Subaru of America, Inc. announced it has signed Supercross and Motorcross Champion, multi-time X Games gold medalist, and up-and-coming rally racer Travis Pastrana to lead Subaru Rally Team USA. Pastrana will contest the Rally America National Championship piloting a 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX.
“Subaru has a strong heritage and successful history in rally racing – winning numerous manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles in the World Rally Championship (WRC),” said Rick Crosson, vice president of marketing, Subaru of America, Inc. “Travis Pastrana is a good fit for the Subaru brand with his natural driving ability, pioneering spirit, and will to win. We are confident that his participation in the Rally America National Championship will attract new fans to the sport, further enhancing its popularity in the U.S.”
Joining Pastrana on the two-car Subaru Rally Team USA squad is the co-founder and president of DC Shoes and 2005 Rally America Rookie of the Year, Ken Block. The pair will drive in nine Rally America events in their 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX vehicles prepared by Subaru Motorsports partner, Vermont SportsCar.
“Rally is an incredible sport that demands high-level preparation, focus, and tremendous skill,” said Pastrana. “I know what it takes to be a champion on two wheels, and I’m excited to now be rallying for Subaru in what I consider the best all-wheel-drive machine.”
Subaru is committed to the growth of rally racing and its popularity in the United States by providing support for rally privateers as well as its factory effort with Subaru Rally Team USA. Since 2001, SRT USA has earned drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships in the SCCA ProRally series. In 2006, SRT USA will again challenge for the national title in the Rally America National Championship.
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>Not really, it was pretty much a "factory" team this year.
>Still VTcar, same drivers, prolly similar cars and budget.
>Just now is "SRT USA".
>At least that's my estimation. Maybe they will bring WRC
>2006's with no active diffs and custom h-pattern boxes, and
>then, Pat would have a tougher time beating them. (If Pat
Only thing that will change will be the name, and maybe the class. If it is still a Group N effort Pat could still show up and win, if they are going to be Open class cars it will just be harder.
Jens and his doom and gloom, might be more well founded if SoA wasn't also providing a very sizeable chunk of money via contingency including start money for PGT drivers in WRXs at nationals.
Hopefully Pat gets a program together and can defend his second consecutive title.
>Jens and his doom and gloom, might be more well founded if SoA
>wasn't also providing a very sizeable chunk of money via
>contingency including start money for PGT drivers in WRXs at
>Hopefully Pat gets a program together and can defend his
>second consecutive title.
Yeah, right.... Subaru's altruism is truly overwhelming...NOT.
You really think a factory team is going to allow a private team to beat them? The last time they were here they started with a WRC car until they realized they didn't need it to win.
You're still dealing with the exponentially increased costs, loss of venues, narrowing of rally and other negative effects of the tragedy of SCCA handing ProRally to the factories on a silver platter.
Subaru is helping rally in the U.S.? And, I'm the Easter Bunny.
I am glad to see these two drivers return with the Subaru Team. If Pat and Stig return we will see a great set of battles.
If they are all in GN it will be an exciting 4 way challenge, Pat and Stig still have the upper hand in skill and experience. Not to mention the great PGT battle that was exciting to follow.
If the SRT returns with open class cars maybe we'll get to see great battles in three classes.
While I know RA is a business I think they have an overall better understanding of what makes rally tick as compared to the previous regime. I don't think RA has any reason to jump to please a manufacturers team rally lives on without them, without TV, without a lot of things. That is not to say that a partnership with manufacturers or other big dollar sponsors cannot be taken advantage of for the benefit of RA and the sport.
Subaru helps in many many ways and I appreciate the professionalism they bring to the sport. Yes the old regime jumped to please, but we have a different type of support network, different goals, and different prospects. If you really feel Subaru's official entrance back to the US scene is a bad thing you have the right to exit now, close the door quietly. and leave the rest of the community to its own demise. We'll all still be here with or without Subaru, most likely with or without NASA, RA or CARS...
>Yeah, right.... Subaru's altruism is truly
Let's hope Subaru is here to market their cars based on their participation and success in Rally
>You really think a factory team is going to allow a private
>team to beat them? The last time they were here they started
>with a WRC car until they realized they didn't need it to
These are not exactly the facts and suprisingly that WRC cars stage times have already been beatin at STPR (on at least one stage...)
>You're still dealing with the exponentially increased costs,
>loss of venues, narrowing of rally and other negative effects
>of the tragedy of SCCA handing ProRally to the factories on a
Increased costs: the level of preping an open class car has changed, the level of competing at the top of the field has gone up -- a few well funded privateers could have caused the same racheting-up
Course Notes have increased the cost of competing, this is directly attributable to the manufacturers, I am still happy to rally blind, so notes is an expense that I will pay, understand the value of, but like the challenge of rally w/o (my first crash was after notes and not really attributable to notes or not)
Insurance costs have risen driving event costs up, these insurance costs are not due and were not due to the manufacturers involvement
What venues have been lost due to the manufacturers? I can think of none.
I do agree and have personal experience that the SCCA, specifically Kurt was under the thumb of Subaru, it was sad. I on the other hand had opportunity to go head to head with subaru over rules infractions and to be honest they did a really good job of understanding the rules to their advantage.
>Subaru is helping rally in the U.S.? And, I'm the Easter
Subaru Helping: Yes it is a fact they help reduce event costs directly, and they help increase competitors funds directly.
I only wish other manufacturers found the benefit of rally as compelling as Subaru does to directly contribute dollars directly to the evenets and directly to the competitors.
And yeah, I still drive an Evo, and I might never rally a Subaru, but Subaru is always on my consideration set for both daily transport and rally toy. (I keep wishing for the 2.5RS spec class).
> Why does the repeat champion not get the ride ? Just
Pat's Canadian, eh. I dont' think SRT USA wouldn't hire a Canuck, as much as he deserves it. I can't blame Subaru for jumping on the Travis bandwagon though...he brings their brand and image to a whole other (larger) group of people - the motorcycle and youth market. He's also talented and marketable...and I'm sure it doesn't hurt that they have a strong supporting cast of sponsors already supporting the team (ie. Subaru won't have to fund the whole thing like before).
Just wait...if Travis starts winning in the US and competing on the world stage, it will do more benefit for rallying than anything ever has before.
I really, really hope SRT USA enters Group N next year...it's the logical step in developing Group N as the standard world-wide class that leads into WRC and PWRC.