Rally xD team to an impressive second place finish, and only 20 seconds out of first. Their performance in Washington helped secure second place in the Rally America 2WD championship standings, and seventh place in the overall Rally America standings – ahead of many AWD and Super Production cars.
Although the season could be classified as a strong success, the Rally xD team is heading back to the garage to get ready for an even better showing in next year’s standings. Another season of experience under their belt will give them the data they need to build an even stronger rally car, while ACP’s increased comfort behind the wheel of the Rally xD should make him an even more dangerous competitor.
We’re proud of what the team has managed to accomplish thus far, and can’t wait to see what they have in store for the road ahead!