Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team Battles in Global RallyCross Debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Dave Mirra Reaches Finals Heat in #40 Subaru WRX STI Rallycross Car


Charlotte, N.C., May 29, 2012 - The 2012 Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) kicked off this weekend within the immense confines of the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team was there to do battle amongst a total of 17 participating Rallycross teams. Seasoned team drivers Dave Mirra and Sverre Isachsen, as well as Rallycross rookie Bucky Lasek piloted their race-prepared Subaru WRX STIs against stiff competition on a unique road course incorporating parts of the oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. The Rallycross ran immediately following the NASCAR Nationwide race in front of thousands of likely new fans in attendance.

"I had many unknowns here with a new team, a new car, and a new series," explained Sverre Isachsen, the reigning European Rallycross Champion who recently stepped away from defending his crown in Europe to join the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team and compete in the GRC. "Although I was unable to make it to the Final due to a minor mechanical problem I have gained a really, really good feeling about my Subaru during this first event with it. We have only just started the development of our car yet I had the pace to challenge our rivals here in Charlotte, who have been developing their cars for Rallycross for years. They are at their limit yet we are just scratching the surface, so the potential I see is very good. It was a good weekend for me to learn this and get some time in the car, so I'm very confident now. We will fight for victory at the next round, I am sure of it." Isachsen finshed in second place in his first heat but was slowed by a mechanical issue while leading the Last Chance Qualifier race, which would have sent Isachsen on to the Final.

The second new face driving a Subaru this year is skateboarding legend Bucky Lasek. Although Lasek is a Rallycross rookie he is no stranger to auto racing and has competed in a variety of circuit racing events over the past ten years. Lasek is driving a lower specification Subaru STI RallyCross car for the initial few rounds of his burgeoning Rallycross career as the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team focus on Lasek's development and training program. But Lasek is a quick study and put in an impressive drive in his debut event finish in third place in the Last Chance Qualifier race, just over one second behind second place and what would have been a spot in the Final. "I've driven many cars but this Subaru STI Rallycross car is just wild," said Lasek. "The best way to explain what my first Rallycross event was like is comparing it to being dropped into a pool filled with piranhas, except I enjoyed it immensely! I'm really happy with my performance as I stayed out of trouble, stayed smooth and learned so much, so it was a great first step for me and an amazing experience."

Dave Mirra advanced to the Final with a second place finish heat race and was fighting among the lead pack of cars when young Finnish Rallycross driver Toomas Heikkenen, who collided heavily with Mirra, abruptly ended his race. Heikennen was subsequently black-flagged and disqualified from the Final for the aggressive move. Mirra was ultimately classified as an eighth place overall finish. "It was wild out there and things just didn’t go my way in the Final," explained Mirra. "I was pretty upset at the time when I was knocked out, but ultimately I realized we learned a lot this weekend and it was great to get back in my Subaru."

Added James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc., "Our preparations during the off-season to build a competitive rallycross product looks to be on-target after coming away from the Charlotte [Motor Speedway] round. We have a substantial driver line-up, and they each adapted well to their respective Subaru WRX STI rallycross cars. It was a shame that Dave [Mirra] was knocked out in the Final, but we are looking forward to showing an even stronger effort moving into Texas [Motor Speedway] in two weeks' time."

For additional information about Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team visit: http://www.subaru.com/rally. Become fan on http://www.facebook.com/subaruofamerica and follow @subaru_usa and @srtusa. #PUMAGRC

For more information on GRC visit: http://www.global-rallycross.com/

About Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team USA

Subaru Puma Rallycross Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), PUMA, BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, Motul, Exedy, and Vermont SportsCar.

Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team Heads to Charlotte, N.C. For Round One of the Global RallyCross Championship

Debut race for all-new team led by BMX freestyle icon Dave Mirra, three-time and current European Rallycross Champion Sverre Isachsen, and pro-Skateboarder Bucky Lasek


Cherry Hill, N.J., May 23, 2012 - After months of development and testing, the Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team (SPRT) is ready to prove their mettle at this weekend's season opener of the 2012 Global RallyCross Championship (GRC), at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.  Seasoned drivers Dave Mirra, and Sverre Isachsen, as well as Rallycross rookie Bucky Lasek will pilot their race-prepared Subaru WRX STIs against some stiff competition as they race head-to-head on a unique road course utilizing parts of the oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Following the HISTORY 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on May 26, SPRT will attack the custom-built three-quarter-mile Rallycross course, which will be constructed along the front straight and pit road of the historic one and a half-mile superspeedway.  Race fans will have a stadium view of all the action as drivers navigate their vehicles through hairpin turns, a series of chicanes, and water features.

"I am excited to kick off the GRC season in my home state," said team driver Dave Mirra. "We are bringing Rallycross to a new group of racing fans and I think that they are going to be excited by what they see.  Our Subaru PUMA RallyCross team has had a great off-season to prepare for this race and we are ready to push our cars to the limit to come out on top."

Drivers will be signing autographs and visiting fans prior to the start of Saturday's Global Rallycross feature event. Throughout the Coca-Cola 600 weekend, fans can see the 550+-horsepower turbo-charged machines in Rally Park, a special pit area set up outside of Turns 1 and 2.

Tickets for the HISTORY 300 and Global Rallycross double-header start at $25. Children 13 and under are admitted free. The competitor pit area will be open before and after the race to give fans an up-close look at the high-performance rallycross cars. To purchase tickets, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.  The race will be broadcast live May 26 on ESPN2 at 8:00pm E.T.

For more information on GRC visit: http://www.global-rallycross.com/

About Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team USA

Subaru Puma Rallycross Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), PUMA, BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, Motul, Exedy, and Vermont SportsCar. For more information on the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team, as well as exclusive photo and video galleries, visit subaru.com/rally. For the latest news follow the team on Twitter: twitter.com/srtusa. #PUMAGRC

Aquilante And Spaude "Storm" New Jersey Track, Subaru Team Wins on Home Turf.

- Subaru WRX STI Climbs From 45th to First in 45 Laps. -


Phoenixville, Pa. - May 14, 2012 - The Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) drivers Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude won round four of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) race on Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park near Millville, N.J.

Although the team qualified on the pole position, Aquilante, Spaude, and their race-prepared #35 Subaru WRX STI, had to charge through the field from 45th place on lap 31, after serving stop-and-go penalties.

Intent on making up for the lost track positions Aquilante marched forward and took the race lead with nine laps to go; and eventually secured the win by a 2.224-second margin. It was the team's second straight podium finish this season and their first Grand Sports class win in the Subaru WRX STI sedan.

"This win has been coming for a long time," said Joe Aquilante, owner of Phoenix Performance in Phoenixville, Pa., which prepares the team's Subaru racecars. "The Subaru excels on track configurations that reward superior handling qualities over outright top speed."

Bret Spaude, of Bushnell, Fla., earned his first CTSCC series pole position with a 91.373mph lap of the 2.25-mile Thunderbolt Raceway configuration of the multi-faceted racetrack. Spaude dropped back to second place at the start and held that position, staying close to the bumper of Lawson Aschenbach's race-leading car. On lap 25, Spaude pitted for gas, fresh tires, and turned the driving over to teammate Andrew "AJ" Aquilante.

A stop-and-go penalty plus an additional 30 seconds for accidental contact with a neighboring team's spare tire on the way out of the pit box dropped the team to 45th place. Aquilante went on a determined charge; he was in fourth place by lap 56 when the team called him in for a final pit stop, dropping the Subaru Road Racing Team entry to 12th place after pit out.

On lap 70, Aquliante passed David Donohue for third place, drove by second place Eric Curran on lap 73, and took the race lead on lap 75 as he erased a quarter-second deficit to race leader Charles Espenlaub. Aquilante finished the 83rd and checkered flag lap with a 2.224-second margin over Espenlaub and the rest of the 23-car Grand Sports class, which was part of a 59-car, two-class field.

"I dug myself a hole, when I incurred those pit lane infractions, and just had to drive my way out of it," Andrew Aquilante explained. "I know we have a great car, and when things like that happen, you just have to stay cool, put your head down and drive the wheels off. Our Subaru WRX STI was running strong all weekend, the handling was superb, and we know this track really well since it's where we perform most of our on-track testing."

"To finish on top in completely dry conditions and re-starting after serving our penalties truly shows the performance development from our Subaru WRX STI," commented James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc. "Our Subaru core technologies, including the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, were firmly on display this weekend. Plus, securing the win in front of our fans at our home track of New Jersey Motorsports Park, where Subaru is the Official Automobile and Pace Car, made this result that much more special."

The race-prepared #35 Subaru Road Racing Team WRX STI is developed to compete against rival teams fielding cars producing over 400-horsepower.

The New Jersey B+ Heroes 200 race TV broadcast on SPEED TV is scheduled for May 26 at 2pm (ET). The next GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race is June 8 - 10 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where the SRRT has won in prior years.

Sponsors for SRRT include Subaru Of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), Hawk Brakes, Ron Davis Racing Radiators, Automotive Racing products, Lista, Rotary Lifts, Carbonetic, and Perrin.

About SRRT Phoenix LLC
SRRT Phoenix LLC represents the Subaru of America Inc. road racing effort in the 10-round GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series and is owned and managed by Joe Aquilante of Phoenix Performance, LLC. The team's 32,000 sq. ft. facility is in Phoenixville, Pa., 40 miles west of Philadelphia, Pa. Team drivers Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude race a Subaru WRX STI in the Grand Sport class.

For more information about the team and the cars, call Joe Aquilante at 610-482-0141. Fans can visit the team's website at www.srrtphoenix.com and the Phoenix Performance website at www.phoenixperformance.net

"Homecoming" Awaits Subaru Road Racing Team at New Jersey Track

- Drivers Aquilante And Spaude Look to Build on Third Place Finish at Previous Round -


Phoenixville, PA. - May 9, 2012 - This weekend the Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) travels to New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP), near Millville, N.J., for the fourth round of the 2012 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Championship. The B+ Heroes 200, a two-hour, 30-minute sprint race, is scheduled for Saturday, May 12 at 3:15pm (EST) Two weeks ago, SRRT drivers Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude surfed the waves of the rain-swept Homestead Miami Speedway to put their 4-door #35 Subaru WRX STI race car into third place; the team is eager and confident for this weekend's race.

"Reaching the top of the podium this Saturday would mean a great deal to our team as NJMP is the closest GRAND-AM event to our race shop and less than an hour's drive from the national offices of Subaru of America," said Joe Aquilante, owner of Phoenix Performance in Phoenixville, Pa., which prepares the team's Subaru WRX STI race cars.

Team driver Bret Spaude, of Bushnell, Fla., will qualify the 4-door #35 Subaru WRX STI, and drive until it is time to slot teammate Andrew Aquilante of Chester Springs, Pa., into the cockpit for the charge to the checkered flag.

"Our success at Homestead [Miami Speedway] was a culmination of our crew's collective sweat and determination over the past six months along with continued support from Subaru," said Joe Aquilante. "Bret put in a blistering lap time during qualifying to place the #35 Subaru on pole for the race start, and Andrew put the all-wheel drive capabilities of our WRX STI to effective use when the heavy rain fell."

The race-prepped #35 SRRT WRX STI is developed to compete against rival teams fielding cars producing over 400 horsepower.

The Homestead race TV broadcast on SPEED TV is scheduled for May 12 at Noon (EST). Broadcast of the B+ Heroes 200 is scheduled for May 26 at 2:00pm (EST).

Sponsors for SRRT include Subaru Of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), Hawk Brakes, Ron Davis Racing Radiators, Automotive Racing products, VAC Motorsports, Rockland Standard Gear, Ecutek, Lista, Rotary Lifts, Cusco, Carbonetic, Hella, and Perrin.

About SRRT Phoenix LLC

SRRT Phoenix LLC represents the Subaru of America Inc. road racing effort in the 10-round GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series and is owned and managed by Joe Aquilante of Phoenix Performance, LLC. The team's 32,000 sq. ft. facility is in Phoenixville, Pa., 40 miles west of Philadelphia, Pa. Team drivers Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude race a Subaru WRX STI in the Grand Sport class.

For more information about the team and the cars, call Joe Aquilante at 610-482-0141. Fans can visit the team's website at www.srrtphoenix.com and the Phoenix Performance website at www.phoenixperformance.net.

Subaru Rally Team USA Driver David Higgins Dominates Oregon Trail Rally for second year in a row

Win in Oregon Stretches Points Lead for Defending Rally America Champion Higgins


Portland, Or., May 7, 2012 - The storyline and the results of the 2012 Oregon Trail Rally mimicked the 2011 edition of the event with Subaru Rally Team USA's David Higgins again leading from the start and pulling away for victory. The win, his fourth Oregon Trail Rally career victory, vaults Higgins even farther out of reach of his rivals in the points standings as he seeks to defend his 2011 Rally America Championship title. Higgins and his co-driver Craig Drew kept their mettle while at the wheel of their BFGoodrich Tires-shod 2012 Subaru WRX STI after their closest challenger dropped out of the event and Higgins ran nearly unchallenged for a large portion of the event.

The Oregon Trail Rally began Friday evening with short mixed-surface spectator friendly stages at Portland International Raceway where Higgins jumped to a nine second lead by winning all four stages. For Saturday and Sunday, teams moved on to the technical and fast gravel roads east of Portland in the shadow of Mt. Hood along the Columbia River Gorge.

Higgins' dominating win at Oregon had its only hiccup early on the second day as he slid off a slippery, rain soaked, corner at high speed. The #75 Subaru WRX STI literally bounced back on the road but the encounter with the scenery inflicted moderate damage to the suspension along with mild body damage. Higgins was able to drive back to the subsequent scheduled service and a quick repair from his service crew put his STI back on the charge. Higgins soon learned that his arch rival Antoine L'Estage was out of the event with a mechanical problem which meant Higgins could set a more prudent pace for the remainder of the event, driving just fast enough to maintain and even extend his lead without taking any undue risks. He went on to win by a margin of nearly four and a half minutes plus won 12 of the event's 16 special stages.

"This is a big win for us and gives us a really firm grip on the championship," explained Higgins. "We took maximum points and Antoine [L'Estage], our closest rival, did not finish, so it couldn't have gone any better really. Our Subaru was just perfect, it's so well suited for these conditions and really proved this weekend to be equally as tough too."

Added James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc., "We're coming away from Oregon with a commanding points lead, but our team will continue pushing our technical development agenda forward through the balance of rallies in the 2012 season. "

Subaru Rally Team USA welcomes PUMA as a new sponsor. The sportlifestyle brand becomes the official supplier of team and racewear and an exclusive licensing partner to the team for footwear and apparel. PUMA also is the official team sponsor of the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team of Dave Mirra, Sverre Isachsen, and Bucky Lasek.

Subaru Rally Team USA next travels to Wellsboro, Pa., for round four of the Rally America National Championship, the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally on June 2, 2012.

Subaru Rally Team USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), PUMA, BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, PIAA, Exedy, Motul, and VP Racing Fuels. For more information on Subaru Rally Team USA, as well as exclusive photo and video galleries, visit subaru.com/rally and for the latest news follow the team on Twitter: twitter.com/srtusa.

Subaru announces PUMA® as new team sponsor for three-car Global RallyCross Championship program.

- Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team line-up announced with drivers Dave Mirra, Bucky Lasek, and Sverre Isachsen -


Cherry Hill, N.J., May 4, 2012 - Subaru of America, Inc. has announced the official sponsorship of sportslifestyle brand PUMA for the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team. As part of the multi-year sponsorship agreement with Subaru, PUMA becomes the official supplier of team and racewear and an exclusive licensing partner to the team for footwear and apparel. As part of the team sponsorship PUMA has developed custom graphics for the three Subaru WRX STI program cars.

The Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team is the factory backed rally team for Subaru of America, Inc., managed by Subaru technical partner Vermont SportsCar. The all-star team consists of BMX legend and professional Rally athlete Dave Mirra; Professional skateboarder Bucky Lasek; and three-time European RallyCross champion Sverre Isachsen. The team will be competing in the six-round Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) series.

To view the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Teaser click here.

"I am stoked to have Sverre and Bucky join the team," said rally veteran Dave Mirra "Sverre has been an unstoppable force in European rallycross and will definitely be an asset to the team with his experience and talent. I have known Bucky for years on the X Games circuit, it is great to see another extreme athlete cross over to rallycross; his enthusiasm for racing and fearlessness should be great to watch."

Sverre Isachsen, aka The Viking Warrior, has been a motorsports addict his whole life. After competing in local autocross and rallycross events in his native Norway, he set his sights on the European RallyCross Championship. After a strong debut in 2002 he dominated the series and was crowned its champion in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

New to the team, 12 time X Games Skateboarding Vert Medalist Bucky Lasek, is no stranger to the world of automotive racing. Bucky has competed in the Mustang Challenge series as well as a handful of Porsche Cup races. He began intensive rally training at Dirtfish Rally School where he honed his all-wheel drive skills behind the wheel of a Subaru WRX STI.

The team will compete in 2012 Subaru WRX STI rally cars that have a fresh new look for rallycross featuring a unique Zombie Cat graphic. PUMA brings a fun and colorful design aesthetic that, when mixed with the adrenaline of the sport, is sure to excite drivers, fans, and spectators alike. Mirra, Lasek, and Isachsen will sport official fireproof PUMA racing suits emblazoned with Zombie Cat graphics, and a new performance-racing shoe called the PRX Subaru. PUMA will be releasing lifestyle footwear, tees, and accessories inspired by the team and rally cars beginning in June.

"The sportlifestyle that PUMA represents is a great fit for Subaru, owners, and motorsport fans", said Dean Evans, Chief Marketing Officer for Subaru of America, Inc. "We are pleased to align with another global brand, and one that will enhance the image and awareness of our rallycross team."

"Subaru builds incredible sports performance vehicles and in working with them, we were able to apply our creative design approach with the graphics and color application," said Antonio Bertone, Chief Marketing Officer for PUMA. "We are thrilled to be working with Subaru, they have a long, successful motorsports history that matches well with our brand."

Rallycross debuted in the United States at Summer X Games 16 in 2010. Modeled after the popular European sport of rallycross, the US version pits drivers against each other for side-by-side racing on surfaces that vary from dirt, asphalt and a 70-foot gap jump. Competitors progress through a series of timed heats to the final race where winner takes all. Multiple drivers start at once and fight for position in the final four-lap race. The GRC takes the best attributes of circuit, off-road, and rally racing that results in intense competition in venues that are fan-friendly.

The six-round 2012 GRC will be in venues across the United States including the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Summer X Games 18 in Los Angeles. GRC has teamed up with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and the IZOD IndyCar Series at popular racetracks to provide weekends of action-packed, racing excitement for the fans. ESPN will broadcast the races live, channel information and times to be released at a later date.

The first round of the GRC will be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26, 2012. For more information on GRC visit: http://www.global-rallycross.com/

For additional information about Subaru Rally Team USA visit: http://www.subaru.com/rally. Become fan on http://www.facebook.com/subaruofamerica and follow @subaru_usa and @srtusa.

For more information about PUMA and PUMA Motorsports visit www.puma.com/motorsports. Become a fan on http://www.facebook.com/puma and http://facebook.com/pumamotorsport. Follow PUMA on Twitter at @puma

Media Contacts:

Sean Maynard, Subaru of America, Inc.
Sean.maynard@subiepr.com, Office: 248.805.1656

Katie Sheptyck, PUMA North America:
Katie.sheptyck@puma.com, Office: 978-698-1295


About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.

About PUMA

PUMA is one of the world's leading Sportlifestyle companies that designs and develops footwear, apparel and accessories. It is committed to working in ways that contribute to the world by supporting Creativity, SAFE Sustainability and Peace, and by staying true to the principles of being Fair, Honest, Positive and Creative in decisions made and actions taken. PUMA starts in Sport and ends in Fashion. Its Sport Performance and Lifestyle labels include categories such as Football, Running, Motorsports, Golf and Sailing. Sport Fashion features collaborations with renowned designer labels such as Alexander McQueen and Mihara Yasuhiro. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Cobra Golf and Tretorn. The company, which was founded in 1948, distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs about 11,000 people worldwide and has headquarters in Herzogenaurach/Germany, Boston, London and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit http://www.puma.com

This press release is available at www.media.subaru.com

"Subaru", "WRX STI", all model names, and the Subaru logo are registered trademarks of the Subaru subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd, Japan.
Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.

# # #

Subaru Driver Higgins sets out on the Oregon Trail

- Rally America Champ David Higgins resumes title defense at Oregon Trail Rally this weekend -


Portland, Or., May 3, 2012 - Subaru Rally Team USA driver and defending Rally America Champion David Higgins is full of confidence heading into this weekend's Oregon Trail Rally, the third round of the 2012 Rally America National Championship. Higgins won the Oregon Trail Rally convincingly in 2011, and enters this year's event with a firm lead in the 2012 Rally America Championship standings. Higgins will look to repeat his success in Oregon at the wheel of his BFGoodrich Tires-shod 2012 Subaru WRX STI.

The 2012 Oregon Trail Rally will begin tomorrow, Friday, May 4 with a set of mixed surface stages held at the Portland International Raceway in front of thousands of fans before moving to the scenic farmlands in and around The Dalles and Dufur area on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday May 6, where nearly 100 miles of gravel special stages await the competitors. Higgins and his co-driver Craig Drew will battle over sixty teams in Oregon, the second largest entry ever for the event.

"There is such a big mix of roads here with the race track on Friday, then very twisty and rough roads on the Saturday and the Sunday it's like a race track on gravel with some very, very fast roads," explained Higgins. "From a driver's perspective this means there are a lot of changes in rhythm to contend with and that's before worrying about what the weather might be like."

Last year at Oregon the team debuted their latest evolution Subaru WRX STI rally car and with the new car Higgins led from the start and took victory by over three minutes. For 2012 Higgins is in that same STI but the car has been developed and refined further, making Higgins confident a win here is possible again. However, Higgins is keenly aware that a strong points finish, not necessarily a win, would be enough to maintain his position atop the standings.

"Last year was great for us in the new car but the team has kept improving the package little by little and so I'm very happy with the pace we have now with it," explains Higgins. "It would but great to win the event and stretch our lead in the championship but it is always important to finish. I plan to drive my normal pace to start and then see if we need to give it that little extra once we get to midpoint. The weather can play a big part but I am happy with my Subaru in all conditions so that should not be a big worry."

Live online video streaming coverage of rally action and exclusive driver interviews will be available at www.rally-america.com. Online coverage is scheduled to begin Friday at 6:00pm PDT.

About Subaru Rally Team USA
Subaru Rally Team USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), PUMA, BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, PIAA, Exedy, Motul, and VP Racing Fuels. For more information on Subaru Rally Team USA, as well as exclusive photo and video galleries, visit subaru.com/rally and for the latest news follow the team on Twitter: twitter.com/srtusa.

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