Since winning the US Championship in 2011, American rally driver Wyatt Knox has been on a whirlwind tour of the eastern hemisphere, winning in Canada, desert racing at the Mint 400, taking 2nd in class as a co-pilot at WRC Mexico, competing in the southernmost auto race in the world in Chilean Patagonia, and now becoming the first American to compete in Colombian Rally Tatacoa.
Knox teamed up with New Zealand born Chris Ashenden to trade driving and navigating duties throughout the race, which is held in the arid desert south of Bogota, Colombia. Having no racing background of any kind, Ashenden attended the Team O’Neil Rally School in New Hampshire the week before the race to learn the essentials of skid control and rally driving.
The team rented an FIA N2 Class Skoda Fabia to compete in the race. After a few minor issues including lack of auxiliary lighting on an 18+km night stage to start the rally and having to change some wiring on the fly to allow for left-foot braking, the team got off to an extremely slow start, but got consistently faster as the rally went on.
Taking turns between driving and coaching/navigating from the passenger seat, Knox commented afterwards: “It’s astonishing that Chris is doing as well as he is. After a few days at the Rally School last week, here we are at his first rally, and he’s setting top 3 times on stages against guys that have been racing for ten years and know these roads well.”
The team finished the race in an incredible 2nd Place Overall, especially considering they were dead last in the rally after the first few stages and that the majority of the mileage was driven by rookie Chris Ashenden, who is looking at a bright future in the sport. Both Knox and Ashenden are looking at possible races around the globe in the near future, for sponsorship inquiries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The team would like to thank everyone who helped make this adventure happen, including Athletic Greens, Team O’Neil Rally School, Alpinestars, and everyone at Rally Colombiano for their warm welcome and hospitality, especially the Bedoya family.