FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2009
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MOUNT HOOD, OREGON — Driver Andrew “ACP” Comrie-Picard and the NOS Energy Mitsubishi put in an aggressive drive at the Oregon Trail Rally this weekend to finish fourth and maintain a top-three position in the Rally America championship standings.
Comrie-Picard and co-driver Robbie Durant were one second off the overall lead until a flat tire at the mid-point in the three-day event cost them nearly a minute to the leaders. The duo fought hard to regain position, finishing the weekend narrowly in fourth-place overall. After three days of racing and more than 100 miles of competition, the final results saw just six seconds separating second from fourth place.
“We were definitely on the pace for the win, and could have taken it without that puncture,” said Comrie-Picard. “But the championship standings are very close and we expect to be back in the lead after the next round.” Comrie-Picard and Durant went into the event leading the Rally America series.
Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana took the win, Rockstar Energy’s Tanner Foust was second, and the Polish driver Andi Mancin finished third to score his first-ever U.S. podium.
“This was the first event this season that we didn’t finish on the podium and that’s a disappointment,” said Comrie-Picard. “But the competition was amazing and I have to hand it to Andi Mancin – he drove a great race.”
The event was challenging from the start for the team, after an off-road excursion during a practice session before the rally sent them to the pits to rebuild the front-left corner of the car. It was thanks to the community of Mitsubishi fans in the Pacific Northwest that the team was able to take the start at all.
“Having to do a major mechanical rebuild when you’re 2,500 miles from home can be a challenge, but our friends in the Mitsubishi community came through for us here,” said Comrie-Picard. “A big thanks to everybody, especially Aaron from English Racing in Camas, Washington, and Gene from Magic Auto in Elma, Washington, for helping us out.”
At the mid-point in the U.S. season, Comrie-Picard is in third-place overall in the standings – seven points behind leader Pastrana; two points behind Foust.
The Oregon Trail Rally took place over 100 miles of competition on a course that includes a mix of twisty, hard-packed forest conditions and wide-open farming roads. The Mount Hood area’s hilly terrain meant plenty of elevation changes throughout the contest. The conditions were sunny and bright, making for dry and dusty roads and a visibility challenge for teams.
Many fans took advantage of the beautiful weather this weekend, turning out by the thousands to take in the action at the Portland International Raceway, and the Mount Hood spectator areas.
Rally activities began on Thursday with a kick-off car show in downtown Portland. Comrie-Picard was among the key series players to make an appearance Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square for a midday display where fans had the opportunity to meet with their favorite drivers and check out their race machines.
The action continued at the Portland International Raceway on Friday evening, with a short super special stage that used sections of both the tarmac and motocross tracks and drew an estimated 1,500 fans.
Rally car racing is considered the extreme sport of automobile racing and is often described simply as “real cars, real roads, real fast.” This all-season motorsport sees drivers and their co-drivers take modified road cars to the limit as they achieve blistering speeds over courses that cover hundreds of miles of gravel, dirt or snow-covered roads.
The sport is also featured in the annual X Games, the premier action sports event on the globe, featuring athletes competing for medals and prize money in sports including BMX Freestyle, Moto X, Skateboard, and Rally. Comrie-Picard has been among the dozen invited drivers every year since the rally discipline was introduced to the contest, and he has already secured an early invitation to return in 2009.
The Rally America national championship includes nine events in a cross-continent season that extends from January to late October. The Canadian Rally Championship has six events from coast to coast. ACP Rally will contest a busy season, with rally events on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, select drift events -- and the X Games.
Next, the team heads north for Round 2 of the Canadian Rally Championship, the Rocky Mountain Rally on May 29-30. The team is back in the U.S. on June 5-6 at the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally in Pennsylvania.
ABOUT THE DRIVER: Andrew Comrie-Picard is a contender for the top of the ranks in the American, Canadian, and North American rally championships and will return to compete in X Games this summer for the fourth time. When he isn’t racing, Comrie-Picard works in film, television, and print media as an automotive expert and divides his time between Toronto, Canada, and Los Angeles, California.
ABOUT THE CO-DRIVER: Robbie Durant is a dedicated competitor with recent experience in the top ranks of UK and U.S. rally racing. He discovered auto racing at age 12, driving ATVs and old cars on a farm. He began co-driving rally cars just a few years later, and hasn’t stopped since. A native of Oxford, United Kingdom, Durant has trained at the elite MSA (Motor Sport Association) British Rally Academy.
The ACP Rally program is made possible by: NOS Energy (www.drinknos.com), K&N (www.knfilters.com), Mitsubishi Canada (www.mitsubishi-motors.ca), Yokohama Canada (www.yokohama.ca), Motul (www.motulusa.com), AMS (www.amsperformance.com), Works (www.worksevo.com), Brian Crower (www.briancrower.com), JE (www.jepistons.com), Exedy (www.exedyusa.com), Öhlins (www.ohlinsusa.com), Pfitzner Performance Gearbox (www.ppgearbox.com.au), Mishimoto (www.mishimoto.com), Oakley (www.oakley.com), Innovate Motorsports (www.tuneyourengine.com), Team Dynamics (www.teamdynamicsracing.com), Endless (www.endlessusa.com), NBB (www.nbblights.ca), Sparco (www.sparcousa.com), NGK (www.ngksparkplugs.com), Seibon Carbon (www.seiboncarbon.com), Piloti (www.piloti.com), and Skull Candy (www.skullcandy.com).
For more information and video highlights, visit: www.acprally.com. To arrange interviews or find out more, contact team manger Jen Horsey at +1647-500-2729 or j-horsey(at)rogers(dot)com. Find us on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook under ACP Rally.