Travis Pastrana dominated the majority of the New England Forest Rally this past weekend at the wheel of his Subaru before a problem with his engine stopped him on the penultimate competition stage, forcing him to retire.
Pastrana and co-driver Christian Edstrom were able to pull away convincingly from the competition early and built a lead of over three minutes on the event’s technical gravel roads that snake through the forests along the Maine-New Hampshire border. Then unexpectedly, with under fifteen competitive stage miles remaining, Pastrana experienced an engine problem which forced him to stop, ending his run to victory.
“The rally went 100% our way up until the very end,” explained Pastrana. “We were able to get a nice lead after the first day and then extend and maintain that lead on the second day very easily. Plus a few other teams were slowed with their own problems. The win was nearly in sight when our engine began to hit trouble, but that’s rallying and we put on a great show for the fans all weekend.”
The New England Forest Rally, the sixth and final round of the 2010 Rally America National Championship, marks the end of Pastrana’s four year reign as the Rally America Champion (2006-2009). Due to a schedule conflict with his Nitro Circus Live Tour in Australia, Pastrana was unable to attend two of the six Rally America rounds this year, thus making it difficult to amass sufficient points towards a title defense.
Multi-time Canadian Champion Antoine L’Estage, who had entered every round of the 2010 series, was crowned the 2010 Rally America National Champion. “I’m so happy for Antoine (L’Estage) and (his co-driver) Nathalie (Richard), they are probably the most friendly team in the series, and I really enjoy competing against them," said Travis. "They had a great year and deserve to be the Champs.”