Well-rested and heading into the next race of 2017, the Toyota Rally RAV4 piloted by Ryan Millen is prepared for a second stop in as many years at the 100 Acre Wood rally, held in Salem, Steelville, and Potosi, Missouri this Friday and Saturday, March 17 and 18.
The rally, sanctioned by Rally America, will cover over 120 miles of racing that will test teams from across the globe on a variety of gravel road surfaces. Set in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, this rally contains some of the most scenic roads on the Rally America calendar, and offers plenty of challenging obstacles inherent to the setting.
“The roads are fast and have a lot of crest, but they also have some pretty intense river crossings and deep gravel.” said Millen. “We should be able to really push the Rally RAV4 and see what it can do.”
Although Team Millen suffered an admittedly disappointing DNF at this race in 2016, the Rally RAV4 Team sees that setback as an opportunity to make improvements.
“We walked away stronger, better. You wouldn’t think that being unable to complete a race like that would be rewarding, but it was – it presented us with a challenge to overcome,” said Millen. “We’re back, and with a little bit of vengeance. I cannot wait to go back there.”
Team Millen has implemented – and firmly adheres to – a strict parts cycling protocol, including swapping items out before they ever become a problem.
“The RAV4 is a really good vehicle – it’s reliable and very tough. It has a lot to offer and that we need to take advantage of in this and every race.” said navigator and co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino. “In Perce-Neige (the first race of 2017), we were able to gain a full minute over the other cars because we had great ground clearance. 100 Acre Wood requires bravery and confidence, and we have both in abundance with the RAV4.”
While both Millen and Gelsomino have both driven this rally in the past, 2017 is the first time they are taking it on as a team in the Rally RAV4.
“We’re always going for the best result at each event and we’re really ready to dive into the challenges at 100 Acre Wood,” said Millen. “Four out of five of the top cars at this race are 2WD. It gives us a unique opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of the RAV4 against some very fast and nimble competition.”
The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood will take place across three cities in Missouri. It begins with Parc Exposé at 1:45 PM on Friday at Lions Park in Potosi and runs through 17 stages, ending with a Victory Celebration after the final stage on Saturday night at Dent County Commons.
The 2WD Rally RAV4 used in the rally races across America features a stock Toyota 4-cylinder engine and automatic transmission.
More information on the Rally RAV4 program can be found at www.RallyRAV4.com.