Thursday, April 30, 2015

Photos From the 2015 Oregon Trail Rally

Paul Eklund's 2008 Primitive Racing Subaru Impreza WRX sliding into a corner at the 2015 Oregon Trail Rally.
Words by , words by Mercedes Lilienthal

For the third year in a row, we attended the Oregon Trail Rally which has stages in Portland, Dufur, and Hood River, Oregon. The competition was great, there were awesome cars, and great people. These stage rallies have a certain energy behind them. Maybe it's the cars, the venue, the people, or a combination of all three. Regardless, it's a darn good time filled with some amazing rides.

WRX jumping at Oregon Trail Rally

The rally started out at Portland International Raceway on Friday night. (Saturday's and Sunday's stages are held out in rural Oregon.) PIR offers a combination of tarmac, gravel, and dirt with sharp turns, 360­­° spins, and even a purpose-built jump. And although small, the jump provided a bit of hang time for a number of vehicles, as evidenced in our pictures. Not everyone goes all-out on the jump, as there are two more days of racing ahead for the teams. As the announcer at PIR said: You can't win the Oregon Trail Rally at PIR, but you can certainly lose it.

Ford Cortina Rally Car jumping
Ford Cortina rally car in mid air
SAAB rally car jumping
The vintage SAAB—a crowd favorite—hitting the jump at the PIR stages
Jumping VW Golf TDI
Even diesel-powered VWs caught some air
One of a few Merkur XR4Ti rally cars
On Saturday, we headed out to Durfur, Oregon for day two. It was windy and dusty, but rally cars don't care. The racing was still great and the wind did blow some of the dust away quickly.

BMW M3 rally car
BMW hanging it out
Ford Fiesta Rally Car at Oregon Trail Rally 2015
One of a handful of Ford Fiesta racers
Honda CR-Z Rally Car at 2015 Oregon Trail Rally
One of the more unique rally cars was this Honda Racing CR-Z hybrid. Yes, it was very quiet

David Higgins pits
Some action in the pits of Rally Team Subaru USA

Around noon, we stopped back in the pit area and got to check out Subaru Rally Team USA's pit area. They were hard at work making repairs to David Higgin's 2015 WRX STI race vehicle. But the pits always provide other things to see, such as the lifted Subie below. 
Lifted Subaru Loyale in the pits. 

Subaru Team USA driver, David Higgins.
Back out on the track, the wind picked up even more, creating a ton of dust, which makes me wonder how many pounds of dust I've eaten in my career in the off-road industry and in addition to going to rally racing events. The answer? Probably a lot.

Silver WRX rally car

MINI Rally Car at Oregon Trail Rally

B&M WRX in the corner

Honda Factory Racing 2015 Honda Fit
Honda Factory Racing 2015 Honda Fit
Nameless Turbo Subaru BRZ rally car
The turbocharged Nameless Performance turbocharged Subaru BRZ
David Higgins 2015 Subaru WRX STI Rally Car
David Higgin's 2015 WRX STI
Tag Rally Sport Yaris
The Tag Rally Sport Toyota Yaris
WRX trunk opens during rally race
Keep that trunk closed!
Subaru BRZ rear losing bumper
Who needs a bumper anyhow?
Volkswagen Golf TDI rally car
This Volkswagen Golf TDI ran on vegetable oil

Mitsubishi Mirage Rally Car
The Green APU Mitusibhi Mirage car had an EVO X engine and driveline. So badass!

Subaru kicking up dirt at rally

BMW throwing up dirt

Dufur Oregon Countryside

Unfortunately, we were unable to attend Sunday's stages, but regardless, we had an awesome time. We look forward to attending the Oregon Trail Rally again next year. It affords great racing action and some really cool photos. Hopefully this time we can make all three days in 2016.

2015 Oregon Trail Rally Results
1. David Higgins / Craig Drew (2015 Subaru WRX STI)
2. Adam Yeoman / Jordan Schulze (2007 Subaru WRX STI)
3. George Plsek / John Hall (1996 Mitsubishi EVO IX)
4. Peter Fetela / Dominik Jozwiak (1998 Subaru Impreza WRX STI)
5. Lauchlin O'Sullivan / Scott Putnam (2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STI)

Visit Rally America's website for full 2015 Oregon Trail Rally race results.

(Full disclosure: Subaru provided us with media credentials, lunch, dinner, and lodging for one night while attending the Oregon Trail Rally.)

No comments: