The 2011 Sno*Drift Rally marks the first event in which David Higgins and Dave Mirra will be competing together for Subaru Rally Team USA. Beautiful wintery conditions set the scene for the first race of this year's Rally America National Championship. Light snow is in the forecast and surface conditions are already very different from last year's treacherously icy roads. Speeds should be significantly higher this year as the hard-packed snow offers lots of grip, especially with gravel showing through in some spots.
SRT USA got a taste of the conditions with a test session Wednesday morning. The team's drivers practiced tire changes in the below-freezing temperatures and took multiple runs on the test stage to familiarize themselves with the setups of their Vermont SportsCar-prepared 2011 Subaru WRX STIs.
This season sees many new additions to Subaru Rally Team USA, with a new driver and two new co-drivers.
Piloting SRT USA #75 is David Higgins, an accomplished driver with experience that spans the globe. In 2002, David piloted a Subaru to win the SCCA ProRally Championship (now known as Rally America). He won six events in the following year and claimed a consecutive championship title. He returned to Britain in 2004 and contested the full season to become the British Rally Champion. In recent years, he has also competed in the Chinese Rally Championship. David's co-driver, Craig Drew, has had podium finishes in the British, Chinese, and European Rally Championships; and he was also crowned British Tarmac Champion in 2010 in a World Rally Car.
Dave Mirra's new co-driver in SRT USA #40, Marshall Clarke, has twenty years of rallying and over 250 events under his belt. He's as much of a globe-trotter as his other teammates and has raced on four continents in a variety of championships. Marshall recently sat in the co-driver's seat for former Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana during a record-breaking run up the Mount Washington Auto Road. Marshall's vast experience and skillful adaptability will certainly be a great asset to Dave Mirra during his campaign of 2011 Rally America National Championship.