Chillicothe, OH – Subaru Motorsports USA found victory again this past weekend at the 2023 Southern Ohio Forest Rally (SOFR). Not only was it the first SOFR win for driver Brandon Semenuk and co-driver Keaton Williams, but it extended their American Rally Association (ARA) Championship series points lead enough that the team may be able to celebrate winning overall 2023 Championship at the July 14-15 New England Forest Rally.
The 2023 Southern Ohio Forest Rally marked 50 years of championship points rallying in the United States, attracting famous faces and drawing big crowds. Cars took to the stages on Thursday evening with an opening tarmac stage through downtown Chillicothe, Ohio. The Subaru Motorsports USA team logged a drama-free first day, allowing Semenuk and Williams to get out to an early lead.
The second through fifth stages comprised the first half of day two. Starting first, Semenuk and Williams were able to get out of the gate before the field and avoid intense dust clouds that caused race officials to open a “dust window” between driver starts so the air could clear. That didn’t mean they were without challenges: the second half of the day the same stages were re-run as the sixth through ninth, and drivers had kicked up enough debris to make the tarmac sections much looser. The Subaru Motorsports USA team managed the debris and tire wear, ending the day with an extended lead and a good setup for the final day of racing.
A sunny, 80-degree day three of the Southern Ohio Forest Rally gave Semenuk and Williams a clear path to the rally win. The debris issues came up again in the 20th and final stage, America’s Best. Having been run twice already that day as stages 11 and 16, America’s Best had relatively loose tarmac sections and inconsistent lines, but the Subaru Motorsports USA WRX STI came through to put a bow on a successful weekend.
Up next is a month break before the July 14-15 New England Forest Rally, the sixth of eight events on the ARA calendar and the place where Subaru Motorsports USA may claim the 2023 Championship.
Brandon Semenuk: “It was a good Southern Ohio – first time putting Subaru on the top box. First win for me, first for Keaton. Really excited about this win. It was a tricky weekend with the conditions, but we had a fun drive and kept it clean.”
Keaton Williams: “These stages are never easy. To be able to come here and get the win on every stage was quite nice and it’s a bit of redemption for us from last year — we had a bit of a bad rally.”
About Subaru Motorsports USA
Subaru Motorsports USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., MOTUL, KMC Wheels, Yokohama Tires, DirtFish Rally School, KÜHL, AT&T Business, weBoost and PepLink. Follow the team online at www.subaru.com/motorsports.
Follow Subaru Motorsports USA on Facebook, on Instagram @subarumotorsportsusa, onTikTok @subarumotorsportsusa, and on Twitter @subarums_usa.
About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 630 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile manufacturing plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise, which is the company’s vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA and the SOA Foundation have donated more than $300 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged nearly 88,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.