Tenacity is key for any successful race team but especially in the sport of rally racing. Rough rutted rock filled narrow forest roads are just some of the challenges that face teams. It is the ultimate test of man/woman and machine. This past weekend’s Ojibwe Forest Rally tested teams every step of the way. The Seehorn Rally team passed the test and scored their 4th class win of the season. In addition, they finished on the overall National podium as the 1st place privateer team as well.
“What a way to finish the inaugural 2017 American Rally Association National Championship with a win at Ojibwe Forest Rally! This is the first time the team has competed together at this event which is one of the tougher ones in the championship. Jeff drove a calculating race not only making sure we won our class but also keeping an eye on the overall podium. A special thank you to our service crew of Isaac Fish, Don Jankowski, Stan and Lynn Seehorn who were flawless all weekend” stated Karen.
“Knowing that this round would inevitably determine our championship, it was one of the most stressful races of my entire career. This rally was the longest rally of our season with over 150 stage miles and almost 3 hours of stage driving, It was a very tough test of attrition and my driving ability. Adjusting my pace to a conservative speed always proves to be a challenge for me; not pushing at 100% isn’t what I enjoy doing but for this round we ran at a reserved rate to ensure we didn’t get caught making a mistake” explained Jeff.
Going into the weekend the team of Jeff Seehorn and Karen Jankowski needed a Restricted Open 4wd class win or 2nd place to clinch the championship. By winning this weekend at Ojibwe Forest Rally it means both Jeff and Karen (driver and co-driver) are the 2017 American Rally Association Restricted Open 4wd National Champions.
“Saturday stages were extremely difficult with wet sloppy roads. On stage 11 after trying to run at a safe pace we hit a tree hard and the car came to a stop off the road. After what seemed like eternity the car fired up and started moving again. With the right rear suspension damaged we proceeded to run the stage at a comfortable pace to try not and lose our lead. We ran 17 out of 19 miles on a severely bent right rear control arm and still managed a stage win by 5 seconds in the RO4 class! This was the most difficult stage I have ever completed. Luckily, we have a great team and could fix the car in the short 30 min service and complete the rest of the rally. Karen was really great keeping us in sync and safe all weekend” stated Jeff.
“This is my 3rd national class championship and the hardest one to win. Those were some of the toughest stages to finish I have ever seen with the car significantly damaged and Jeff used all his talent to keep the car on the super slick slippery roads. It was the hardest rally we have had which makes this championship win that much sweeter. A huge thank to you Jeff for teaming up together on this adventure, it was such a blast! To our crew thank you for keeping us on the road all season and for all your hard work! I dedicated this win to my husband and crew chief Don Jankowski, without him this wouldn’t have been possible” explained Karen.
Teamwork is also about the support that you receive from outside your team and this season we were lucky to have excellent team partners. We couldn’t have done this without the help from all of them! We would like to thank Maxxis with their grippy tires, to our strong Method Race Wheels, to our wicked fast Fishhead Performance tune, our great looking livery from Jerm Designs, our awesome Wilwood Disc Brakes, our incredible Exedy Clutch, Scrubblade Wiper Blades, Oreca team gear, lighting from Diode Dynamics, Motec ECU from John Reed Racing, Nameless Performance hand brake & cat, Primitive Racing diff guards and parts, our underbody protection from SX Slideplates, and 6OvrCrst Rallysport and their innovative new parts. A big THANK YOU to all of you, we appreciate your help and support all season!
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All images provided by : Emotive Image