Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana posted a decisive victory at the 2010 Olympus Rally, Round 2 of the Rally America National Championship, while his teammate Dave Mirra earned his first ever national podium with a 3rd place finish. The event featured nearly 100 miles of sinuous, tree-lined logging roads near Aberdeen and Ocean Shores, Washington, as well as one of the strongest entry lists yet for a North American rally. The victory, number two for Pastrana thus far in 2010, moves the defending four-time Rally America Champion up to 2nd Overall in the national point's standings.
Pastrana, with co-driver Christian Edstrom, led from the start of the event in their BFGoodrich Tires-shod 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, winning eight of the event's thirteen competition stages. The duo enjoyed a tight battle early against an extremely competitive field but Pastrana's speed coupled with the reliability of his Subaru STI helped separate the team from the rest of the chasing pack, many of whom lost further time to Pastrana due to mechanical problems or driving errors. Pastrana eventually finished over one minute and forty seconds clear of the 2nd-place finisher, former Canadian Rally Champion Antoine L'Estage.
"This rally was tough from the start. It was definitely the most intense field that we've had, though a lot of guys went out on the first day," explained Pastrana. "Our Subaru ran perfectly again with no problems at all, plus the setup and handling were just perfect. The roads were extremely technical, so good car setup was key here."
Although Pastrana topped the time sheets for most of the event, one of the biggest stories of the weekend was the driving of Pastrana's teammate Dave Mirra who stepped up his pace noticeably at the Olympus Rally. Mirra, co-driven by veteran Martin Headland, finished several stages in the top three overall and earned a 3rd Overall finish, his first-ever national podium in rallying. Mirra spent the 2009 season in a lower specification Super Production Class Subaru and is focusing his 2010 efforts toward acclimating to his new, more powerful Open Class Subaru STI. The success at Olympus is made even sweeter considering that just three weeks ago Mirra was hospitalized with a serious bout of bacterial meningitis. Although his entry at the Olympus Rally was in-doubt at the time, Mirra was able to fully recover and felt healthy enough to compete this past weekend.
"This is a really great result for us and I'm very happy with my stage times," said Mirra at the finish. "I'm slowly stepping up the pace and learning the capabilities of my new Subaru, and at this rally I made a big step forward. It was a good feeling to be at the top of the time sheets, challenging the fastest guys in the country." Mirra moves up to fourth Overall in the Rally America Championship standings just six points behind third Overall.
"Our results from Olympus [Rally] are a strong testament to the commitment and preparation by our drivers, team members, and overall competitiveness of our Subaru Impreza WRX STI," said James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America Inc. "Travis and Christian drove well and managed to close up the championship points gap while Dave and Martin maintained a strong pace to capture 3rd in the rally. The team and I are glad to see Dave back in his Subaru setting some quick stage times after recovering so quickly from his recent illness."