Quinn Cody, No.1, and Ivan Ramirez, No. 2, coming through the Kino Cross waypoint. (Photo: Melissa Eickhoff)

Sonora Rally kicks off in Mexico (PHOTOS)

Leave a comment

We touched on one interesting rally yesterday on MotorSportsTalk and another cool one is going on this week in Mexico – the Sonora Rally.

The Sonora Rally is a rally raid and even has a Dakar Challenge for motos, which was announced in February as the event was selected by ASO as a Dakar Challenge event. A qualified moto winner can earn a free entry into Dakar 2017.

The four-day off road rally runs in Sonora, Mexico from April 3 through the 7, and includes the San Luis Rio Colorado and Puerto Peñasco.

On day one, Mark Samuels led Ivan Ramirez by 11 seconds (3:20:43 to 3:20:54) with Steve Hengeveld and Quinn Cody also within three minutes. Todd Jergensen led the car-national 2WD class.

On day two, Cody took the stage way over Hengeveld (3:27:31 to 3:27.37) with Ramirez and Samuels third and fourth.

Through two days, Hengeveld has a 22 second lead over Cody (6:50:11 to 6:50.33) with Ramirez and Samuels third and fourth. All bar Cody of those four are Dakar Challenge participants.

Here’s some early race images from the first couple days, which are fairly cool:

DSC07609-nav

Beyond the challenge of riding the terrain, is the navigation and all the gadgets that make it happen. In this case, for the the motorcycles, it is a juggling act of eyes up and staying on course… (Photo: Boyd Jaynes, @theboydphoto)

DSC_5346-Petrdrylake

Dakar Challenge rider Petr Vlcek (@wolfeyracing) stands out against the dry lake bed. (photo: Melissa Eickhoff @meickhoff)

_DSC2731-topofdune1

Peaks like this proved to be the best and worst part of many of the riders’ day. (photo: Jason Adams)

_MG_7986

“It was like driving on marshmallows out there!” – Dave Skyes, driver, No. 50 (Photo: John Rettie)

_MG_7990

Jon Steinhilber, No. 57, checking in at the finish of the stage. (Photo: John Rettie)

Todd LeDuc advances two positions in Monster Jam Power Rankings

Leave a comment

Neil Elliott held onto the top spot in the Monster Jam Power Rankings, but he has a new driver sniffing his exhaust as Todd Leduc advanced two positions to second this week.

The Stadium Series Green continues to hold the advantage in the Power Rankings with Elliott topping the chart, Morgan Kane in fourth, and Ryan Anderson eighth, but there is an equitable distribution among the other series throughout the field.

Notably, Leduc and his Monster Energy truck in the Stadium Series Red closed the gap with a 38-point overall victory at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Leduc achieved his win through consistency, pocketing the overall without winning a single individual event. Leduc’s best session was a second-place finish to Mike Vaters II in Overkill Evolution by .001 points.

Meanwhile on the West Coast, Elliott rambled on. Elliott won his sixth skills challenge in seven contests so far. That contributed to his 35 points for the event at PETCO Park in San Diego and allowed him to hold onto the No. 1 slot in the Monster Jam Power Rankings.

Colton Eichelberger also held station. Third last week, he entered the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on a mission in the Triple Threat Series Central. He topped the event points in all four events with timed race wins in each session, ATV race wins in three of the four, three wins in the speedster obstacle course, two freestyle wins and one win in the donut competitions.

MORE: Ryan Anderson and the anatomy of a Monster Jam freestyle run

Morgan Kane and Grave Digger had a rough night. He was ousted from the racing event in Round 2 by Max-D and Elliott. He failed to win either of the other two competitions of the night and ended with 29 points, which was a distant third to Ryan Anderson’s Son-Uva Digger (37) and Max-D (35).

Brandon Vinson moved up to the fifth position with three wins in the Triple Threat Series West. During the weekend he earned seven session wins, including a sweep of the speedster obstacle course and two victories in the two-wheel skills challenge.

Tom Meents debuted on the Monster Jam Power Rankings in 10th by winning the overall in back to back nights of the Stadium Series Yellow. The Saturday show can be seen Feb. 22 at 11:30 p.m. on NBCSN (click here for streaming). The highlight of Meents’ weekend were race wins on Saturday and Sunday, defeating Coty Saucier in a Monster Energy truck on Night 1 and Eric Swanson in Obsessed on Night 2.

Power Rankings

1. Neil Elliott–same
2. Todd LeDuc–up 2
3. Colton Eichelberger-same
4. Morgan Kane–down 2
5. Brandon Vinson–up 1
6. Tyler Menninga–up 1
7. Coty Saucier–down 2
8. Ryan Anderson–same
9. Linsey Read–up 1
10. Tom Meents-new for 2020

Upcoming TV Schedule (All showings on Eastern time on NBCSN)

Oakland: February 22 (Saturday); 11:30 p.m.
Miami: March 1 (Sunday); 12 a.m.
Jacksonville: March 9 (Monday); 6 p.m.
Detroit: March 21 (Saturday); 11 p.m.
Las Vegas: March 28 (Saturday); 7 p.m.
Santa Clara: April 11 (Saturday); 7 p.m.
Philadelphia: April 17 (Friday); 2:30 p.m.
Denver: April 25 (Saturday); 6:30 p.m.
Monster Jam World Finals Racing: May 9 (Saturday); 5 p.m.
Monster Jam World Finals: May 19 (Tuesday); 4 p.m.
Monster Jam World Freestyle: May 20 (Wednesday); 12 a.m.
Monster Jam World Finals: June 20 (Saturday); 2:30 p.m.