David Higgins and Craig Drew showed no signs of letting up. Their perseverance was a site to behold.
David Higgins and Craig Drew showed no signs of letting up. Their perseverance was a site to behold.

 

Day two picks up where day one left off. With continued carnage, but under very different circumstances. Day one consisted of arid, dusty stage roads that NEFR is known for. Day two brought completely different conditions due to some heavy rains and thunderstorms the night prior. Now this may not seem like a big deal to you but what most people fail to realize is the pace notes for the driver are going to reflect the dry, dusty but much quicker stage roads of the first day. Now there is a greasy, slimy goo that makes up the top 3-4″ of road surface.

Things became interesting to say the least.

David Sterckx / Renaud Jamoul. Flat out
David Sterckx / Renaud Jamoul. Flat out

Here’s a video of Ken Block showcasing what I’m talking about. Three cars crashed at this particular spot alone.

video courtesy of Rasputune

Nick Roberts was plagued by issues and a soft roll on day one, followed up with a DNF on day two.

Fabio Costa blew his engine on day one, spent all night rebuilding another one and installing it only to crash at the same spot as Ken Block. Severely damaging his vehicle but luckily no injuries to him or his co driver, Steven Harrell. This seemed to be a more common theme than last year. Cars became more and more broken as the stages continued.

Fabio Costa getting it sideways on day two of NEFR after spending all night rebuilding a new engine.
Fabio Costa getting it sideways on day two of NEFR after spending all night rebuilding a new engine.

I’m not sure if it was the stage roads were more unforgiving than normal or if the competition intensity was higher but all competitors were pushing harder, jumping further and seemed to driving much faster than last year. Rough roads be damned.

Another competitor that had their day end short was FY Racing. They had consistently been putting on a hell of a show when they entered each stage. A podium finish seemed within sight until a failed ball joint ended their stellar run abruptly on the Hurricane stage.

Adam Yeoman / Jordan Schulze attempting to fix a broke down car on stage with members of the sweep vehicle looking on.
Adam Yeoman / Jordan Schulze attempting to fix a broke down car on stage with members of the sweep vehicle looking on.

David Higgins and Craig Drew were able to secure their title. Following him in second place was Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino. In third was Travis Pastrana and Chrissie Beavis. The fact that Ken Block and Travis Pastrana were both plagued by many mechanical issues and still placed on podium is impressive in it’s own right. But the machine like precision of David Higgins and Craig Drew is down right amazing. These guys, along with their crew, are nearly unstoppable. I’m truly looking forward to what next year brings. Through competition we see innovation. Having Ford continue to challenge Subaru’s seeming Dynasty can only end well for us, the spectators. If a few other manufacturers’ wanted to throw their hat into the ring, I’d be ok with that too.

And there’s talk of a Lamborghini rally car that should be ready by the start of next year’s season.  I can’t wait to see this Brakim Racing.

So with the end of day two, we conclude this year’s 25th running of the New England Forest Rally. Thanks for checking it out. Below you will find an assortment of photos for your eyes to google over. Enjoy.

 

And Ken, I’d like to think I did all three requirements:

1. I had fun

2. I didn’t die

3. I like to think I didn’t suck

My name is MUD
My name is MUD
Ken Block And Alex Gelsomino
Ken Block And Alex Gelsomino
Ken Block And Alex Gelsomino
Ken Block And Alex Gelsomino
Ken Block And Alex Gelsomino
Ken Block And Alex Gelsomino
Ramana Lagemann / Nathalie Richard in the  M-Sport Fiesta R5 2 liter
Ramana Lagemann / Nathalie Richard in the M-Sport Fiesta R5 2 liter
Travis Pastrana and Chrissie Beavis
Travis Pastrana and Chrissie Beavis
Healey/Johnson and their Datsun 280Z
Greg Healey/Phil Barnes and their Datsun 280Z
James Robinson / Brian Penza
James Robinson / Brian Penza
Travis Pastrana and Chrissie Beavis
Travis Pastrana and Chrissie Beavis
Travis Pastrana and Chrissie Beavis
Travis Pastrana and Chrissie Beavis
Ken Block And Alex Gelsomino throwing mud
Ken Block And Alex Gelsomino throwing mud
Brendan Reeves / Anthony McLoughlin in the M-Sport Fiesta R2
Brendan Reeves / Anthony McLoughlin in the M-Sport Fiesta R2
David Sterckx / Renaud Jamoul. Flat out
David Sterckx / Renaud Jamoul. Flat out
Arkadiusz Gruszka / Lukasz Wronski in their Mitsubishi Mirage RS
Arkadiusz Gruszka / Lukasz Wronski in their Mitsubishi Mirage RS
Ramana Lagemann / Nathalie Richard in the  M-Sport Fiesta R5 2 liter
Ramana Lagemann / Nathalie Richard in the M-Sport Fiesta R5 2 liter
David Sterckx / Renaud Jamoul. Flat out spitting rocks every which way
David Sterckx / Renaud Jamoul. Flat out spitting rocks every which way
Brian Mcnamara giving it the beans
Brian Mcnamara giving it the beans
Tingwu Song / Martin Brady
Tingwu Song / Martin Brady
Tingwu Song / Martin Brady
Tingwu Song / Martin Brady
Travis Pastrana and Chrissie Beavis through a rough, rocky section
Travis Pastrana and Chrissie Beavis through a rough, rocky section
Higgins in the slop
Higgins in the slop
Healey/Johnson and their Datsun 280Z
Greg Healey/Phil Barnes and their Datsun 280Z
A fast albeit rough downhill section
A fast albeit rough downhill section

Written by Jason Brackett

Jason Brackett

I've been addicted to power and speed ever since the first time my head got pushed back into the seat under acceleration. I grew up with an affinity for engines and the arts, blending them together into my passions. Photography, writing and motorsports.

I've traveled the country in pursuit of my passions and paid the price with my health. I'm a living marvel of modern medicine and a beacon of the human spirit.

I was down and out for sometime but now, I'm back! With new hips, a slightly shorter digestive track and a drive to further my own ability.

I'm from Maine. I have a small farm with 57 acres in the foothills of the White Mountains. I have a beautiful wife with a little girl, 2 dogs, one cat, ten chickens, and garage space to build something terrifyingly awesome.

So ya, I'm living my American Dream.

I don't particularly care for long walks on the beach
Sunsets are cool but I prefer the smell of race fuel.
One of my favorites songs is the sound of a Audi five cylinder at 9000 RPMs under wide open throttle, spitting hellfire and brimstone between gears. That always puts a smile on my face.

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  1. The Datsun 290Z was crewed by Greg Healey and Phil Barnes. Please correct your captions, and thanks for the nice shots.

  2. I’m looking for a high resolution picture I could use as my desktop and I loved the picture you posted on your instagram of David higgins coming through a right hand turn sideways with a plume of dust behind him, do you know where I could find that?