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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.