by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Jason Swoboda

Can Dave Brown do the impossible and win the Rally America National Championship in an Open Light car?

With a hard-charging Piotr Fetela closing in on him in the standings after winning both Rally in the 100 Acre Wood and Southern Ohio Forest Rally, it’ll be tough to hang on. But Brown has been the best of the best in one of the series’ most competitive classes, and after Tim Rooney took a DNF last weekend, “Racer Dave” now holds a slight advantage in the overall driver’s points going into July’s Rally Colorado.

If you’ve never taken a look at the standings, the breakdown is very simple:

  • There are two types of events: national events and standalone regional events.
  • Competitors receive one point for starting and one point for finishing each race.
  • Competitors who don’t use Super Rally rules to return to a national event receive seven additional finish points, for a total of eight. This does not apply to standalone regional events.
  • The top 10 finishers in a rally score points on a 20-15-12-10-8-6-4-3-2-1 scale. Standalone regional events score half points in the National Championship, rounded up to the nearest whole number (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-2-1-1). All finishers outside of the top 10 score one additional point.

So, where do we stand going into the second half of the season? Here’s a look at what the top drivers have accrued since the start of the overall championship at Nemadji Winter Trail Rally in December:

Overall event winners are denoted by italics.

After two DNFs in three starts this season for defending national champion Arkadiusz Gruszka, and DNFs for both Joseph Burke and Paulo Ferreira in their first two starts of the year, Fetela is the only Open class driver in the overall top 10. Still, three of the top four are in the sport’s traditional top two classes, with PMR Motorsports’ Tim Rooney and O.D.D. Racing’s Cameron Steely third and fourth.

The closely contested Open Light and 2WD classes make up the majority of the board, including 2WD drivers Adam VanDamme and Keanna Erickson-Chang, who are currently tied for 10th. In fact, the class championships are even closer: Brown leads Nathan Usher 69-66 in the former, while Seamus Burke leads VanDamme 58-55 in the latter.

In the co-driver’s championship, Michael Brown and Dominik Jozwiak match their drivers at first and second in the overall standings, but things change substantially from there. Preston Osborn, who traditionally serves as Steely’s co-pilot, sat alongside Erickson-Chang at Sno*Drift, while both Rachelle Kaltak and Anthony Vohs have partnered with Rooney so far this year.

Of the final five rounds of the season, two—Sno*Drift Summer Rally in August and Show-Me Rally in October—will count for half points. That leaves three events to prominently shape the outcome of the season: Colorado in July, Rally Wyoming in September, and the season-ending Lake Superior Performance Rally in mid-October.