Subaru and Travis Pastrana Take Second Consecutive Win at 100 Acre Wood
Salem, Mo. – Subaru Motorsports USA driver Travis Pastrana and co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino brought home their second straight win to open the 2021 American Rally Association (ARA) season at Missouri’s 100 Acre Wood Rally, outlasting a strong Open Class field that included longtime Pastrana rival Ken Block and defending champion Barry McKenna. Brandon Semenuk and John Hall took a fourth-place finish in the second blue and gold WRX STI rally car, securing first and second for Subaru in the ARA championship standings.
“Two wins in two events, right where we want to be!” said Pastrana after the event. “This weekend was always going to be tough with the road conditions. Rhi and I had some luck with other teams hitting trouble, but we had been pushing flat out on day 1 on these super fast stages and put ourselves in a good position to take advantage. The last two loops today were really rough, so we focused on protecting the car and were able to hang on.”
100 Acre Wood is a staple of the ARA championship, infamous for high speeds, variable weather and road conditions and its iconic Cattle Guard jump. The 2021 running delivered high drama thanks to a fast entry list, pre-event rains that created slick surfaces and large water crossings, and high attrition over the fourteen-stage event.
Pastrana found himself in an early fight for the lead on day 1, winning two of the six Friday stages and settling into second place just behind McKenna. Semenuk, just off the pace early in the day, settled into a rhythm on the second loop and managed to overhaul Ken Block for third.
The rough conditions began to take a toll early on Saturday, as Semenuk damaged a radiator fan on an SS8 water splash and dropped behind Block with cooling issues. McKenna had a catastrophic tire failure on SS9, surrendering first to Pastrana and Gelsomino. With conditions growing rougher later in the day, the #199 crew carefully defended their lead for the last two loops and finished with a 29-second margin over Block in second. Semenuk and Hall held third through SS11 but were eventually outpaced by a hard-charging McKenna, ending a streak of five consecutive podiums for the Canadian pair but still bringing critical championship points.
Subaru Motorsports USA will be back in action April 24-25 at Olympus Rally in the forests of Washington state.
About Subaru Motorsports USA
Subaru Motorsports USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., MOTUL, Yokohama Tires, DirtFish Rally School, KÜHL and RECARO. Follow the team online at www.subaru.com/motorsports.