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Toyota Goes Four-in-a-Row at Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally

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2017 Rally RAV4 at STPR

Photo: ©Toyota

Four rallies down and two to go and so far the championship could not have gone any better for Ryan Millen and his Toyota RAV4.

After winning the first three rallies of the season in the American Rally Association’s 2WD Class, Ryan Millen was finally looking out of shape at the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) in Pennsylvania, but a mistake by the lead driver allowed Millen to squeeze by and preserve his perfect streak of wins.

“To finish first, you must first finish, so today was a great day for us,” said Ryan, quoting a popular and timeless motorsport adage. “He lost it in the last mile, and we were there, ready to pick up the pieces.”

Millen had been a minute behind Seamus Burke’s Ford Escort when the latter made an error and became stuck on a berm. The Toyota RAV4 proved steady and reliable just when Millen needed it most and the two crossed the finish line just seconds ahead of Burke.

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It felt a bit like justice to Millen, who lamented having lost 30 to 40 seconds to low-visibility driving conditions as a result of the dust from the car in front. While most other vehicles were able to get a two minute gap to the car ahead, giving the dust time to settle, the Toyota had only been given a minute.

Despite the close win, the highlight of their day came early in the rally when Millen was able to keep the throttle all the way down over a jump, to spectacular effect as the RAV4 sailed several feet into the air.

“That was pretty insane. When we took off on that jump and we were flying, I was like, ‘We’re flying in a RAV4!’ It was awesome,” said Rhianon Gelsomino, Millen’s co-pilot.

Millen and Toyota have all but sealed the American Rally Association championship, though they could still lose it should they somehow fail to score any meaningful points at the upcoming two rallies. They should be able to cinch it for good at the New England Forest Rally next month.

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