Torrance, Calif., May 12, 2016 -- Coming off of a high from the last round’s nail-biter win at Oregon Trail, Ryan Millen, Christina Fate, and the Rally RAV4 are looking for back-to-back wins at the Olympus Rally in Shelton, Wash.
The rally promises an action-packed two days of dirt-spitting action. A challenging 125 stage miles mean a long rally with plenty of tests for drivers and cars alike. The rally has a combination of long, flat straights coupled with tight, twisty bits that should play to the RAV4’s strengths.
“I’m excited for this one…it’s the big one, and there’s lots of prestige,” said Millen. “I’m not sure if everyone thinks of it that way, but you have to remember it was a WRC event back in the 80s.”
Indeed, Olympus was also part of the first-ever US rally championship in 1973, so there’s plenty to be proud of with a win there.
The team has a fresh car, plenty of rest, and their confidence is high after the fierce battle and win at Oregon Trail just a few shorts weeks ago. Navigator, Fate, is looking forward to getting back to the gravel.
“Oregon had a lot of tarmac, which is fine,” said Fate. “But, I really like gravel; it has more of an off-road feel, more like a genuine rally in my mind.”
Fate and Millen have been continuing to gel, and have the ultimate in rally rapport, where trust is at a premium. Driver must trust the navigator’s read of the pace notes, and navigator must trust that the driver will keep them both safe, all while going as fast as possible.
This rally is similar to so many rallies for the pair, as they’ve never seen any of the roads before. With that comes excitement as well as immense challenges, but the duo just think that’s what makes it so fun.
The team is developing a great, competitive run against one of the Ford Fiestas, but many 2WD cars await the Rally RAV4 Olympus. Entries include those from Nissan, Honda, Subaru, and Ford.
“I’d rather race hard against a fierce competitor than just coast past everyone,” said Millen. “Don’t get me wrong, a win’s a win, but it’s really exhilarating when you’re fighting for it. I think it makes you better. We’re being pushed this year, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
More information on the Rally RAV4 program can be found at www.RallyRAV4.com
Information on Oregon Trail and the Rally America series can be found at www.OlympusRally.com