by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Image via Rally America

Making their debut at the event, McKenna Motorsport’s Barry McKenna and Leon Jordan hold a solid lead after the first day of Sno*Drift National Rally, the first major stage rally event of 2019 in the United States. Driving a brand new Ford Fiesta R5 built by M-Sport, McKenna/Jordan won all six stages to build a lead of more than four minutes over 2016 event champions Piotr Fetela and Dominik Jozwiak of Fetela Rally Team.

With freezing temperatures and plenty of snow, this year’s Sno*Drift has lived up to its name after a slightly more muddy affair in 2018. As always, it’s been a high attrition event so far; multiple competitors found themselves stranded in the snow at various points, while others, like Keanna Erickson-Chang and Alex Gelsomino, suffered early mechanical trouble to take them out of Friday’s action.

O.D.D. Racing’s Cameron Steely and Preston Osborn complete the overnight podium and lead the competitive Limited 4WD class. The class podium battle took an early hit when PMR Motorsports’ Tim Rooney and Anthony Vohs hit something on the first stage and suffered two flat tires with only one available spare; like Erickson-Chang/Gelsomino, they’ll need to Super Rally on Saturday. Toasted Racing’s Zach Whitebread and Cameron Carr were among the fastest on most stages on Friday but lost more than 25 minutes at the end of the first loop after getting stuck in a snowbank.

Completing the top five are Heavy Metal Motorsports’ Jon Kramer and Jason Smith, the top Naturally Aspirated 4WD competitors, and Hi Camp Racing’s Travis Nease and Matt James in Limited 4WD. Kramer will look to back up a top five finish in the event last year, while Nease has posted consistent times throughout his Sno*Drift debut.

Saturday’s action includes 10 stages, featuring two passes at the popular Super Special and the concluding stage at Thunder River.