ATLANTA, MI (ACP Racing) — Defending North American rally champion Andrew ACP Comrie-Picard earned some strong early-season points with a fourth-place finish at the icy U.S. season opener this weekend in northern Michigan.
The NOS Energy-backed rally team of ACP and co-driver Jeremy Wimpey took a cautious approach to the start of the contest in some of the most challenging conditions ever seen in U.S. rally competition.
“It was like a luge course out there,” said Comrie-Picard. “The first few stages were the iciest I have ever seen and the rally just got icier from there.”
Winter racing in those conditions is about keeping it tidy and making fewer mistakes than the competition. It’s a strategy that earned ACP the win at this event in 2006, and he has finished on the podium in each of the past two years.
The rally was going to plan, with the team working toward a podium finish, but a misstep led to an off-road excursion that cost them eight minutes. Pro mountain bike riders Carl Decker and Adam Craig both national team members who ride for Giant stopped in the middle of the race to yank them out so the team didn’t lose any more time shoveling.
The incident dropped the team to eighth overall. With some smart driving, they were able to bring their car home in fourth-place overall.
The event drew thousands of spectators to northern Michigan to cheer on the teams despite the cold and icy weather. Special thanks from the team to the Garland Lodge and Resort in Lewiston, MI, for their support at this event.
The duo will next compete at Canada’s Round 1, the Rallye Perce Neige, next weekend in Maniwaki, Quebec. The team next appears in U.S. competition February 26-27 in southern Missouri.
The Rally America national championship is a challenging, all-season series comprised of six events across the country. Rally America also organizes the marquee X Games rally contest each summer, airing on ESPN and ABC. The 2010 season will also see the launch of the European-style rally cross discipline mid-year. Comrie-Picard is expected to take on both of these rally series and make a return to the X Games for a fifth year. He will also compete in the Canadian Rally Championship.