Pete Hascher and co-driver Grzegorz Dorman claimed a decisive victory on the sixth edition of Rally West Virginia this past weekend (July 27-28) winning nine of the rally's fourteen special stages and reaching the finish at Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort with a total time of 2 hours 50 minutes and 13 seconds.
Based in Pocahontas County and surrounding areas, the two-day event featured 167 competitive miles of sweeping gravel forestry roads that run through Plum Creek Timber lands in West Virginia's scenic Allegheny Mountain region. Hascher took the rally lead from the outset and piloted his Subaru Impreza WRX STi to a final margin of over two minutes on the defending 2012 Rally West Virginia winners Eric Wages and co-driver Sarah Montplaisir.
"This victory is fantastic for us," said Hascher. "In previous years here we had mechanical DNF's after really trying to go out and get overall wins. We had a scare with some overheating issues early on day one, but the car was top notch thanks to our crew. We're very pleased with this win."
Runner-up Wages encountered mechanical troubles with his Subaru WRX's left axle and rear differential causing handling issues on the wet stage roads of the rainy opening day. Wages finished the rally second overall ahead of Torren Carlson and co-driver Aris Mantopoulos, who moved up to third place when Matt Gottlieb and co-driver Jared Lantzy retired with a gearbox problem right before Sunday's closing stage.
In two-wheel-drive, Erika Detota and co-driver Mary Warren secured the class win in their Subaru Impreza finishing 16 minutes and 23 seconds ahead of Jim Kelly and co-driver Dean Thuline. Detota displayed an impressive performance in West Virginia, placing sixth overall in a less powerful two-wheel-drive car. Mickey Moran and co-driver Alice Von Denes rounded out the 2WD podium.
NASA Rally Sport's new Side-by-Side category made its Rally West Virginia debut this weekend with the notable entry of two Can-Am/BRP Maverick Utility Task Vehicles (UTV's). Hans Luenger and co-driver Richard Manett finished the event 2 minutes and 48 seconds faster than Mike Penland and co-driver Chris Overby. Remarkably, the Can-Am Maverick UTV crews set a pace quick enough to catch and pass some of the rally cars on stage.
The RallyMoto field braved the elements overcoming Friday's rain and thunderstorms while suffering very little attrition throughout the weekend. KTM 350XC rider Kevin Schuler won the bike category outright finishing the rally 4 minutes and 7 seconds faster than Thomas Kendall, who scored second-place on his Kawasaki KLX400. KTM 530EXC rider Ken Anderson took third overall finishing the rally 1 minute and 17 seconds behind Kendall.
The next and final round of the five-round 2013 NASA Rally Sport National Championship's Atlantic Rally Cup series is the Black River Stages rally in the north country of New York state this Sept. 21-22.
View the final results from Rally West Virginia 2013 here: http://bit.ly/1bwfTq6
For more information about Rally West Virginia please visit the officials Website at www.RallyWV.com.
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