Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Stage is Set For an Exciting Battle at the Penultimate Round of the 2010 United State Rally Championship

Making the trip over from Ireland for IRNY, Brian Sharkey [L] will  again be calling the notes for Tom Lawless; Sharkey guided Lawless to his epic victory on this same event in 2009. Picture Neil McDaid/rallyworldnews

Forestburgh, New York. September 8, 2010. Anticipation for both drivers and rally fans alike is building fast as we are only hours away from the penultimate round of the 2010 United States Rally Championship [USRC] at International Rally New York [IRNY].

The pressure on drivers and crews to perform well at IRNY is heightened as the 2010 USRC Championship is very much up for grabs. Any one of five drivers are well within reach of the AWD USRC title.

Current point’s leader and defending USRC AWD Champion Keith Jackson will not be in attendance this weekend, but he will surely be keeping a close eye on the outcome.

IRNY has again attracted a notable international entry with highly decorated Turkish Champion Volkan Isik contesting the event. Volkan had originally planned to drive a Mitsubishi Evo in the rally but some last minute issues will have him behind the wheel of an open class Subaru.
The Subaru STI that Volkan will drive is the very same car that Ramana Lagemann put on the podium several times throughout the 2010 Rally America series. Isik will be sponsored and supported by Lassa Racing Tyres.
The entry of Volkan, and his current position in the starting order, could have a significant impact on the current Eastern Division Championship contenders. Despite the fact that this is his first time at IRNY, his vast experience, along with starting first on the road [subject change at the final stewards meeting]in what most certainly will be very dusty conditions, clearly pegs him as a favorite for the victory.

Assuming Isik does drive to victory, he will take away valuable points from those who have been competing for the USRC title throughout the year.

Despite everything that Isik has going for him, he will be hard pressed by local drivers Charlie Donnelly and Tom Lawless both driving Mitsubishi Evos. Both men know the IRNY stages very well and both have tasted victory on the Rally New York stages.

Charlie Donnelly, currently listed as second on the road, is coming off a victory at the all tarmac Rally New York earlier this year. He feels strongly that this is his year to claim the AWD USRC Championship. Charlie has come painstakingly close in the past only to see the USRC title slip away in the final rounds. He needs a strong finish at IRNY to stay in the hunt heading into the final round in Prescott.

Tom Lawless, who is the IRNY reigning champion and also the 2005 USRC Champion, will surely have the bit between the teeth. Lawless faced another notable international entry last year when Finnish driver Jani Paasonen competed at IRNY. The battle between Lawless and Paasonen was epic to say the least with Lawless pulling ahead over the final few stages to claim victory.

Isik, Donnelly and Lawless will be followed by Enda McCormack and Danny O’Brien, both in the hunt for the championship and both very capable of pushing for the victory at IRNY.

Although this year’s entry at IRNY is down from prior years, fans will still enjoy a quality lineup and, for sure, some great action. IRNY will be run over 2 days with the first of 17 special stages getting underway at 10am on Friday morning at Keowa Rally Village. We will be posting images and updates throughout the weekend.

For more information on IRNY: visit:

For more information on the USRC visit: