David Sterckx, the 2013 SP champion, was leading the class after the first stage, in 8th place overall. By the end of the day he and co-driver Karen Jankowski had fallen to 12th overall and 4th in class due to an overheating issue putting the Subaru into limp mode. At the end of Friday Nick Roberts held first in SP with a 47:26.1, then Evan Cline with 47:48.3, Van Way with 48:07.0, and Sterckx with a 48:15.3. After an entire day of racing the top finishers in SP were still less than a minute apart, a mistake from any one of them would eliminate any hope of a podium finish.
There’s been a lot of buzz around the anticipated 2WD showdown between ACP in his Ford Fiesta R2…
…and the Scion xD that he drove last season, now piloted by Matt Johnson. Everybody seemed to believe that one of these two would win 2WD, which is why there was a bit of a surprise after stage four…
…when the Fiesta R2 of Will Hudson and Brian Szykowny was in second place behind ACP, and by less than a second! They would continue with this momentum, ending the Friday in first for 2WD with a 48.23.4, followed closely by ACP with 48:24.5, and Johnson not much further behind in third with 48:51.4. The two way battle for 2WD just became a three way showdown!
It was good to see the boys from Brakim Racing competing again after their wreck at LSPR last fall. Their new BMW sounds amazing and features lots of cool carbon fiber bits, but the great sound and fancy composites didn’t help much when they had an off on Saturday during stage 10. Driver Matt Brandenburg said he was pushing a bit too hard and ended up going “nose in” onto a steep incline. A couple of small fires and a damaged wire harness prevented them from finishing, the damage was very minor and they expect to have the car repaired soon.
The 1980 Volvo 242 of Ian Topping and Jimmy Brandt threw its (sizeable) weight around on Friday’s regional rally Trespasser’s Wil and took first for Group 2 with a 53:26.4. Unfortunately they wouldn’t be able to repeat the win on Saturday’s 100 Acre Wood regional rally due to a hole in the block that manifested itself during stage 14.