For Immediate Release


Narrowsburg, New York, U.S.A., October 29, 2017 – For the second year running, the Irish/American duo of Patrick Brennan and Aaron Crescenti (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) were the overall winners of the Empire State Performance Rally (“ESPR”). Gerard Coffey/Andrew Browne (Subaru Impreza RS) placed second, 4-1/2 minutes behind, but well ahead of Dennis Romero/Jose Maria Rodriguez (Subaru Impreza WRX STI). Arek Bialobrzeski/Aris Mantopoulos (Subaru Impreza) placed fourth.

ESPR 2017 was 203 miles in length over two days, including 116 miles of gravel-surfaced special stages (i.e. speed tests against the clock on roads closed to non-rally traffic). It was the final rally of the National Auto Sport Association (NASA Rally Sport) season.

The rally began on Saturday morning under sunny and unseasonably mild conditions. Barry McKenna/Leon Jordan took an immediate lead in their 1977 Ford Escort Mark II, gaining a few seconds on the competition on each special stage. It was an impressive performance in a rear-wheel-drive car over rival entries with all-wheel-drive, although the 40-year-old car was equipped with contemporary mechanical parts. Brennan/Crescenti kept to their own pace, and finished the day 2-1/4 minutes behind. Coffey/Browne were a further three minutes adrift. 2015 runners-up Alvin Fong/William Machin (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) were in the top five all day, but were taken out at the finish of the day’s final special stage, when the engine’s electronics failed.
The competition resumed on Sunday morning under overcast skies and mild to moderate rain. McKenna’s Ford suffered a broken differential on the first test of the day, handing the lead to Brennan. According to Crescenti, from there they tried to motor fast enough to maintain the lead and their concentration, but slow enough to avoid going off-road in the deteriorating weather.

Back in the pack, the brothers Joshua and William Girtain (Ford Fiesta) made a dream debut in national-level rallying. After losing 10 minutes on the first morning for an off-road excursion, they paced themselves and became the only two-wheel-drive entry to complete the course, and therefore the 2WD class winners, placing ninth overall.

1. Patrick Brennan/Aaron Crescenti (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10), score = 1 h, 53m, 42s
2. Gerard Coffey/Andrew Browne, (Subaru Impreza RS), 1h 58m 13s
3. Dennis Romero/Jose Maria Rodriguez (Subaru Impreza WRX STI), 2h 01m 45s
4. Arek Bialobrzeski/Aris Mantopoulos (Subaru Impreza), 2h 03m 18s
5. Martin O’Flynn/Philip Barnes (Mitsubishi Eclipse), 2h 14m 24s
6. Robert Bean/Derek Michelin (Subaru Impreza), 2h 15m 08s
7. Percy Lopez/Santiago Alban (Subaru Impreza WRX), 2h 16m 06s
8. Kenneth Little/Donald Vaughn (Subaru Impreza 2.5I), 2h 18m 33s
9. Joshua Girtain/William Girtain (Ford Fiesta), 3h 00m 14s, 1st 2-wheel-drive
10. Christopher Almon/Steve Pulzone (Subaru Impeza WRX), 3h 11m 39s


Empire State Performance Rally, 2017, Car-by-Car Results:

(car number, driver, co-driver, car, team or sponsor, class, notes)

4, Patrick Brennan/Aaron Crescenti, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, AWD;

Ran at their own pace on Saturday, rather than trying to match the speed of McKenna (#66); took over the lead when McKenna’s car suffered a mechanical failure

1st overall

7, Alvin Fong/William Machin, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, Black Box Rally Team, AWD;

brake hydraulic problem at mid-day Saturday but the service crew fixed it; stalled at the finish of special stage 10 (at the end of the Saturday stages), and then Fong had to limp back to service with the engine misfiring, and that problem could not be solved in time.

Did Not Finish

17, Lajos Jonas/Villa Cseh, BMW M3, 2WD;

withdrew Saturday after suspension damage

Did Not Finish

31, Malachy Darcy/Vernon Cawley, Subaru Impreza RS (turbo), AWD;

trouble with the crankshaft (electronic) sensor and 3 bent wheels on Saturday, but the service crew fixed all of that; electrical problem eliminated them on Sunday

Did Not Finish

35, Gerard Coffey/Andrew Browne, Subaru Impreza RS, Coffey Electrical, AWD;

Smooth run all weekend; despite a tough rally, they didn’t even mark up their Colin McRae tribute paint scheme

2nd Overall

42, Dharmendra Patel/Hetal Patel, Subaru Impreza WRX STi, AWD;

punctured tires on special stages 1, 3, and 6; transmission problem put them out on Saturday afternoon

Did Not Finish

49, Dennis Romero/José María Rodriguez, Subaru Impreza WRX STi, SRTeam, AWD;

We asked Romero how it was going, and he replied with a thumbs-up.

3rd overall

59, Gabriel Espinoza/Patricio Espinoza, Suzuki Swift GT, 2WD;

Unknown mechanical problem

Did Not Finish

63, Percy Lopez/Santiago Alban, Subaru Impreza WRX, AWD;

7th overall

66, Barry McKenna/Leon Jordan, Ford Escort Mk. II, McKenna Motorsport, 2WD;

bent left front fender on Saturday – according to McKenna they had “an argument with a tree”; broken differential on the first special stage Sunday

Did Not Finish

69, Brian Mc Namara/Matthew James, Subaru Impreza, Flying Frog Rallying, AWD;

Unknown mechanical problem

Did Not Finish

70, Duncker Felix/Santiago Jarrin, Subaru Impreza WRX STi, AWD;

one blown tire and suspension problems on Saturday; put out by turbo failure on Sunday

Did Not Finish

71, Martin O’ Flynn/Philip Barnes, Mitsubishi Eclipse, 4X4 Exporter, AWD;

broken wheel on special stage 5 on Saturday, which O’Flynn and Barnes had to change on the stage; on the same day they suffered a broken control arm, broken oil line to the turbo, and a broken rear window; but the team informed us that “all the demons are gone” when the Saturday’s final loop went smoothly

5th overall

74, Nicholas Fowler/Kirsty Thayer, Subaru Impreza WRX, Fully Torqued Racing, AWD; accident on Saturday

Did Not Finish

88, Gary DeMasi/Stephen B. Kurey, Ford Ranger pickup, Rallying for the Troops 2WD;

transmission lost gears 2, 5, and R on Saturday, then failed entirely so that the car had to be towed in for repairs; resumed on Sunday (unofficially) and finished the day.

Did Not Finish

96, Derek James/Liam DeChick, Ford Fiesta, 2WD;

Did Not Start

97, Arek Bialobrzeski/Aris Mantopoulos, Subaru Impreza, Aro Rally Team, AWD;

Broken transmission mount on Saturday but the service crew fixed it; driver suffered from some back problems on Saturday; otherwise a good weekend

4th overall

901 Christopher Almon/Steve Pulzone, Subaru Impreza WRX, Black Flag Racing, AWD;

By their own admission, concentrated on trying to finish; battery cable pulled out on Sunday, but after a few push-starts, they did finish

10th overall

913, Kenneth Little/Donald Vaughan, Subaru Impreza 2.5i, AWD;

Spark plug wire came off in special stage 7 Saturday, but they fixed it

8th overall

915, Duncker Felix Jr/Ozgur Simsek, Subaru Impreza, Krypto Motorsports; AWD;

Duncker, age 17, was doing his second rally; went off & then back on during special stage 2; put out by clutch failure on Sunday

Did Not Finish

920 Dan Levy/Karen Jankowski, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10, Midas of Davie, FL, AWD;

Levy has rally experience in Israel and Europe, but this was his first U.S. event, and he told us that he enjoyed himself; broken rear suspension link on Sunday

Did Not Finish

925, Joshua Girtain/William Girtain, Ford Fiesta, 2WD;

Team’s first rally; went off during special stage 3, lost 10 minutes in the ditch, but got going again; concentrated on finishing

9th overall, 1st 2WD

926, Michael Halley/Sylvya Lindell, Mazda RX7, 2WD;

Broken driveshaft on special stage 2; car towed in to service and the crew replaced it; hit tree on Sunday

Did Not Finish

927, Robert Bean/Derek Michelin, Subaru Impreza, AWD;

Tapped a tree at mid-day Saturday, but that only resulted in some damaged plastic trim; went well Sunday

6th overall

928, Stalyn Orellana/Esteban Lopez, Subaru Impreza, AWD;

flat tire on special stage 3, which they changed on the stage; off-road excursion Sunday

Did Not Finish

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