A cold calm set in as teams prepared for another day of racing near Salem, Missouri. Subaru Rally Team USA's David Higgins and Craig Drew were 18.6 seconds behind first place at the start of Day 2 of the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. The plan was simple: proceed with normal effort through the first two stages; and if the gap starts closing, push for the rest of the race. With their major Rally America National Championship rivals out of the running, any finish on the podium would suffice and excessive risks would be futile.
The plan was working. Higgins and Drew sailed their 2012 Subaru WRX STI swiftly toward first place and were ahead by 8 seconds after Stage 9. Ken Block returned the volley on the next stage and took back the lead. As they pulled into service in Viburnum, David Higgins and Craig Drew were down by one mere tenth of a second.
The later stages presented a complicated challenge as being second on the road left SRT USA #75 in the front runner's persisting dust trail. Limited visibility and the importance of retaining championship points influenced the strategic decision to hold back and avoid undue risks. Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino ultimately won the race, and SRT USA's Higgins and Drew took second place on the 100 Acre Wood podium. While David and Craig would have liked to push for the win, Subaru Rally Team USA is happy to extend their championship points lead.
The 2012 Rally America National Championship schedule picks up again in early May with the Oregon Trail Rally in Portland, Oregon.