Domination at 100 Acre Wood Rally Cut Short for Pastrana, Mirra Finishes 4th Overall

February 28, 2010 - Subaru driver Travis Pastrana was nearly untouchable at the 2010 Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, convincingly pulling away from a strong field before a seemingly innocuous driving error late in the event damaged his 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI and forced him to retire. Pastrana's Subaru teammate, BMX and X Games icon Dave Mirra, finished cleanly in 4th overall as he grew more familiar with his new higher-specification Open Class Subaru STI rally car. The 100 Acre Wood Rally, based in and around Salem, Missouri, was the second stop on the six-event 2010 Rally America National Championship series.

Named after the storybook home of Winnie the Pooh, the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood is set in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and features very high speeds on smooth and flowing gravel roads that are a favorite of many rally drivers. Pastrana, with co-driver Christian Edstrom, pushed hard from the first stage and pulled away from a very competitive field, winning the first seven stages of the event. After Pastrana's closest challenger, former Canadian Rally champion Antoine L'Estage, lost time with a problem early on the second day Pastrana found himself with a comfortable lead of over one-minute on rival and former Subaru driver Ken Block.

However, late in the event, Pastrana's run toward an expectant victory came to an abrupt halt. Damage to a suspension component on Pastrana's Subaru resulting from a hard rear-wheel impact into a ditch cut Pastrana's rally short. The incident occurred on the short spectator viewing stage held within a town park, and Pastrana was able to nurse his Subaru to finish the stage. Although they feverishly attempted a roadside repair, there was insufficient time for Pastrana and Edstrom to complete the effort nor was there a scheduled service stop where their Subaru Rally Team USA crew of mechanics could work on the car.

"This one is really tough to swallow. I had everything I needed to win here," explained a dejected Pastrana. "Our Subaru was perfect and totally unbeatable. We were able to just pull away from everyone on the first half of the rally and then just had to cruise to the finish. It was a small mistake; I cut a corner and then exited too wide and didn't know there was a drainage ditch there. I just can't believe it."

Pastrana's Subaru teammate Dave Mirra adopted the strategy of gaining experience in his car rather than showcasing outright pace and did so successfully, finishing a trouble-free 4th Overall. The 100 Acre Wood Rally was Mirra's first gravel rally in the higher specification 2010 Open Class Subaru after spending the 2009 season in the more restrictive Super Production class. Mirra was also sitting for the first time with veteran co-driver Martin Headland. "I'm very happy with the result. I wanted to just drive through this event and carefully learn the potential of the Open Class Subaru," explained Mirra. "This car has better handling, braking and power than anything I've ever driven so it's a lot to get used to and I still have to learn where the limits are. I took it easy and slowly increased my pace where I was comfortable."

"Although SRT USA departs from this event without the win we were seeking, the display of performance and reliability from our Open Class Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally cars leads me to believe we were in a league of our own," pointed out James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc. "Kudos to the team for having developed such an impressive yet very drivable package. Travis drove an aggressive but comfortable pace and was in a great position for the finish if not for that untimely error. Dave took a sensible approach to learning his car and finished just one position from the podium."

Subaru Rally Team will compete next at the Olympus Rally, based in Olympia, Washington on April 23-25.

Follow Subaru Rally Team USA on Twitter: www.twitter.com/srtusa
Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), DC Shoes, BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, Alpinestars, Motul, Exedy, GReddy and Vermont SportsCar. Visit www.subaru.com/rally for Subaru Rally Team USA photo galleries, news and team information.

SRT USA Signs VP Fuels as Official Fuel Supplier

February 24, 2010 - Subaru Rally Team USA is pleased to announce today the selection of VP Racing Fuels products for their 2010 rally campaign. The partnership includes VP Fuels being designated the Official Fuel of Subaru Rally Team USA. Subaru Rally Team USA, managed by Subaru technical partner Vermont SportsCar, is headed by four-time defending Rally America National Champion Travis Pastrana and BMX legend Dave Mirra. The team is scheduled to compete in the six event 2010 Rally America National Championship, ESPN's X Games 16 Rally Car Racing event as well as Rally America's three all-new European-style RallyCross exhibition events this fall.

VP is the Official Fuel of American LeMans Series, NHRA, SuperDirtCar, World of Outlaws Sprint Car and Late Model Series among others, fueling championships in North America and around the globe for over 35 years. VP Racing Fuels was founded in 1974 by Steve Burns, who initially exhibited his aptitude for R&D in the early 1970s as a young racer in San Antonio, Texas. Self-taught in chemistry and physics, Burns began experimenting with exotic blends of fuel, much to the dismay of his parents whose garage served as Steve's laboratory. VP is now recognized by many as the world leader in race fuel technology, with a catalog of nearly 70 fuel blends and a growing roster of VP-fueled champions across the entire spectrum of motorsports.

"VP Fuel has been extremely successful in every form of motorsports they have entered and their international blends of rally fuel are second to none," said Lance Smith, President of Vermont SportsCar. "The decision to switch to VP Fuels was made after we assessed the power their rally car products make and learning of the technical and developmental support VP could provide our team. We are looking forward to both the technical and performance gains that VP Fuel can provide our team as we aim to win a fifth straight Rally America National Championship title."

Four-time consecutive and defending Rally America National Champion Travis Pastrana and his teammate Dave Mirra, the 2008 Rally America Rookie of the Year, both return to Subaru Rally Team USA and will pilot 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally cars. Vermont SportsCar will be working closely with VP Fuels on the build and development of the next evolution of their Rally America Open Class specification Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally car to maximize engine performance and power output.

"Rally Racing is probably the most challenging and most exciting form of car racing on the planet" said Jim Kelly, VP Fuels Regional Manager for Europe and the Northeast United States. "VP fuels championship winning teams in all types of racing and while we are in a lot of rally cars in Europe it will be particularly gratifying to see the Subaru rally cars of Travis [Pastrana] and Dave [Mirra] flying down rally stages with VP in the USA."

Subaru Rally Team USA heads next to the second round in the Rally America Championship series, the 100 Acre Wood Rally, scheduled on February 26 - 27 in southern Missouri.

Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), DC Shoes, BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, Vision X, Alpinestars, Motul, Exedy, VP Fuels and Vermont SportsCar.

For more information on Subaru Rally Team USA, as well as exclusive photo and video galleries visit rally.subaru comand for the latest news follow the team on Twitter: twitter.com/srtusa.

For more information on VP Fuels please visiit www.vpracingfuels.com

Subaru Rally Team USA’s Travis Pastrana and Dave Mirra to Compete in the 100 Acre Wood Rally this Weekend 

February 24, 2010 - Four-time and defending Rally America National Champion Travis Pastrana will compete on Missouri's high-speed back roads this weekend at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. The Subaru Rally Team USA driver, who leads the Rally America National Championship after a dominating win at the first round last month, will pilot a BFGoodrich Tires-shod 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI with co-driver Christian Edstrom. Pastrana's Subaru teammate Dave Mirra, the BMX legend turned rally pro, will drive an identically-prepared Subaru in the event and will have veteran co-driver and former national champion Martin Headland sitting in the navigator's seat .

Named after the storybook home of Winnie the Pooh, the 100 Acre Wood Rally is set in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. Based in and around the town of Salem, the 100 Acre Wood Rally features very high-speeds on smooth and flowing gravel roads that are a favorite of many rally drivers. However, in recent years the weather has unleashed freezing rain, sleet or snow in the days leading up to and during the event turning the roads treacherously icy. Weather reports for this weekend's event currently indicate clear and seasonably cool conditions.

"Subaru has won the 100 Acre Wood Rally four years in a row so we know we have the right car and the right setup," explained Pastrana. "Our goal here is to win and extend our championship lead. I think if the weather holds out this will be one of the fastest, most tightly contested events of the year." Pastrana leads the six-round 2010 Rally America National Championship after a win last month at round one, the Sno*Drift Rally in northern Michigan.

Subaru driver Dave Mirra will have veteran co-driver Martin Headland alongside at the 100 Acre Wood Rally in place of co-driver Derek Ringer, with whom he worked with in 2008 and 2009. Headland, a former two-time Canadian Rally Champion has 35 years of co-driving experience and has entered over 150 performance rallies. Headland was a long time co-driver of one of Mirra's key rally tutors, driving instructor Tim O'Neil. "The roads in Missouri are very fast and I drove really well there last year, but I was in a lower specification Super Production class Subaru STI at the time," said Mirra. "This year I will have more power and even better handling with Subaru Rally Team USA's Open Class car and am looking forward to adapting to the new car this season ."

The rally action kicks off at approximately 4pm CST local time this Friday, February 26th, and continues through Saturday, February 27th. For daily event photos and news updates visit www.rally.subaru.com or follow the team at www.twitter.com/srtusa. Results and other event news can be found at www.rally-america.com.

Follow Subaru Rally Team USA on Twitter: www.twitter.com/srtusa
Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), DC Shoes, BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, Alpinestars, Motul, Exedy, GReddy and Vermont SportsCar. Visit www.subaru.com/rally for Subaru Rally Team USA photo galleries, news and team information.

Subaru Driver Travis Pastrana Skates to Victory at the Sno*Drift Rally

February 1, 2010 - Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana and his co-driver Christian Edstrom overcame treacherously icy conditions to take a dominating win at this weekend's Sno*Drift Rally, round one of the 2010 Rally America National Championship. Pastrana, the defending four-time Rally America National Champion, won by over one minute and thirty seconds driving an open class rally specification 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. In an amazing show of determination and grit, Pastrana completed the event nursing an extremely sore collarbone, which he broke in a motocross accident less than a week ago. His Subaru Rally Team USA teammate, BMX legend-turned-rally pro Dave Mirra, finished 6th overall with co-driver Derek Ringer.

The Sno*Drift Rally was held on over 130 miles of snow and ice-covered roads in northern Michigan. Constantly changing weather and road conditions historically make this rally extremely challenging. This year's event featured forest roads that were a virtual skating rink after recent warm weather melted the snow cover which then refroze this past week, leaving the roads covered in a thick sheet of ice. Rally America rules prohibit the use of spiked or studded ice-tires, placing a high premium on traction. Many competitors commented that conditions were the most treacherous they have ever experienced due to the lack of snow cover over the ice as well as the extremely small snow banks, which when present, help keep errant rally cars on the road and away from the trees.

Pastrana led from the second stage and never looked back, advancing his lead to nearly fifty-five seconds after only the first of two days of competition. With a healthy lead in-hand, Pastrana and co-driver Christian Edstrom spent the second day focusing on a safe and conservative driving strategy but were still able to extend their lead even further, eventually winning by one minute and thirty-seven seconds over former Canadian Rally Champion Antoine L'Estage. Thirteen of the event's twenty stages were won by Pastrana.

"I drove as smoothly as I could because my shoulder was so sore," said Pastrana at the finish. "We didn't put a wheel wrong all weekend and really the key to the victory was the perfect setup of my Subaru for the conditions. It enabled me to stay calm, smooth and mistake-free." Pastrana had broken his collarbone last Sunday during a motocross ride and had to undergo surgery this week to plate it back together before he could drive.

"Travis really put in one of his best driving performances given his recent injury and the very challenging stage conditions at this year's Sno*Drift Rally," acknowledged James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc. "An incredible effort by our team helped support our winning result, from the car preparation and development made by the staff at Vermont SportsCar to the time dedicated in testing and car setup performed by Dave [Mirra]. Our team cars, based on the 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, maximized traction via their Subaru symmetrical all-wheel drive systems even in these slick roads."

After racing behind the wheel of a Super Production class Subaru with Subaru Rally Team USA in 2009, the BMX legend turned rally pro Dave Mirra entered the Sno*Drift Rally stepping up to the much more powerful Open Class car in 2010. Mirra's new Open Class specification Subaru Impreza WRX STI, like Pastrana's STI, pumps out over 320hp and 500 lb-ft of torque when fitted with the class mandated 34mm turbo restrictor. Mirra's goal for Sno*Drift, especially considering the extremely icy conditions, was to simply finish and gain valuable time behind the wheel of his new ride. Mirra ran as high as 4th Overall through the latter stages of the rally but a spin and light impact with a tree on the final stage cost him several minutes and two positions, slipping him to a 6th Overall finish. "I don't have much experience in these conditions or in this new more powerful Subaru, so I was very hesitant early on," explained Mirra. "I got faster and more comfortable throughout the rally, and I think things were clicking very well but a spin just a few turns from the finish of the rally ended up costing me a few positions. I'm just happy to have finished though, since the roads were so icy and treacherous."

Subaru Rally Team USA heads next to the second round in the Rally America championship, the 100 Acre Wood Rally, scheduled on February 26 - 27 in southern Missouri.

Follow Subaru Rally Team USA on Twitter: www.twitter.com/srtusa
Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), DC Shoes, BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, Alpinestars, Motul, Exedy, GReddy and Vermont SportsCar. Visit www.subaru.com/rally for Subaru Rally Team USA photo galleries, news and team information.

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