Tyler Saunders, Down East Rally Team representing Ellsworth in racing

Saunders bought his first Subaru in 2016 and hasn’t looked back as a rally driver
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 2:41 PM EDT
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ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) - Tyler Saunders is wrapping up the rally car racing season with the Down East Rally Team, or D.E.R.T.

Saunders bought his first Subaru in 2016 and hasn’t looked back as a rally driver
Saunders bought his first Subaru in 2016 and hasn’t looked back as a rally driver(WABI)

Saunders bought his first Subaru in 2016 and hasn’t looked back as a rally driver.

“It’s definitely a war of attrition. There’s a lot of rough stages, big rocks, tight corners and blind crests. We dealt with dust a lot over the weekend and sun shining in our face. That’s rally. That’s part of it,” said Saunders.

He said New England is the place to be.

“It’s perfect roads, especially wth the logging companies letting us use their property. The roads are great out there. They’re very fast and sweeping,” said Saunders.

Saunders is joined by David McFarland, Sam Estey, Scott Carlson, Nathan McCarthey, Justin Pokoney and his dad, Gary, on the Down East Rally Team.

“There’s late nights and a lot of all-nighters. The crew did a fantastic job getting the car together. I definitely wouldn’t be able to do it without them,” said Saunders.

Rally culture has continued to sell Saunders on the sport.

“Really, what keeps bringing me back is the people. The people are great. Everybody loves everyone. Everyone tries to help each other out. There’s no ‘I hope they break so I can get ahead of them.’ It’s ‘let’s rally some crew, parts or whatever you need. We’ll help get you back on the road.’ To me, that’s unlike any other form of motor sport,” said Saunders.

Saunders and his co-driver, Scott Carlson, drove one of four cars in their open four-wheel drive class to finish at the New England Forest Rally last weekend.

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