Subaru Motorsports USA Takes 1-2 Finish at Olympus Rally
Subaru Motorsports USA driver Brandon Semenuk and co-driver Keaton Williams took home their second consecutive win of the 2022 season at Olympus Rally, dominating the weekend with six stage wins including the five-point bonus for the Power Stage and extending their lead in the American Rally Association (ARA) championship. Teammates Travis Pastrana and Rhianon Gelsomino finished second and moved into second place in the title race with six rounds remaining in the nine-event calendar.
“Olympus is one of my favorite events on the calendar,” said Semenuk after the victory. “These forest stages are the kind of roads I learned to rally on, so I feel right at home here. Last year I was putting together a solid rally and just got caught out with a crash in a really slick section, so to get my first Olympus victory and some redemption this time out is an awesome feeling.”
Semenuk and Williams came out of the gate at max attack on the first day of the rally, winning the first stage and finishing second on the next two to hold onto the overall lead at the first service. While Pastrana and Gelsomino stuck close to their teammates in second, rival Barry McKenna dropped back with a spin and stall on SS2 and Ken Block suffered a crash on SS3. The two Subaru crews held the top two positions through the day’s second three-stage loop, with Semenuk increasing his margin over Pastrana to 7.9 seconds while McKenna pushed to close the gap from third place. The remaining two Saturday stages brought trouble for Pastrana, who had a spin on SS7 followed by an electrical issue on SS8 that dropped the defending champion to third overnight, but Semenuk maintained the rally lead into Sunday with a 32.7-second margin over McKenna.
The event’s final day brought more attrition, as McKenna went off the road on the first running of the infamous Wildcat stage while pushing to narrow the gap. The 2020 title-winner’s retirement left the two Subaru teammates at the top of the field and set up a showdown on the event’s final stage for Power Stage bonus points. Semenuk and Williams capped their dominant performance with a 15-second win over Pastrana and Gelsomino, securing the maximum points for the weekend and increasing their championship points total to 52 ahead of Pastrana and Gelsomino with 37, McKenna and Leon Jordan with 19 and Block and Alex Gelsomino with 17.
Subaru Motorsports USA will be back on the rally stages at Oregon Trail Rally, May 20-22.