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

Despite treacherous Saturday conditions including a snowfall that randomized the running order in morning stages, the Open class field dominated the overall standings in last weekend’s Lake Superior Performance Rally. Four of the top five Rally America National Championship finishers competed in the Open class, including overall event winners Joseph Burke and Karen Jankowski.

While an exceptionally competitive Rally America season has seen top teams of all classes take home podium finishes and stage wins, Open class vehicles excelled at “The Oldest, Meanest, Toughest Rally on the Circuit.” 12 of the 15 stages were won by Open competitors, including an event-high six by Burke/Jankowski. Burke’s JRD Rallysport Lancer Evolution has won at least six stages in each of its appearances in Rally America this season.

Piotr Fetela and Dominik Jozwiak, who currently rank second in the Rally America National Championship, took four stages on the first day of action, but fell out of contention for the overall win after brake issues forced them to SuperRally for most of the event. Nonetheless, the Fetela Rally Team rebounded impressively to crack the top 10 overall in the event. The other two stage wins were earned by Matt and Adelinn Huuki, who earned the third spot on the overall podium, and Henry and Cynthia Krolikowski, who placed fifth overall.

Defending Rally America National Champions Arek Gruszka and Lukasz Wronski returned to the series for the first time since May’s Southern Ohio Forest Rally and placed fourth overall. The Green APU Rally Team was third fastest in the Open class, exactly 43 seconds quicker than the Krolikowskis.

Of the 10 Open class cars to compete at LSPR, only two crews failed to finish: Eric and Camille Carlson, and Brian Ballinger and Adam Becker. Ballinger/Becker were unable to compete at all on the second day with a broken transmission, while the Carlsons missed most of Friday’s stages and the Lakeshore Drive street stage that concluded the event.

Open class finishers in this year’s Lake Superior Performance Rally were as follows:

  1. Joseph Burke/Karen Jankowski, 2:18:12.3 (1st overall)
  2. Matt Huuki/Adelinn Huuki, 2:19:19.9 (3rd overall)
  3. Arek Gruszka/Lukasz Wronski, 2:21:45.8 (4th overall)
  4. Henry Krolikowski/Cynthia Krolikowski, 2:22:28.8 (5th overall)
  5. Piotr Fetela/Dominik Jozwiak, 2:27:15.8 (10th overall)
  6. Ivo Draganov/Vladimir Yanev, 2:48:52.3 (26th overall)
  7. Rob Sackyta/Jacob Bryant, 2:50:47.5 (27th overall)
  8. Bradley Hayosh/Nick Nouhan, 2:54:41.2 (29th overall)