K&N Filters Car and Driver Rally for X Games Medal
For the first time in the history of the X Games the sport of Rally Car
racing is in the line up. Lauchlin O’Sullivan and his K&N Engineering Subaru
have a shot at a medal in the X Games Rally.
O’Sullivan placed 4 seconds short of 3rd place at the inaugural rally Wednesday
morning at Hungry Valley SVRA Park in Gorman, California. Colin McRae was first
and Travis Pastrana essentially tied going into the final stage of the
competition, planned for Saturday August 5th in Carson, California’s Home Depot Center.
K&N Subaru at first stage of X Games
Here’s how it works: Rally Car Racing features a driver and a co-driver.
Street legal cars are raced on closed sections of roads called “stages.” The
goal is to accumulate the lowest elapsed driving time on a prescribed course.
The co-driver is the navigator who communicates the upcoming road conditions to
the driver. This way the driver can maintain a high rate of speed around natural
obstacles. In Gorman, 12 drivers and their co-drivers faced rocks, huge
boulders, ruts and badly gutted dirt tracks.
Some of the drivers said the stages were the roughest they’ve ever seen.
O’Sullivan hit a huge boulder and damaged the skidplate on the K&N Subaru. “We
also had two flat tires,” said O’Sullivan. “In one instance, we were about to
run a stage and noticed we had a slow leak. It was too late to do anything about
it. We ran it, completed it and put the car in service.”
O’Sullivan and co-driver Scott Putnam are considered the underdogs, competing
against drivers who rally race full time. “The big guys are leading and they are
all on the same team,” said O’Sullivan. “My strategy is to drive as cleanly as
possible on Saturday.”
The foundation for the competition was laid in the far northeastern reaches of
Los Angeles County, but it’s still anyone’s game at the Home Depot Center. The
rally machines will finish it on a racetrack comprised of 4,690 feet of asphalt,
1000 feet of dirt and two 160-foot dirt ramps. The rally circuit will be 5850
feet in total.
O’Sullivan won a coveted sport at the X Games competing against one of the
toughest fields assembled in U.S. rally history at Susquehannock Trail
Performance Rally on June 3, 2006. The two fastest drivers who had not already
been invited to compete earned an invitation to the X Games at this rally.
The K&N Subaru is running in one of the harshest conditions for an engine
to compete in motorsports. In Baja, you have to deal with dirt, silt, dust and
sand. In NASCAR the engine has to be on a restrictor plate, combine the two and
you have Rally Car Racing. There is a restrictor plate on the intake to the
Rally Car motors and a 600 horsepower engine is restricted to half the power.
K&N Subaru at Hungry Valley in Gorman, CA
There is a K&N Air Filter on the K&N Subaru. “You can’t beat the way K&N Filters
keep the dust and dirt out of the engine,” said O’Sullivan. “I used K&N Filters
before we were sponsored.”
O’Sullivan met co-driver Scott Putnam at the Ojibwe Forest Rally in 2004. The
two face the Summer X Games with a through knowledge of the California rally
racing scene. It could give them an advantage. “We have to get a medal,” said
Sullivan. “We are so close.”
The Summer X Games rally will be televised live on ABC, Saturday afternoon
August 5th. Check your local listings for times.
Follow Lauchlin O'Sullivan's progress throughout the racing season at the
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