K&N Filters Car and Driver Rally for X Games Medal

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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 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.

K&N Subaru at Hungry Valley in Gorman, CA
K&N Subaru at Hungry Valley in Gorman, CA
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.
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 K&N news site.  Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world''s leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit