Toyota RAV4 Closes Out Perfect Season With Dominant Ojibwe Forests Rally Win
It’s not every day you can claim to have won every single event of the year in a sport as competitive as rallying, but the day has come for Toyota.
After coming first in the 2WD class at the first five rallying events of the 2017 American Rally Association championship, Ryan Millen, co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino, and their trusty Toyota Rally RAV4 won the Ojibwe Forests Rally to make it a complete six for six—and they did it in dominant fashion, claiming victory with a significant seven-minute lead over their closest rival.
Perhaps even more impressive is that this allowed Toyota to secure fourth overall in the ARA championship, ahead of several competitors in the faster 4WD class.
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A seven-minute lead over the rest of the field is a massive feat. According to Millen, it was made possible by how well the Toyota RAV4 was suited to the difficult conditions of the Ojibwe Forests Rally.
“It was really cool because we have great ground clearance and suspension travel,” he said. “The slippery conditions are a benefit for the RAV4, because of the automatic transmission. While others were spinning and stalling under braking, we never had any of those issues.”
Related: 2017 Toyota RAV4 model overview
In fact, Millen had nothing but praise for the RAV4, whose reliability he believes was a major factor in the six victories, and which he considers to be the ideal vehicle for rookie drivers looking to make their first foray into rallying.
“If anyone ever asked me, ‘Hey, I want to get into rally, what would you recommend?’ I would say, ‘Start with an automatic RAV4,’” he said. “It’s robust. The axles are huge. It’s built like a truck. We’re still blown away by how much of a beating these cars can take.”