Subaru Rally Team USA (SRTUSA) drivers David Higgins and Travis Pastrana made history by claiming a 1-2 finish at Rallye Perce-Neige, the first round of the newly formed ARA (American Rally Association) National Championship. The 143 mile stage rally event held in Maniwaki, Quebec, hosted over 40 international competitors on snow-covered gravel roads in a grueling single-day race format.
Subaru Rally Team Canada driver Antoine L’Estage, a seven-time winner of Rallye Perce-Neige, built an early lead over the first three stages of the rally, until mechanical issues hindered his pace. Higgins and Pastrana, who closely trailed L’Estage during the first loop of stages, battled for the lead throughout the remainder of the rally. Higgins would go on to win the event over teammate Pastrana putting the #75 Subaru WRX STI rally car on top of the podium.
“A great result, it feels good to win in such harsh conditions against some top guys, and this was the first ever ARA event, so I’m glad we were able to get our names in the history books,” explained David Higgins at the podium celebration. “The last loop of stages was hard work, the snow was coming down pretty hard on one stage, there was a big snow ball inside the corner, we clipped it and smashed one of the lights, making the night stage even tougher. The hood pin was also damaged, so we had to slow down a bit to keep the hood from flying open on stage. It was a challenge but it was all good in the end!”
“Man, heck of a day! The snow during the final night stages came down hard. It was like a video game, you’re in a trance going 120 mph,’ said Travis Pastrana at the finish. “You don’t see anything on the road. All you see are trees coming at you really fast. We gambled with tire choice this weekend which didn’t go in our favor, but we’re happy to be on the podium and get valuable championship points.”
“The extreme temperatures and single day format tested drivers and crew alike this weekend,” stated Subaru Motorsports Marketing Manager Rob Weir. “We’re proud of the hard work SRTUSA put in this weekend to help Subaru claim their first ARA Championship victory.”
Higgins and Pastrana continue on to round two of the ARA Championship, the Oregon Trail Rally, beginning April 21st at Portland International Raceway in Portland, OR.
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 @Subaru Rally Team USA.
DirtFish SCCA RallyCross Launches 2017 Season
TOPEKA, Kan. (February 7, 2017) – Registration is open for the first DirtFish SCCA® RallyCross® National Challenge of the season. The DirtFish Central RallyCross National Challenge will be held April 7-9 at Heartland Park Topeka in Kansas. This is also the site of the 2017 DirtFish SCCA RallyCross National Championship in October.
The full 2017 DirtFish SCCA RallyCross National Challenge season is as follows:
April 7-9: DirtFish SCCA Central RallyCross National Challenge
Heartland Park Topeka; Topeka, Kan.
July 7-9: DirtFish SCCA East RallyCross National Challenge
Rally Farm; Catlett, Va.
July 21-23: DirtFish SCCA West RallyCross National Challenge
DirtFish Rally School; Snoqualmie, Wa.
October 20-22: DirtFish SCCA RallyCross National Championship
Heartland Park Topeka; Topeka, Kan.
The most significant change to the SCCA National RallyCross program this season is the addition of DirtFish Rally School as the title sponsor for the three National Challenge events and National Championship. More information about this partnership can be found here.
Also, new for 2017, each DirtFish SCCA RallyCross National Challenge will offer a Starting Line RallyCross school on the Friday before competition. Much like the Starting Line Autocross program, Starting Line RallyCross will instruct participants on vehicle dynamics and driving techniques specific to low-traction surfaces. More information about the expansion of the Starting Line program can be found here.
There are some other minor changes to the format of these events. Competition runs will start later in the day on Saturday to allow for longer Check-in and Tech hours. This later start is intended to help participants save the cost of a hotel room on Friday night when possible. Additionally, to allow more runs on Saturday, only one course will be laid out per day. Due to the nature of RallyCross competition, the course will evolve during the day. Instead of a human draw, grid positions will be calculated by computer to allow for faster grid sheet generation and earlier posting.
In 2017, online registration is shifting back to MotorsportsReg.com for National RallyCross events. Entries for the DirtFish SCCA National Challenge events are capped at 120 with a fee of $95 each. With the return to MotorsportsReg, non-annual SCCA members can purchase a weekend membership while registering online.
RallyCross is the SCCA's most widespread and readily accessible form of extreme dirt motorsport. The activity is a scaled-down version of a rally stage laid out on a non-paved plot of land where the course is delineated by traffic cones instead of trees or rocks. Participation requirements are considerably less than those associated with other forms of performance rally, so drivers usually only need a mechanically sound, hardtop vehicle and a helmet to come play in the dirt.
For additional information on DirtFish SCCA RallyCross, visit https://www.scca.com/pages/i-want-to-rallycross.
Image: A competitor slings dirt while rounding a cone at the 2016 SCCA RallyCross National Championship.
Credit: Rupert Berrington
TOPEKA, Kan. (Jan. 25, 2017) – DirtFish, the premier driving school nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range in Snoqualmie, Washington, and the Sports Car Club of America® have announced a partnership naming the Club's national-level RallyCross® events the DirtFish SCCA RallyCross National Challenge and the DirtFish SCCA RallyCross National Championship.
In addition to event support, DirtFish and SCCA® will work together on a number of promotions to help grow the RallyCross program. Each of the DirtFish SCCA RallyCross National Challenge and National Championship cars will carry a decal representing the iconic driving school's involvement in the program.
"In the six and a half years that DirtFish has been in business, we have seen substantial success and growth. We are constantly seeking new ways to promote DirtFish and reach new groups of enthusiasts to show them the value of the car control techniques we teach," said DirtFish Media Manager Trevor Wert. "We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with such a highly-commended organization, like Sports Car Club of America. We look forward to working throughout the year with SCCA to promote the RallyCross and RallySprint programs, while offering SCCA members a place to improve their driving skills."
Howard Duncan, Sr. Director of SCCA Rally/Solo, added that DirtFish will have a presence throughout the SCCA community, including on SCCA.com, in SportsCar® Magazine, and at the Tire Rack Solo® Nationals and the SCCA Runoffs®.
"The RallyCross program is poised for growth, and working with DirtFish, we think there's another step forward that we can take," Duncan said. "But because DirtFish is more than just a rally school, there will be opportunities for all SCCA members to take advantage of the skills and resources that DirtFish offers."
More than just a rally school, DirtFish recognizes that car control skills on any surface translate to the track, autocross or street. DirtFish teaches car control, confidence and safety behind the wheel through advanced driving techniques built from the roots of rally. From 15 years of age with a learner's permit, all the way up to the sophisticated age of 85, DirtFish has a program for everyone.