Russ Kraushaar and Garth Ankeny of Portland claimed victory in the 2020 Alcan 5000 Winter Rally, which finished in Anchorage on Friday, March 6. The duo drove their 1973 Ford Capri over 5,000 miles from Portland to the Arctic Ocean to earn their first-place finish.
"We knew going in that taking an old car would be a challenge and we were not disappointed," Kraushaar said.
The rally competition has two elements. First, teams must endure the long drive and make it to the town of Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territory, located on the shore of the Arctic Ocean about 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Tuktoyaktuk is one of the most remote human settlements in North America. Only Barrow, Alaska is farther north and reachable by car.
In addition to visiting the Arctic Ocean, teams must compete in a series of time-speed-distance challenges. In these rally segments, teams are timed as they drive a predetermined route at a specified average speed. It's not a race because the goal is not to be fast, but rather to be accurate. Teams accumulate penalty points for being early or late to a checkpoint. After 10 days of rallying Kraushaar and Ankeny finished the event with only 76 seconds of error.
"That was all Garth," Kraushaar said. "He did a great job of building our car to be reliable and then he drove the rally perfectly."
Ankeny is the owner of A-n-T Tire in North Portland, located at 8131 N. Interstate Ave in Kenton. He is a second-generation Alcan rally participant, but a first-time winner. Kraushaar won the Alcan Rally once before in 2008.
A total of 40 teams entered the rally, including Portlanders Andy and Mercedes Lilienthal, who entered a 1991 Mitsubishi Pajero. Built for the Japanese market, the Pajero is unique because the driver sits on the right-hand side of the vehicle. The Lilienthals finished second in the rally's Historic class.
"The Alcan 5000 rally is an amazing combination of an epic road trip, rally competition, and adventure travel," Andy said. "I'd do it again in a heartbeat."
"This was one of the biggest challenges I've ever faced," Mercedes added. "We crossed off several bucket list items together."
Complete information about the Alcan 5000 rally can be found at www.alcan5000.com. The next Alcan winter rally is scheduled to take place in February of 2024.
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