Lake Superior Performance Rally: 2WD Crews to Watch
With nearly five dozen crews on the entry list for this weekend’s Lake Superior Performance Rally, every Rally America National Championship class is stacked with talent. It’s not just the all-wheel drive classes who are threats for an overall podium, either: multiple 2-wheel drive cars have a solid shot at a top finish. Here’s a look at six of the teams to watch out for in Group 5, Group 2, and B-spec:
#25 Seamus Burke/Martin Brady // 1977 Ford Escort MkII (Group 5)
Burke and Brady are regularly among the fastest competitors in Rally America, and won the 2WD battle in their most recent race at Southern Ohio Forest Rally in May by just over two minutes ahead of Michael Hooper and Alison LaRoza. Their vintage Escort was within three minutes of an overall podium at SOFR.
#423 Michael Hooper/Claudia Barbera-Pullen // 2006 Lexus IS350 (Group 5)
The second 2WD car on the road behind Burke and Brady, Hooper will run with Barbera-Pullen for the first time since Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in March. With Alison Hooper and Brian Katz in the car, Hooper finished fifth and fourth at Southern Ohio Forest Rally and Show-Me Rally, respectively.
#82 Mike Hurst/Susi Little // 1974 Ford Capri (Group 2)
One of the most respected figures in the North America rally community, Hurst returns to Rally America action for the first time since Sno*Drift Summer Rally, where he posted the best 2WD time for the second year in a row. This time out, he’ll be joined by Little, who competed with Paul Johansen at SDSR.
#201 Adam VanDamme/Jacob Carlson // 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit (Group 2)
VanDamme and Carlson reunite for the first time since Rally Colorado, as the former continues his pursuit of the 2WD National Championship. It’s been a wild year for the Tower City Race Team driver, with engine swaps and challenges along the way; he’ll hope the team’s home event goes smoother.
#72 Keanna Erickson-Chang/Rhianon Gelsomino // 2016 Ford Fiesta R1+ (Group 5)
The names on the car may be the same as last year, but it’ll be Rhianon Gelsomino in the co-driver’s seat alongside Erickson-Chang this weekend instead of Alex, who is preparing for WRC Spain with Ken Block. Now running in Group 5, Erickson-Chang posted the fastest time in B-spec last year.
#141 Chris Sladek/John Sharps // 2015 Honda Fit (B-spec)
Sladek continues his pursuit of the B-spec National Championship in his first visit to LSPR, alongside experienced co-driver Sharps. Now 27 points clear of Doug Gekiere for the points lead, just making it to the finish of Lakeshore Drive on Saturday afternoon will be a big step toward securing that title.