Ocean Shores, MO — The Rally America National Championship schedule resumes at the end of April with its two-event West Coast Swing in Washington and Oregon. The Olympus Rally April 30th-May 1st runs along the beautiful shorelines of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. More than 50 top teams representing the United States, Canada and Great Britain will travel to the seaside community of Ocean Shores, WA for the third round of six Rally America National Championship events.
The season has already delivered surprising results. Perhaps the biggest surprise comes from privateer New Hampshire driver Travis Hanson, a Super Production Class competitor, who currently leads the overall Championship over many quicker, factory supported Open Class teams. Hanson, a rally school instructor from Littleton, NH, and his father, Terry from Traverse City, Michigan drew a line in the snow by winning the season opening Sno*Drift Rally in Atlanta, Michigan last January 2011.
They scored enough points with a fifth at the second round, February’s Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in Missouri, to stay atop the standings. All of this is history for the Rally America championship. The Sno*Drift victory marked the first time a Super Production driver won an event overall. And this is the first time a privateer, non-factory supported team, has led the championship this late in the season.
The Hansons will once again cross the country to test their fate at the Olympus Rally on the same roads that saw them crash out of the event on the first day last year. Travis and Terry will have another chance to defend their unprecedented challenged at the Oregon Trail Rally in Portland, Oregon just two weeks later, May 13-15th.
X Games BMX legend, Dave Mirra from North Carolina and multi-time British Rally Champion, David Higgins from Wales will be among those hoping to catch the Hansons and put their Subaru Rally Team USA back on the top step of the Podium. Mirra has been Subaru Rally Team USA’s most consistent finisher so far in 2011. Mirra sits just three points behind Travis Hanson for second place in the overall point standings. Mirra has a long resume of experience at Olympus having run in the event since 2008. He’ll need to draw on that experience to overtake the steadiness of Team Hanson. Mirra has sniffed at an overall event win. Last year he earned his first ever podium finish at Olympus. This year Mirra was second at Sno*Drift and third at 100 Acre Wood so he’s close to a win that could put him in the overall Rally America championship lead after Olympus.