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Wellsboro, Pa., June 1, 2012 - Subaru driver and defending Rally America National Champion David Higgins aims to stretch his lead in the 2012 championship standings this weekend at the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR). Higgins and his co-driver Craig Drew will challenge an entry list of nearly 70 cars using their BFGoodrich Tires-shod 2012 Subaru WRX STI rally car. The 2012 edition of STPR marks the 36th anniversary of this event, the oldest, continuously running motorsports event in Pennsylvania, and home to round four of the six-round 2012 Rally America National Championship. Higgins narrowly won STPR in 2011 but will be under less pressure this year as he has already amassed a large lead atop the Rally America points standings after just the first three events.
This legendary rally is known for its high-speed serpentine dirt roads that plunge through the forests of north central Pennsylvania. The event will take place June 1-2 with headquarters at the Tioga County Fairgrounds. If conditions are wet, and current weather forecasts predict may be the case, the clay-based roads can become extremely slippery and challenging.
Subaru Rally Team USA (SRT USA) driver David Higgins nearly locked the Rally America National Championship title with a decisive win at the previous round, the Oregon Trail Rally. The team sits 35 points ahead of the pack with three more events to go, but only two points separate second and third place making the STPR event an important one in deciding many teams' fates.
"I'm really looking forward to STPR, these are classic rally stages which are a challenge because the roads are hard to read as they twist through the dense forest," explains Higgins. "It is very important to have a good co-driver and good notes. The weather, too, can play a factor with rain in the forecast; the conditions may turn treacherously slippery on the clay-based forest roads. Road conditions can change very quickly from dry and dusty to wet and greasy, but we are confident that the combination of our Subaru WRX STI and BFGoodrich Tires put us in a great position for all of the variables."
Higgins' key championship rivals are Canadian Rally Championship regulars Antoine L'Estage and Leo Urlichich. Higgins won the 2012 STPR over L'Estage by a mere 1.3 seconds and fully expects L'Estage to be his biggest challenger again. "We know our Canadian rivals will be tough competition, especially with being fresh from the Canadian Rally Championship's Rocky Mountain rally less than a week ago, the extra seat time should help them. However, we are in a great spot in the Championship points race so we are under no pressure to finish on top, but we are here to win and expect nothing less."
For more information on the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally visit: http://www.stpr.org/
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.