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Subaru Driver David Higgins Maintains Championship Lead with Second Overall Finish at New England Forest Rally
Cherry Hill, N.J, July 30, 2013 - Representing round five of the 2013 Rally America National Championship, the New England Forest Rally featured 120 miles of technical gravel forest roads along the Maine-New Hampshire border. The event is notorious for its challenging combination of smooth high-speed roads as well as very rough rocky roads, which can test the limits of durability and strength of competitors’ cars.
“It was a really good battle,” explained Higgins. “Our Subaru was perfect all weekend and we only lost time on the roughest stage of the rally where we maybe drove too conservatively. We simply ran out of stages as we reeled Ken (Block) in. I’m happy to have the points toward the championship and really looking forward to the next rally now!”
Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew spent the majority of the rally within sixteen seconds of Block before dropping time on the longest and roughest stage of the event mid-way through the final day. Higgins and Drew then began charging back, beating or tying Block on each of the final five stages and lowering the deficit from forty-three seconds down to just six and half seconds. But the duo ran out of stage miles, settling for second overall and remaining atop the championship standings.
Subaru Rally Team USA will bring their Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive 2013 Subaru WRX STI Rally Car to the Muscatell Ojibwe Forests Rally August 23-24, 2013, held around Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
For full press release, click here.
Subaru Breaks Guinness World Record
Itasca, Ill, July 24, 2013 - Subaru of America, Inc., in partnership with the Village of Itasca, has set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS record for the “Largest Parade of Subaru Cars.”
On Saturday, July 13, 2013, 371 Subaru owners from nine states broke the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS record for the “Largest Parade of Subaru Cars” in the world. In addition to breaking the record, Subaru and parade participants supported two very worthy charities -- PAWS Chicago and Salute, Inc. Both organizations received $5,000 to support their individual areas of philanthropy.
Subaru was the previous GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS record holder for “Largest Parade of Subaru Cars.” Subaru set the record with 339 vehicles parading on a 4.2 mile route through Itasca, Ill. in 2009.
“This year we had 371 Subaru vehicles and even more attendees join us on this special day. Attendees expressed that participating in a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ record was one of the items on their ‘life list” and they were thrilled to be able to check this item off of their lists,” said Tom Gehrke, regional manager for Subaru of America. “The best part of the event was being able to support the efforts of Salute, Inc. and PAWS Chicago.”
“All of us at Salute thank Subaru for a great event. It was very well organized; we had a great time and are very grateful. Corporate support is essential to our organization and we appreciate all that Subaru has done for us,” said Mary Beth Beiersdorf, founder and executive director, Salute, Inc.
“PAWS Chicago would like to congratulate Subaru for setting the Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Parade of Subaru Cars,’” said Rochelle Michalek, executive director Paws Chicago. “We were excited to be part of this record setting day and would like to thank Subaru for their generous donation that will go directly to saving the lives of more homeless pets.”
For press release, click here.
Subaru Driver Sverre Isachsen Impressive in Fourth Overall Finish at Global RallyCross Round in Bristol, Tennessee
Cherry Hill, N.J., July 23, 2013 - The Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team was fighting at the top during Round 5 of the Global RallyCross Championship held July 20th at Bristol Motor Speedway. Team driver Sverre Isachsen, a former three-time European RallyCross Champion, won his heat race advancing him to the front row of the Final. An impressive start by the Norwegian saw him run as high as 2nd Overall before race-contact crushed his exhaust, robbing his Subaru STI of power and dropping him back to 4th Overall, the team’s best finish thus far in 2013 after competing in three earlier events. Teammates Dave Mirra and Bucky Lasek showed impressive pace but narrowly missed out on advancing to the Final.
Opened in 1961, Bristol Motor Speedway is nicknamed “Thunder Valley” and is referred to as the world’s last great coliseum, owing to its deep bowl seating and steep concrete banking. The Bristol Global RallyCross course featured a unique layout with a mix of dirt and concrete sections as well as a large jump. The Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team entered three Vermont SportsCar prepared 600hp Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive 2013 Subaru STI RallyCross cars for drivers Sverre Isachsen, Dave Mirra and Bucky Lasek.
Isachsen got things rolling for the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team with an impressive Heat win in which he drove smartly, taking the longer “joker lap” early, then reeling in his rivals and passing them handily when they later chose to take the required joker lap. The victory advanced Isachsen straight to the Final and a spot on the coveted front row of the grid.
His teammates Bucky Lasek and Dave Mirra had much more difficult Heat races. Mirra retired from his Heat race after taking damage early while Lasek was unable to finish in the top two in his Heat race, landing both Subaru drivers to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). In the LCQ Mirra unfortunately was slowed by a punctured tire while Lasek drove well but came up just short, finishing in fourth, just behind the last transfer spot.
Isachsen then went to battle for the team in the Final. Starting from the front row Sverre muscled his way into 2nd Overall after a chaotic start. His impressive fight for the win was cut short however when another competitor hit him in the rear and subsequently crushed his exhaust, causing his Subaru to lose power. Isachsen would soldier-on and finish 4th Overall.
“The other teams see that we’re coming up now, and trying to push the limit every time,” said Isachsen. “The team is working really hard and it’s getting better and better in every race. To win my heat and be on the front row of the Final is a good result and I’m very happy. I’m really looking forward to X Games in Los Angeles now!”
The team heads to Irwindale Speedway for the ESPN X Games in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 4th and broadcast live on ESPN at 5:30pm ET.
For press release, click here.
Isachsen 6th, Lasek 8th at Hard Fought Global RallyCross Round 4 in New Hampshire
Cherry Hill, N.J., July 16, 2013 - The Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team returned to competition in the USA after overseas Global RallyCross (GRC) rounds in Barcelona and Munich. The fourth round of the GRC was held Thursday July 12th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on unique course using part of the track’s oval and pit lane while including dirt, tarmac and a jump. The team’s development of the Subaru STI Rallycross cars in the off-season began to pay dividends in New Hampshire where Team leader Sverre Isachsen qualified 3rd Overall and both he and teammate Bucky Lasek were able to progress to the Final.
Reaching the Final for the second time in his burgeoning Global RallyCross career Lasek put forward his best performance to date. In the Last Chance Qualifier race Lasek pulled off an impressive late race pass to finish 3rd and move to the Final. Then in the Final Lasek ran in 5th Overall for a majority of the ten lap Final. Just a few laps from the finish however a foreign object entered his engine bay and terminally damaged his engine on his 600hp Subaru STI. “I drove the wheels off my Subaru here and it was great to be running in the top five,” explains Lasek. “What happened was very unlucky but anything can, and does, happen in Rallycross and this just makes me even more eager to get to the next round in Bristol (Tennessee).”
Isachsen had a strong qualifying run, setting the 3rd fastest time and advanced to the Final with a second place finish in his Heat race. In the Final however Isachsen’s Subaru got a poor start dropping him to the back of the field, forcing the Norwegian to battle through the field to a 6th Overall result. “I enjoyed the car here, we had a small issue at the start in the Final but overall we were able to run strong and we just need a clean run now to get the results we know we can achieve.” Subaru driver Dave Mirra had an event fraught with bad luck as a freak mechanical failure in his first heat race knocked him out of contention. Mirra’s confidence was buoyed however by setting the fastest lap time in the first timed practice.
The Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team will now take their Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive 600hp 2013 Subaru WRX STI Rallycross cars to Bristol Motor Speedway for round 5 of the 2013 Global RallyCross Championship. The event will be broadcast LIVE on ESPN July 20th at 1:30pm ET.
For press release, click here.
Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team to Compete at New Hampshire Motor Speedway July 11
Cherry Hill, N.J., July 10, 2013 - On July 11th, Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team drivers Bucky Lasek, Dave Mirra and Sverre Isachsen will race head-to-head against a pack of International stars at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Round four of the 2013 Global RallyCross Championship (GRC). The trio will each pilot their Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive 600hp 2013 Subaru WRX STI Rallycross cars on a custom dirt and tarmac course. The event will stream live on ESPN3.com at 5:30 p.m. ET. The event will also be broadcasted on ESPN July 13th at 7:30 p.m. ET. The team is eager for another run after team leader and three-time European Rallycross Champion Sverre Isachsen qualified 3rd fastest and then 5th fastest at the previous double-header round in Munich, Germany. Isachsen was set to finish 4th Overall in the Final at Munich before being spun out from behind by another competitor on the final lap.
The event will run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Affectionately named the “Magic Mile”, the track is typically used for NASCAR oval racing. The Rallycross course utilizes a section of the oval but also includes tight turns, a jump and will be nearly 40 percent dirt. After globe-trotting to Barcelona and Munich in recent months, this race is in the backyard of the team. Subaru technical-partner Vermont SportsCar, based in Colchester, Vermont manages the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team for Subaru of America.
The Global RallyCross Championship pits drivers against each other for side-by-side racing in turbocharged 600hp all-wheel drive cars on surfaces that include dirt and asphalt as well as jumps. Competitors progress through a series of timed heats to a final, winner-takes-all race. The GRC combines the best attributes of circuit, off-road, and rally racing resulting in intense competition.
“I'm looking forward to racing in the USA again,” explains the Norwegian Sverre Isachsen. “The Subaru was awesome in X Games Munich and I would have finished fourth, but Ken Block drove right into me in the final. Ken has apologized and I accept his apology and now I'm ready for a clean fight with him and all the other GRC drivers in New Hampshire! A podium is my aim.”
Teammates Dave Mirra and Bucky Lasek had challenging events at the previous double-header round in Munich are eager to start fresh in the USA. “New Hampshire can't come any quicker for me,” said Bucky Lasek, who is in his sophomore year as a Rallycross driver. “I've been working hard on training and I’m really focusing on getting into the Finals now and onto the podium.”
“It felt great to be back in the car at the Munich X games. Despite a few issues that kept me out of the Final on Sunday my Subaru felt very good. The team has really developed the car further in the off-season and we are all full of confidence,” explained Dave Mirra.
Grandstand gates will open at 1 PM EST Thursday July 11th, with GRC Lites & Supercar Heats. Additional activities include the popular NASCAR Hauler Parade, which will start at 4 p.m. plus a NASCAR driver autograph session and live band to follow the GRC racing at 7:30 p.m.
For press release, click here.
Isachsen Slammed out of Fourth Place Finish at X Games Munich RallyCross on Final Lap
Cherry Hill, N.J., July 8, 2013 - The Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team kicked off their 2013 race season with a weekend fraught with challenges at X Games Munich. The team nearly had redemption in hand for Race Two of the double-header event when Sverre Isachsen, who was set for an impressive 4th place finish in the Final, was spun out from behind by another competitor, forcing him to retire. The offending competitor, Ken Block, was later disqualified from the Final for the aggressive maneuver; however Isachsen remained classified in 8th overall.
The X Games Munich RallyCross event was a double-header affair after the previous Global RallyCross Championship round in Barcelona was cancelled due to heavy rains. The event began on Saturday with Isachsen qualifying an impressive 3rd overall, but a mechanical problem in the Race One heats forced Isachsen to miss a chance at reaching the Final. On-track incidents inhibited Subaru team drivers Dave Mirra and Bucky Lasek from reaching the Final as well.
With Saturday’s bad luck behind them, the team began Sunday’s second event with the resurgence of Isachsen qualifying 5th overall in his Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive 600hp Subaru WRX STI. Isachsen then advanced straight to the Final after passing his teammate Lasek, finishing second overall in his Heat race.
Mirra missed his chance at reaching the Final after being unable to avoid a crash unfolding in the first turn of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) and sustained heavy damage in the process. After the LCQ was restarted, it was Lasek’s turn to find trouble entering the chaotic first corner, where up to ten 600hp Rallycross cars attempted to funnel into one single racing line. Lasek skillfully evaded another incident unfolding in front of him entering the first turn, but lost several positions in the process. Lasek fought back to finish 3rd overall, just one position shy of a transfer spot to the Final.
In the Final, Isachsen rocketed from the start, but was nearly spun by a competitor in the first turn. Isachsen counter-steered but his line was too far to the inside, forcing him to clip the water barriers near the turn’s apex which pitched his Subaru up on two wheels. His Subaru was on the verge of flipping over but Isachsen saved the car from rolling, landing back down on all four wheels and powered through the turn. Although his car sustained damage in the incident, Isachsen battled his way to 4th overall, where he stayed for the majority of the ten lap race. Then, to the dismay of Isachsen, he was spun out from behind by Ken Block just three turns from the finish line forcing him to retire. The offending competitor was disqualified from the Final for the aggressive maneuver. Isachsen’s final classification was 8th Overall.
The Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team will now head straight to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the next round of the 2013 Global RallyCross Championship, Thursday July 11th and airing LIVE on ESPN at 1:30pm ET.
For press release, click here.
SUBARU REPORTS 42 PERCENT INCREASE IN JUNE SALES; BEST-EVER JUNE FOR FORESTER AND OUTBACK
Cherry Hill, N.J., July 2, 2013 - Subaru of America, Inc. today reported 39,235 vehicle sales for the month of June, a 42 percent increase over June 2012. The company also posted best-ever June sales for Forester and Outback models. Year-to-date sales for Subaru total 204,597 – 25 percent higher than the same period in 2012.
June Forester sales totaled 10,170, a 41 percent increase over June 2012 and best-ever June for the model. The 2014 Forester was recently named a 2013 Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2014 Subaru Forester is also the highest-safety-rated small SUV by IIHS.
June was also a record month for Outback sales. Monthly sales for the popular Outback model totaled 12,210, 32 percent higher than June 2012.
“We are thrilled to close the first half of 2013 with such record numbers,” said Thomas J. Doll, president and chief operating officer, Subaru of America, Inc. “Our products are being well-received and we are looking forward to adding Subaru’s first-ever hybrid vehicle to our product line-up later this year.”
“Subaru sold more than 200,000 vehicles in six months, which is a record setting pace for our brand,” said Bill Cyphers, senior vice president of sales, Subaru of America, Inc. “Consumers are looking for safety, versatility and durability; shoppers are finding that in Subaru showrooms.”
For press release, click here.