The 2013 Sno*Drift Rally, round one of the 2013 Rally America National Championship, was an epic seesaw battle between defending Rally America Champion David Higgins in his Subaru WRX STI and his arch rival, Canadian Rally Champion Antoine L'Estage. Higgins won or tied eight of the event's 20 stages while trading the lead three times throughout the two-day rally. On the final stage, L'Estage pulled past Higgins to win the rally by a mere 6.2 seconds. Higgins settled for second place overall but was content with the fact that he'll get a rematch with L'Estage at the next six Rally America rounds.
The legendary Sno*Drift Rally, now in its 47th year, comprised of 130 miles of twisting, tree-lined, ice and snow covered roads in Northern Michigan near the towns of Atlanta and Lewiston. The challenge of racing on the roads that compose the Sno*Drift Rally are compounded by rules which prohibit studded or spiked competition ice tires, meaning traction is fleeting and driving skill and patience truly shine.
"The rally started very well on first day and just when we built a bit of a lead we had the accident on stage six. We were so lucky to even be in the rally after that, let alone in the lead at end of day," explained Higgins. "On the second day we made a few small mistakes which cost us time. We tried to be very careful in the last two stages, to avoid mistakes again, but maybe I was too cautious while Antoine [L'Estage] was on full attack. It was a fantastic battle to be part of and great for the championship but one I would have rather won! You always learn from events but the only way I am going to feel better is to get revenge at the next rally!"
Higgins will get his re-match with L'Estage at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, February 22-23, based in the Ozark foothills of Missouri.