Travis Pastrana brought home his third consecutive victory to open the American Rally Association season at Olympus Rally in Washington state.
With defending champion Barry McKenna and his Ford Fiesta WRC sidelined for the event, the Olympus battle came down to the WRX STI rally cars of Pastrana, Semenuk and Ken Block.
Slippery road conditions were the order of the weekend, with persistent rain, chilly weather and long, challenging stages.
Brandon Semenuk and John Hall in the #180 Subaru Motorsports USA WRX STI rally car took three stage wins and were fighting for the lead before an off on Saturday ended their weekend.
Pastrana and co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino took the lead on SS1 with a narrow margin over Block and Semenuk, and would never relinquish it through the close of the 11-stage rally.
Semenuk, fresh from being awarded X Games gold in Real MTB, turned up the pace on Saturday afternoon with wins on SS5 and SS6 plus a fastest first sector on SS7 before making contact with a bridge in the second half of the stage.
With his teammate sidelined, Pastrana took a commanding margin over Block in second going into Sunday’s four stages.
Two wins on the opening stages of Day 2 sealed the deal for Pastrana, who ended the rally with a lead of nearly a minute.
Pastrana now leads the driver’s championship standings over Block in second, Semenuk in third and Barry McKenna in fourth.
Team 199 co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino now leads her husband Alex in the co-driver’s championship race.