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September 18, 2009 - Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block will not be behind the wheel of his usual Open Class 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STI at this weekend's Rally Colorado and instead will pilot the Super Production class Subaru Impreza WRX STI of fellow Subaru teammate Dave Mirra. Mirra will not be competing at Rally Colorado due to a schedule conflict with this weekend's Dew Tour BMX event in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Block crashed his Open Class Subaru heavily at the previous event, The Ojibwe Forests Rally. Although Block and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino walked away unharmed their Subaru rally car was terminally damaged. With insufficient time to prepare a spare rally car, SRT USA has opted to provide Block with the team's Super Production class Subaru in Mirra's absence at Rally Colorado.
The Super Production (SP) class, a new category in the 2009 Rally America series, features minimally modified, production-based cars. The SP class features much more restrictive regulations on modifications than the Open Class, where Block has been driving for the past three seasons. The SP Subaru features a stock engine, stock gearbox and very limited body shell modifications.
"It will be a big challenge to just get in and drive that car, the handling and power will be different and I won't be able to be as aggressive with it," explained Block. "But with Travis [Pastrana] having locked-up the Rally America Championship already, I have no pressure to win. We can treat this outing as an extended testing and development session for the SP car, but of course I'll be trying my best to keep up with my usual Open class competitors!"
Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana mathematically secured his 4th consecutive Rally America National Championship with a win at last month's Ojibwe Forests Rally. Pastrana and his co-driver Christian Edstrom will enter Rally Colorado with no pressure and have vowed to drive flat-out to put on a show for their fans this weekend. Rally Colorado is based in the picturesque resort town of Steamboat Springs, just 150 miles into the mountains west of Denver. The rally includes over 100 miles of fast, high-altitude gravel roads that are dusty when dry and notoriously slick when wet. The action starts Saturday morning and runs through Sunday afternoon. Fans can follow the rally live at www.rally-america.com and view daily SRT USA photo and news updates at rally.subaru.com
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Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), DC Shoes, BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, Alpinestars, Motul, Exedy, GReddy and Vermont SportsCar. Visit www.subaru.com/rally for Subaru Rally Team USA photo galleries, news and team information.