Friday, May 31, 2013

Block /Gelsomino solidify STPR Rally lead after defending champs falter

Block/Gelsomino on the Waste Management I stage.
Photo credit: Lori Lass
Driver Ken Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino, from Park City, Utah, extended their early lead in their Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V. when defending champions David Higgins, from the Isle of Man, and co-driver Craig Drew (UK) pulled off the course with a sheared tie rod on their Subaru Impreza WRX STI late in the afternoon on stage #3 at the 37th running of the Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally.

Higgins, the defending Rally America champion and points leader so far this season, made an attempt to fix his car himself after he went off – allowed according to rally rules – but the damage was too serious for a patchwork repair, and the car had to be towed into the Tioga Fairgrounds service area.  It is estimated that the team will lose 16 minutes in the standings and will have to push on Saturday to finish with valuable championship points.

“We worked really hard to prepare the car for this tight, technical course, and I think we had the right mental approach as well, so were pleased to win both stages #1 and #2. When we passed Higgins on the side of the road, we didn’t know what happened to him, but now we have a big lead and we’ll have to adjust our pace,” he said.

Adam Yeoman, with co-driver Jordan Schulze, from Hancock, Mich., have put their Subaru Impreza WRX STI in second place, a far cry from his unhappy ending last year, when he crashed his car, causing a DNF.  Third overall and first in the Super Production class is the Subaru STI David Sterckx and Karen Jankowski, from Los Angeles.

The rally continues on Saturday starting at 10:00am at the Wellsboro Green, and maps are available at the Chamber of Commerce so fans can see the cars running in the forest during the day, as well as the rally conclusion at the Tioga County Fairgrounds on Route #6 West of Wellsboro.  Fans can get additional information at the following outlets:

Official web site (schedule, entry list, results, updates) – www.stpr.org
Facebook -  https://www.facebookcom/STPRRally
STPR® News and Announcements - http://news.stpr.org
Twitter - https://twitter.com/stpr_rally
Flicker - http://www.flickr.com/photos/stpr/
Instagram – www.instagram.com/stpr_rally

Rally America - www.rally-america.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/RallyAmerica
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Rally_America