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SUBARU RALLY TEAM USA


ARA Rally America National Championship 2018 Schedule
1 Oregon Trail Rally Dufur, OR / Goldendale, WA April 20 -22
2 Olympus Rally Olympia, WA May 19 - 20
3 Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally Wellsboro, PA June 1-2
4 New England Forest Rally Newry, ME / Errol, NH July 20-21
5 Ojibwe Forests Rally Walker & Detroit Lakes, MN August 24 -25
6 Idaho Rally Boise, ID September 15 - 16
7 Tour de Forest Rally Olympia & Shellon, WA October 6 -7

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: September 16, 2018

SANDELL HOLDS OFF HIGGINS FOR VICTORY AT 2018 IDAHO RALLY INTERNATIONAL

Boise, I.D. - Subaru Rally Team USA driver Patrik Sandell held off his Subaru teammate David Higgins on the dusty, serpentine roads of the 2018 Idaho Rally International to earn his second rally victory of the year. Sandell, with co-driver Per Almkvist, traded stage victories all weekend with Higgins and his co-driver Craig Drew. The dueling crews, each at the wheel of 2018 Subaru WRX STI rally cars, contended with extremely dusty conditions which slowed Higgins just enough on Sunday for Sandell to hold on for the victory. With a second-place overall finish in Idaho, Higgins and Drew mathematically secured the 2018 American Rally Association (ARA) Championship with one rally still to run.

The Idaho Rally International was a new addition to the national ARA calendar this year, after running as a regional-level event for several years. As a result, most national-level teams - including the Subaru entries of Higgins and Sandell - arrived with no previous course knowledge or stage notes, making for a level playing field. The roads in and around Idaho City proved to be some of the narrowest and most technical rally stages ever run in the ARA championship, providing a big challenge for the drivers. Hanging dust was also a major factor throughout the event. Sandell took a small lead after the second stage of the rally and then extended that lead on Sunday, as Higgins and Drew, running in second position on the road, were forced to slow down in places due to poor visibility. Although Higgins drove hard and fought back some time on the event’s final stages, Sandell was able to secure the win with a twenty-four second margin of victory.

“So much fun!,” exclaimed Sandell at the podium. “I’m so grateful to Subaru for giving me the opportunity to drive this rally. Rally is really my roots and my passion, so being able to come off with a fair win is great. It was a great fight with David all through the weekend and we just tried to maintain the lead with a big push in the morning and it was just enough to make it work out! You have to have everything go your way to have a chance at beating David and Craig, they are super talented.”

“This was a really rough and demanding rally with some great twisty roads,” explained Higgins. “We struggled at times with dust and we had a big compression on a bump that nearly knocked the wind out of us in the car, so we are glad it’s over to be honest! Obviously it was good to seal the championship, since that was the main aim.”

The win in Idaho means Sandell is two-for-two in rally this season, after winning the Olympus Rally earlier this spring. Sandell’s focus for Subaru Rally Team USA in 2018 is Rallycross, but he has crossed over to join the team’s stage rally efforts when the schedule for the Americas Rallycross (ARX) series permits. As a former Junior World Rally Champion, Sandell has had a long and successful history in international rally competition.

Higgins and Sandell will have a rematch next month at the final round of the 2018 ARA Championship at the Tour de Forest Rally, to be held October 6-7 in Olympia, Washington. Tour de Forest is another new event for 2018, but will be run in the same area and on similar roads as the legendary Olympus Rally, which Sandell won earlier this year.

Full coverage of Subaru Rally Team USA is available on the Subaru Motorsports App. To download from the iTunes App store, click here, for Android App on Google Play store, click here. Follow the team on Instagram @srtusa, on Twitter @srtusa, and on facebook.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: August 25th, 2018

DAVID HIGGINS DOMINATES THE OJIBWE FORESTS RALLY FOR FOURTH WIN OF 2018

Detroit Lakes, M.N. - Subaru driver David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew drove yet another faultless rally to take a dominating win at the 2018 Ojibwe Forests Rally, earning their third straight victory and fourth total of the 2018 American Rally Association (ARA) season. Higgins led from the start of the rally in his Subaru WRX STI and then expertly managed his lead to take victory on the technical Minnesota dirt roads. Higgins’ teammate and rival Travis Pastrana, with co-driver Robbie Durant, made a rare mistake on the opening stage and was forced to miss the first day of action before re-joining the rally the next day.

The twisty Ojibwe stages are some of the most challenging of the year, featuring narrow, dusty roads that wind through the lakes and overgrown forests of northern Minnesota. The fight for the 2017 ARA championship came down to the final stage of the Ojibwe Forests Rally last year between Higgins and Pastrana, with Pastrana narrowly coming out on top. This year the event sits earlier in the ARA calendar, with two events remaining in the championship season.

“It’s always more fun when you can drive maximum attack, but when you have a good lead it’s really important to manage that all day,” explained Higgins at the podium celebration. “The car has been perfect all rally, so a big thanks to the team for that again. I’m happy to get the win and the points and we’re looking forward to the next event in Idaho.”

The expected close battle between Higgins and Pastrana never came to fruition as Pastrana was caught out on the very slippery opening stage and clipped a concealed cement block. Although he would power through the remainder of the stage, suspension damage to the #199 Subaru would force Pastrana and Durant to retire from the day’s remaining stages. Higgins would press on, taking the lead and managing it for the remainder of the event, while Pastrana re-joined on the second day and went ‘maximum-attack’ to secure overall fastest times on most of the Day 2 stages.

“Well that’s not the way you want to start a rally. With the rain we weren’t sure how slippery it would be, and it ended up being pretty slick! I came around the corner wide and saw what I thought was a soft hay bale barrier. Nope,” explained Travis Pastrana. “But the team got the car back together and we had an epic second day. We drove our butts off, we had nothing to lose and the other guys did, but at the end of the day we had a lot of fun. A huge thanks to the team for not only letting me drive, but this morning I asked if I could go full attack today and John Buffum (Team Manager, Subaru Rally Team USA) said ‘drive it like you stole it.’ That was awesome!”

The next ARA round for Subaru Rally Team USA is the Idaho Rally, a new event to the national calendar, to be held September 14-15 in Boise, Idaho. Subaru Rally Team USA will enter David Higgins and Patrik Sandell, with Higgins looking to secure his first ARA national championship.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: July 22, 2018

Higgins and Drew top podium at NEFR


Day two of the New England Forest Rally brings the rally west to the logging roads of Maine and New Hampshire. These roads are incredibly quick and technical. They can make for some remarkably rough stages as well as some of the smoothest of the weekend. The terrain varies and twists its way through roads normally travelled by logging trucks. After a load of mechanical issues suffered by both cars on the rough stages last year at this event both crews are looking to have a simple and clean day without drama.

David Higgins and Craig Drew started the day in first position and stayed there for the remainder of the rally. Higgins summed the rally up at the end of Saturdays stages “Just a really good rally for us. We knew what we had to do, we pushed hard, got the lead and did a good job managing it. Not a single thing went wrong all weekend which is rare for this rally, so a big hat tip to Charlie and the boys at Vermont SportsCar for keep my WRX STI in good order.”

Meanwhile Travis Pastrana and Robbie Durant started the day with a plan to keep the car on the road and increase their speed throughout the day as the pair reacclimated to the car for the first time this season. The duo won multiple stages throughout the day and were on the heels of Higgins and Drew when they weren’t ahead of them. Unfortunately, a timecard penalty was assessed at the end of the day and the pair was moved back into third overall for the event.

SRTUSA takes home first and third position at NEFR this year and is looking forward to the next event of the ARA Championship, the Ojibwe Forests Rally located in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

 

 

 



PRESS RELEASE: June 5, 2018

Higgins and Drew Win at STPR

Subaru Rally Team USA claimed victory at the 2018 Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) under the lights of the Tioga County Fairgrounds late Saturday evening. The #75 WRX STI of David Higgins 75 and Craig Drew 75 set down consistently quick stage times all day and took the top position on the podium. This now makes David Higgins the winningest driver ever at STPR, having won eight times at this event.

Both cars started the day feeling out their setups for the varying road surfaces of the event, Chris Atkinson knew early on that he wouldn’t be able to match the pace of Higgins and decided to get comfortable on the roads at a safe pace. He gave his thoughts during the first service of the day “We really struggled for good feeling. For me I took no risks at all, cruised along. There was no point to take risks.”

Atkinson and Prévot were new to the event this year and had trouble pushing on the fast paced and high-risk stages with just one pass of recce to make notes from. They knew they would be off pace of Higgins and Drew but still put down solid times and held a respectable second position overall for the entire afternoon until a minor mechanical issue caused the pair to relinquish their position to their competition.

Meanwhile, Higgins and Drew found their pace by stage 8, and put down an impressive time, besting Atkinson and Prévot by more than 40 seconds, and privateer Barry McKenna by more than a minute on this single stage alone. On stage 9, Higgins and Drew again were on full attack, aggressively closing the gap between them and rally leaders Barry McKenna and Leon Jordan. However, later on stage 9, McKenna suffered a rally ending off.

Craig Drew recapped the second loop of stages for the day during service “We had a really good run. We had to catch Mckenna. At the second stage towards the end of the stage, we saw Barry was off. As soon as we saw him off, we had an immediate change of game plan to get the car to finish the stage. After that we took it steady.”

David Higgins and Craig Drew now lead the 2018 American Rally Association Championship once again. The next event, the New England Forest Rally (NEFR), takes place July 20-21 and Higgins and Drew will be looking to attack the stages at full tilt. Make sure to stay tuned for updates from future events!


PRESS RELEASE: May 21, 2018

PATRIK SANDELL WINS THE 2018 OLYMPUS RALLY IN STAGE RALLY DEBUT WITH SUBARU

Subaru Rally Team USA driver Patrik Sandell has earned a victory at the legendary Olympus Rally on his debut stage rally event with Subaru. Sandell, with co-driver Per Almkvist, drove the #18 Subaru WRX STI rally car for the first time in competition and were quick straight away and took advantage of attrition among their closest challenges to earn the victory. Sandell’s teammate David Higgins lead the rally early before a mechanical problem dropped him from contention.

“It’s been a challenging weekend and I’m so happy to get the win with Subaru here. Driving for Subaru in stage rally has always been a dream of mine and to debut with a win is a great feeling,” explained Sandell at the podium. “It’s been a while since I competed at this high-level in rally, but together with Per (Almkvist) we put some good notes together and we were fast and smooth and stayed out of trouble. The team’s Subaru WRX STI is an amazing car to drive, we had a lot of fun!”

The Olympus Rally was Sandell’s first taste of stage rallying in the USA after being signed by Subaru in 2017 to drive primarily for the team’s rallycross efforts. Although his recent focus has been on rallycross Sandell is stage rally veteran; his accomplishments include winning the Swedish Junior Rally Championship in 2004, the Swedish N3 Rally Championship in 2005 and then the Junior World Rally Championship in 2006. In 2010, he also finished second overall in the S-WRC.

The Olympus Rally, held in scenic western Washington, has a storied past. The rally was part of the first US Rally Championship in 1973 and later ran as a World Rally Championship event from 1986-1988 during the sport’s legendary Group B days. The Olympus Rally is as grueling as ever with over 125 miles of technical, tree-lined forest roads.

Subaru driver David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew were on pace to take the victory at Olympus, after leading the rally comfortably after the first few stages. However, a minor mechanical problem took them out of contention before the conclusion of Saturday’s stages.

The 2018 ARA series continues at the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally June 1-2, where team drivers David Higgins and Chris Atkinson will represent Subaru.

The remaining 2018 ARA Series schedule:

Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally ----- June 1-2, 2018
New England Forest Rally ----- July 20-21, 2018
Ojibwe Forests Rally ----- August 24-25, 2018
Idaho Rally ----- September 14-15, 2018
Tour de Forest Rally ----- October 6-7, 2018

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: April 23, 2018

Higgins and Drew Dominate, With Seventh Oregon Trail Rally Win in the Past Eight Years

Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew continued their dominance of the Oregon Trail Rally, winning the 2018 edition of the event for the seventh time in the last eight years at the wheel of their Vermont SportsCar-prepared 2018 Subaru WRX STI rally car. The Oregon Trail Rally, regarded as one of the most scenic and challenging rallies in the USA represented round one of the 2018 American Rally Association series. It was the perfect start to Higgins and Drew’s 2018 driver’s championship campaign as the duo attempt to earn their seventh championship together while driving for Subaru.

“I’m happy to get the win and it was great to be back in my Subaru again,” explained Higgins at the podium. “Today was a proper Sunday drive just trying to manage our lead! We stayed clear of any problems and our Subaru STI was perfect. This rally is a joy to drive, it has a little bit of everything and the fans are fantastic.” The win was Higgins’ seventh in the past eight years, and his ninth career Oregon win from ten starts.

“After 8 months off we were worried about getting back into a rhythm after so long, but the whole weekend has gone perfectly to plan,” said co-driver Craig Drew. “It’s a perfect start to our 2018 campaign and hopefully we can get the crown back this year.”

An expected tight battle with the other Subaru team car of former Subaru World Rally Team star driver Chris Atkinson and his veteran co-driver Stéphane Prévot was short lived after a mechanical issue sidelined Atkinson for a portion of Saturday’s stages. Atkinson would return for Sunday’s stages and although he was out of the running for an overall result Atkinson went fastest on six of eight stages while also growing more comfortable with his Subaru in what was his USA rally debut. Atkinson has been competing in Rallycross for Subaru for the past two years but had yet to compete in a stage rally event.

Higgins and Drew began the rally on a charge, going fastest on three of the first four stages at the fan friendly mix-surfaced stages at Portland International Raceway. With teammate Atkinson just seconds behind them they could not afford to let up on the second day’s action, however once Atkinson was sidelined with a mechanical issue Higgins and Drew found themselves with over a 30 second lead to the closest challenger. From there Higgins slowly increased his lead without taking big risks as his rivals all lost some time with vehicle issues. It was a textbook victory for Higgins and Drew as their race-craft coupled with their on-demand outright speed proved yet again the formula for victory.

Subaru Rally Team USA will stay in the Pacific Northwest for next month’s legendary Olympus Rally, May 19-20 based around Olympia Washington. Subaru Rally Team USA will enter the #75 Subaru STI for Higgins/Drew with the second team car being driven by Subaru Rallycross driver and former Junior World Rally Champion Patrik Sandell with co-driver Per Almkvist.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: February 15, 2018

Subaru Rally Team USA Confirms 2018 American Rally Association Series Campaign

- Defending Champions will return to the ARA series with a 2-car team
- David Higgins to return with a full-time effort with teammate Travis Pastrana entering select rounds
- Subaru will enter former WRC stars Chris Atkinson and Patrik Sandell at select rallies

Subaru Rally Team USA (SRTUSA) is pleased to confirm it will return to the American Rally Association (ARA) Series in 2018 with a multi-car effort utilizing 2018 Subaru WRX STI rally cars prepared by technical partner Vermont SportsCar. The team’s efforts will be spearheaded by multi-time rally champions David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew, who will enter all seven rounds of the 2018 ARA series. Defending 2017 ARA Driver’s Champion Travis Pastrana and co-driver Robbie Durant will join Higgins in a second team car at select rounds, owing to schedule commitments with his Nitro Circus live-event tour. SRTUSA will provide entries at select ARA rounds for former World Rally Championship star Chris Atkinson and former Junior World Rally Champion Patrik Sandell.

“Rally continues to offer both an exciting and challenging way to showcase Subaru production car technologies,” stated Subaru motorsports manager Rob Weir. “We’re fortunate to have a stable of proven rally drivers to complete a two-car team at all ARA rounds to defend our championship title.”

The 2018 ARA season kicks off at the scenic Oregon Trail Rally on April 20-22 where Subaru Rally Team USA will enter David Higgins and Chris Atkinson to mount their championship defense. The Australian rally star Atkinson is no stranger to Subaru’s motorsports programs. Between 2005 and 2008, he was the factory driver for Subaru World Rally Team alongside the 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg. Atkinson has earned 41 WRC stage wins and 6 WRC podiums including podiums at the famous Monte Carlo Rally and Rally Mexico. Subaru signed Atkinson in late 2016 as part of the team’s rallycross efforts, where he was joined by Patrik Sandell last year, but neither driver has yet to enter any stage rallies on behalf of the team.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity to do a rally in the USA, having had a glimpse through rallycross of how awesome the Subaru fans are in this part of the world, the atmosphere will be amazing,” stated Atkinson. “It’s been a while since I’ve done a high-speed rally and I don’t underestimate the challenge, but know we have a great team and car so it will be fun. A big thanks to Subaru of America and Vermont Sportscar for this opportunity.”

In addition to the five returning ARA events the series will debut two new events in which Subaru Rally Team USA is looking forward to; The Idaho Rally (Sept 14-15) and the Tour de Forest Rally, based in Olympia and Shelton, Washington, (October 6-7). The revived Tour de Forest event, last run in 1983, represents an exciting new challenge for ARA competitors, placing teams on stage roads unseen in rally competition for thirty-five years.

The complete 2018 ARA Series schedule:
1. Oregon Trail Rally ----- April 20-22, 2018
2. Olympus Rally ----- May 19-20, 2018
3. Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally ----- June 1-2, 2018
4. New England Forest Rally ----- July 20-21, 2018
5. Ojibwe Forests Rally ----- August 24-25, 2018
6. Idaho Rally ----- September 15-16, 2018
7. Tour de Forest Rally ----- October 6-7, 2018

 

 

 

Ride shotgun with Subaru Team Driver Travis Pastrana as he attempts to set a new record at the Mt. Washington Hill Climb.
It's a race against the clock up the tallest peak in the Northeast with high winds, steep cliffs, and speeds of up to 115 mph.

 

 

About Subaru Rally Team USA
Subaru Rally Team USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Method Race Wheels, DirtFish Rally School, DMACK Tires, and PIAA. Follow the team online at www.subaru.com/rally

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit media.subaru.com.

 

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