Potosi, Mo. – Subaru Motorsports USA took a second consecutive American Rally Association (ARA) victory and double podium at Missouri’s Show-Me Rally, locking out the top two positions in the team’s strongest finish of 2020 to date. Brandon Semenuk brought home his first-ever U.S. rally win in only his third event in the blue and gold #180 WRX STI, showing impressive pace throughout the weekend on Show-Me’s challenging roads. Teammate Travis Pastrana followed up his August win at Ojibwe Forests Rally with a second-place finish including a pair of stage wins.
Show-Me Rally, joining the ARA national calendar in the place of March’s cancelled 100 Acre Wood Rally and featuring many of the same stages, brought dry, dusty conditions that hampered both grip and visibility on the famously quick Missouri roads. Pastrana and co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino went hard out of the gate and won the first stage, but Semenuk and John Hall took over the lead after a strong SS2 performance that took more than eight seconds back from their teammates. The Subaru drivers’ fortunes fell on SS3, as Pastrana lost nearly a minute to a pair of tire punctures and championship rival Barry McKenna took the stage win to eclipse Semenuk for the overall lead by a single second going into Saturday.
After a tightly contested trio of stages Saturday morning that maintained the leading order, drama came in the midday service session. McKenna’s Ford had broken a driveshaft on SS7, while Semenuk’s WRX STI needed an oil pan replacement due to a hard landing.
The Subaru crew were able to change out the pan and put the car back on the road in time, while McKenna checked out of service late and was assessed a time penalty. With a lead of more than 30 seconds in hand for the final three-stage loop, Semenuk cruised to the victory and punctuated it with a stage win on SS9. Pastrana came home third, but was promoted to second after the event when McKenna’s car was penalized for a banned anti-lag system.
“Incredible feeling to get the win this weekend!” said Semenuk after the rally. “Of all the events this year, this was the one where I expected to feel the least comfortable since I’ve never done 100 Acre Wood. These stages have some really fast sections and the dust was a challenge, but you have to be clean and trust the car to find grip. The techs did an awesome job in service today too, they gave us the advantage in the afternoon to take the win.
“Great battle this weekend, and nice to be on the podium again!” Pastrana said. “This has never really been my event since the roads don’t really suit my driving style, so after the Friday punctures I had to be a little less aggressive today and focus on bringing the car home. Not as fun as going flat out for the win, but I couldn’t be happier for Brandon. He was super quick all weekend and he and John did everything they needed to win.”
Subaru Motorsports USA will return at November’s DirtFish Olympus Rally in Washington state, aiming for a third straight win to close out the ARA calendar.
About Subaru Motorsports USA
Subaru Motorsports USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., MOTUL, Yokohama Tires, Method Race Wheels, DirtFish Rally School, KÜHL and RECARO. Follow the team online at www.subaru.com/motorsports.
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