Rally car racing puts the "X" in extreme automobile racing. It's a motorsport that requires a very unique set of skills, which makes it a huge fan favourite at the X-Games. And, North American Rally Champion Andrew Comrie-Picard proved once again why he sits at the very pinnacle of the sport by winning the very demanding Oregon Trail Rally. Comrie-Picard theToronto, Ontario racer, and co-driver Jeremy Wimpey, driving in their NOS Energy Mitsubishi Evolution led almost the entire event on the way to their win. It was in fact the first time in Rally America history that the podium was an all Mitsubishi affair.
Comrie-Picard and co-driver Jeremy Wimpey, driving in their NOS Energy Mitsubishi Evolution
Rally racing is all-season motorsport that sees drivers and co-drivers take modified road cars to the very limits as they traverse over courses covering hundreds of miles of gravel, dirt or snow-covered roads, or slick mud and extreme heat. The Oregon Trail Rally took place over 100 miles of competition on a course that that threw pretty much all of that at the racers this year, except perhaps the extreme heat. The conditions that make this race so difficult to overcome though are the very reasons why it's so supremely satisfying when you win. This year, by the end of the day two, 24 out 64 teams that entered were gone.
"The Oregon rally has a wide variety of roads over three days, from tarmac and broken tarmac at Portland International Raceway on Friday, to tight, twisty high-altitude work on Saturday, to wide-open 120 plus miles per hour runs through silt beds on Sunday. You have to do well on all the different sections to win it, and I'm happy we were strong throughout," remarked Comrie-Picard.
With this victory Comrie-Picard is now tied for fourth place with Dave Mirra in defending his Rally America Championship.
"This year there are no 'drops' in the Rally America Championship - every event counts. Last year we were leading at this point, but this year we crashed out on one event and had a driveline failure in another, so we're in fourth. There are only two events left so it will be an effort to win the championship, but you never know what's going to happen to the other guys, and we never give up."
We wondered what challenged Comrie-Picard most and what gave him the most gratification - rally car racing, drifting, or competing at the X-Games?
"That's an interesting question. Each of those competitions is different, but there's interesting crossover too. Rally and X-Games use a similar car and driving style. Drifting and X Games are both super-intense short-format races. Rally is about speed, drift about style and speed, and X-Games about speed with some style," explained Comrie-Picard.
"I like all of them to be honest, and developing my skills in each helps with the others. I'm really excited right now about the addition of SuperRally to the X-Games, and the three national-level, wheel-to-wheel Rallycrosses we'll be doing in New Jersey in the fall. Think of the X-Games rally, but with six cars wheel-to-wheel. It's going to be sensational."
"K&N has been a longtime partner with our team and we value the relationship," commented Comrie-Picard.
"I use their air filters exclusively, and frankly, have done so for the last fifteen years, even before we had a direct relationship. For what we do, through silt and dirt and sand and water, there's nothing better."
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