This is Bill Petrow in his Nissan 240SX recording the fastest rear-wheel drive run of ‘America’s Best’ rally stage at last weekend’s Southern Ohio Forest Rally. The speed is good. The flames are better.
You may remember Bill and his Broken Motorsports Nissan from when he recorded the fastest rear-wheel drive rally time up the daunting Mount Washington Hillclimb. (He’s going to run this year’s hillclimb, too.)
At Rally America’s inaugural Southern Ohio Forest Rally, he and his co-driver Fabio Costa set the fastest rear-drive time on this excellent Irish Ridge stage by a solid 13 seconds, coming second-fastest compared to all two-wheel drive cars and seventh overall out of 63 entrants.
Bill’s engine blew later in the day, which was a real bummer. I wanted to see how far he could have taken this car into the final overall standings at the event.
Bill, a big fan of rally history, sent over this description of how this stage got its ‘America’s Best’ name:
Last weekend, the Southern Ohio Forest Rally event was held in the forests surrounding Chillicothe, Ohio. Zaleski Forest to the east and Scioto Trail State Park to the south. This may be a new event on the Rally America calendar, but it is far from a new event. Rally was prevalent in this area for 25 years and was last run in 1996 under the name Sunriser 400. From the early 70’s till the mid 90’s this was an SCCA ProRally event for many of those years and run by some of the fiercest rally drivers we’ve ever had in America. North American rally legend, John Buffum, claimed this event as one of the best in the states and named one of the stages “America’s Best.” The name of this stage has been changed to Irish Ridge and cars are getting to go flat out on it for the first time in 21 years!
I’ve co-driven for Petrow before and it’s amazing how fast this car can be, particularly as you’re almost constantly sideways. Rear-wheel drive speed is real in rallying; it’s not all just Subarus out there.