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.
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.
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.
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