PRESS RELEASE: April 26, 2021
Subaru and Travis Pastrana Capture Third Consecutive
Rally Win to Open 2021 Season
Subaru Motorsports USA driver Travis Pastrana and co-driver
Rhianon Gelsomino took their third straight overall victory
to open the 2021 American Rally Association (ARA) season at
this weekend’s DirtFish Olympus Rally, giving the #199
crew a commanding lead in the ARA championship chase. Pastrana
and Subaru teammate Brandon Semenuk now sit first and third
in the season standings with three rounds of the nine-event
“Great weekend here in Washington!” said Pastrana
after the event. “We came in looking for a podium to keep
us in good position in the standings and ended up coming away
with a win—sometimes it’s about being in the right
place at the right time. These roads are amazing and Brandon
was really on it, great to have Ken Block back in the fight
too. Rhi and I were happy to get the points and take a solid
lead in the championship with six rounds to go!”
A favorite of drivers and fans alike, Olympus Rally is notorious
for rain, fast-changing road conditions, and some of the most
scenic and challenging stages on the American calendar. With
defending champion Barry McKenna and his Ford Fiesta WRC unfortunately
sidelined due to a family issue, the fight for Open Class honors
was between the two blue and gold Subaru Motorsports USA entries
of Pastrana and Semenuk and the newly debuted #43 Hoonigan Racing
Division WRX STI of Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino.
With weather on Day 1 shifting between drizzle and hard rain,
Pastrana won SS1 and SS3 to open a lead of just under seven
seconds over Semenuk and John Hall on the first stage loop.
The Canadian crew struck back quickly on the second loop, taking
SS5 and SS6 and cutting the lead to 3.6 seconds, but the 18-mile
Wildcat stage would bring misfortune for the pair as Saturday
drew to a close. After taking a full second out of Pastrana
through the first sector of the stage to put the outright lead
into reach, Semenuk was caught out by a slippery transition
onto a bridge which left the car with a hard hit on the driver’s
side and ended his weekend.
With the hard-charging #180 out, Pastrana was left with a lead
of 47.3 seconds over Ken Block with only four stages left to
run on Sunday. A smart Day 2 drive highlighted by two more stage
wins gave Pastrana and Rhianon Gelsomino a win of just under
a minute. Block’s second-place finish in his first rally
in a Subaru since 2009 moved him past both McKenna and Semenuk
and into second in the driver’s championship, while Rhianon
Gelsomino now leads husband Alex in first and second positions
in the co-driver’s title hunt.
Subaru Motorsports USA will return to the ARA championship
at Southern Ohio Forest Rally, June 11-12.
PRESS RELEASE: March 22, 2021
Subaru and Travis Pastrana Take Second Consecutive
Win at 100 Acre Wood
Mo. – March 22, 2021 – Subaru Motorsports USA driver
Travis Pastrana and co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino brought home
their second straight win to open the 2021 American Rally Association
(ARA) season at Missouri’s 100 Acre Wood Rally, outlasting
a strong Open Class field that included longtime Pastrana rival
Ken Block and defending champion Barry McKenna. Brandon Semenuk
and John Hall took a fourth-place finish in the second blue
and gold WRX STI rally car, securing first and second for Subaru
in the ARA championship standings.
“Two wins in two events, right where we want to be!”
said Pastrana after the event. “This weekend was always
going to be tough with the road conditions. Rhi and I had some
luck with other teams hitting trouble, but we had been pushing
flat out on day 1 on these super fast stages and put ourselves
in a good position to take advantage. The last two loops today
were really rough, so we focused on protecting the car and were
able to hang on.”
100 Acre Wood is a staple of the ARA championship, infamous
for high speeds, variable weather and road conditions and its
iconic Cattle Guard jump. The 2021 running delivered high drama
thanks to a fast entry list, pre-event rains that created slick
surfaces and large water crossings, and high attrition over
the fourteen-stage event.
Pastrana found himself in an early fight for the lead on day
1, winning two of the six Friday stages and settling into second
place just behind McKenna. Semenuk, just off the pace early
in the day, settled into a rhythm on the second loop and managed
to overhaul Ken Block for third.
The rough conditions began to take a toll early on Saturday,
as Semenuk damaged a radiator fan on an SS8 water splash and
dropped behind Block with cooling issues. McKenna had a catastrophic
tire failure on SS9, surrendering first to Pastrana and Gelsomino.
With conditions growing rougher later in the day, the #199 crew
carefully defended their lead for the last two loops and finished
with a 29-second margin over Block in second. Semenuk and Hall
held third through SS11 but were eventually outpaced by a hard-charging
McKenna, ending a streak of five consecutive podiums for the
Canadian pair but still bringing critical championship points.
Subaru Motorsports USA will be back in action April 24-25 at
Olympus Rally in the forests of Washington state.
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.