Each stop on the road to the Rally America Championship is hard on every team that attempts to traverse it, but at times, that’s felt especially true for the guys behind the Scion Racing Rally xD. In just the 4 events leading up to the New England Forest Rally, the team has been forced to fight through everything from a blown head gasket to an overturned car.
The team has been extraordinarily resilient in the face of these challenges, and that resiliency has played a huge role in getting Andrew Comrie-Picard and co-driver Jeremy Wimpey in position to take the Rally America 2WD Championship.
A few quick shakedown runs the day before the race had the car looking as strong as ever, especially considering the fact that the Scion Racing Rally xD was coming off a recent trip to the summit of Pikes Peak. With everything dialed in, the team had their sights set high for the two days of racing ahead.
While there’s really no such thing as a perfectly smooth race in this discipline, problems began hitting the team sooner than even they could have expected. Right off the bat, the team lost 4th gear in the Scion Racing Rally xD, a problem that would lead to a puncture in the transmission.
The Rally xD team was able to get a new transmission swapped in with relative ease, but the time in the service area gave the team a sizeable deficit with less than half a day’s worth of competition behind them. Combined with a time penalty the team incurred as a result of coming out of service late, ACP and the team had their work cut out for them the rest of the way.
It goes without saying that not having to swap in a new transmission would’ve been preferable for the team, but as long as it had to happen, doing it early in the race would end up proving valuable for the team. Because there was a substantial amount of racing left, the team was able to erase much of the time they lost as a result of making the fix, and by the end of Day 1, had driven their way back into 3rd place.
Thankfully, Day 2 of the rally passed without any major issues allowing the team to build on the progress they’d made the previous day. ACP turned the Rally xD’s 3 second lead on the 4th place driver into a comfortable gap, and had a podium finish well within their reach.
By the time the dust had cleared, ACP and Jeremy Wimpey were back on the podium, holding on to their overall 2WD championship lead. The finish gave them the points they needed going into the final two rounds of the year, especially with the competition really beginning to heat up. While we can’t say it’ll be a smooth ride to the finish, we know it’ll be one that the Rally xD team will be up to the task of handling.
As always, we’ll be bringing you more content from the race as soon as it comes through, so be sure to check back on the Scion Racing blog often!