Consisting of five events on the West Coast, the Pacific Rally Cup is awarded to the top scoring 2WD and AWD driver and co-driver for the season. Held at the scenic Prescott Rally in Arizona, this year’s PRC final event would have some surprises.
In AWD, heading into the final event, Todd McAllister nearly had the season locked up with his Subaru WRX STi. With a win at High Desert Trails and a good showing at Rally Idaho, Todd McAllister and navigator Trent Bateman collected points at every PRC event this season supported by the Ralli Candi team. At the Gorman Ridge Rally, a serious challenger emerged when Rally Kings John Trucks and Christopher Fine took the win over McAllister in their WRX STi.
Suffering with a blown strut, and unable to match McAllister’s speed on the first day of the Prescott Rally, Trucks settled in for the weekend a minute behind and a chance to try and gain on Saturday. The two Subarus of McAllister and Trucks were first and second overall going into Saturday morning, when they set almost identical times on the first stage, and Trucks finally took a win on stage two. His fortune was about to dramatically change when McAllister and Bateman lost a steering ball joint, narrowly escaped the posts of a cattle guard at speed, and retired on stage three.
“Out because of a $20 part,” McCallister said. “It sucks, but we could have done way more damage if we hit that cattle guard.”
Blowing a tire on the last stage and no doubt rattling nerves, John Trucks and Christopher Fine finished the weekend winning the Prescott Rally and the 2014 AWD Pacific Rally Cup.
“This is amazing! It’s never over until it’s over,” Trucks said.
The team came away with 162 points over McAllister’s 155. Third place competing at this event was Chuck Wilson with 138 points.
In 2WD, it looked as though points leader Derik Nelson was the clear favorite. Nelson was unable to attend, and this left the door open for Tony Chavez to “cruise to a win.” We know in rally though, things like this rarely happen. The Condor Rally Sport Team had issues just getting to the event when the service truck water pump failed and a late night replacement got them to the event in the early morning of Friday with not enough time and sleep for reconnaissance.
Setting consistent times, Chavez and Raquel Salas worked hard to complete the Prescott Rally and were rewarded with the 2014 2WD Pacific Rally Cup. The team collected 164 points for the season.
“What a weekend,” Chavez exclaimed. “A lot of hard work just to get here. We’re excited to be taking home the cup!”
As this event came two weeks after the 2014 NASA National Championship runoff at Black River Stages in New York, it also will serve as a qualifying round for the 2015 NASA National Rally Championship. Winning the final stage at this event, Duncan Smith in AWD and Markus Saarinen in 2WD instantly qualify. On the podium John Trucks and Chuck Wilson qualify for AWD. Kristopher Marciniak and Bret Robinson also qualify for the finishing on the 2WD podium. Thanks for a great 2014 season. See you next year.