Sorry, not sorry – Rally driver Brandon SemenukOct 5th, 2022
Is there anything more Canadian than a world class racing driver who apologizes during a crash?
For the next minute of this clip, watch as co-driver Keaton Williams warns, in the coded language of rally pace notes, that the 125-meter straightaway they’re on is about to transition into a narrow, 90-degree left turn with potentially “bad” consequences. The driver doesn’t get the memo and the apologizing begins even before the car sails off into the trees.
That’s Brandon Semenuk, the freeride mountain biking star from Whistler, BC, who’s taken American rally by storm. The damage looks terrible, but the crew weren’t hurt and crashes like this aren’t particularly uncommon in stage rally. And while it cost the team the race win, they’re still in the fight for the final round of the championship season in mid-October.
Semenuk came to rally driving after starting his career on two wheels. He is a three-time Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour Gold Medalist, a five-time Red Bull Joyride winner, an X-Games Real MTB Gold Medalist, and X-Games Silver medalist in the Mountain Bike Slopestyle event. He signed to Subaru Rally Team USA in the spring of 2020 to campaign the US national championship. He finished second that season, and third in 2021. And this year he drives into the season finale with a real shot at the title.
Heading into Lake Superior Performance Rally October 14-15, Semenuk is a slim 17-points behind Head Hoonigan in Charge, Ken Block. Another six points back sits Semenuk’s teammate, five-time series champ Travis Pastrana. It will be a win or crash trying kind of event. “It’s a tall order to be competitive there,” Semenuk told DirtFish.com. “There’s not really anything else we can do than just go for it.”
Follow along with all the action from Brandon Semenuk and Subaru Rally Team USA in the Launch Control series at https://www.youtube.com/user/Subaru
And if you think you might catch the rally bug, the Canadian Rally Championship season ender is one of the very best races in North America and it takes place in nearby Bancroft, Ontario, November 25-26. If you’re a newcomer to the sport, spectating the Rally of the Tall Pines is an adventure in and of itself. Definitely sign up for the VIP program: https://tallpinesrally.com/vip/