Oregon Trail is always one of the most beautiful rally locations of the Rally America National Championship season. This year was no different, with Mt. Hood as the backdrop and wide open flowing gravel roads creating the perfect scenery.
With no Ken Block, Travis Pastrana or other factory sponsored driver, the 2015 Rally America Championship is Subaru Rally Team’s David Higgins and Craig Drew’s to lose. And lose, they have not. SRTUSA has been dominant all year, taking victories at Sno*Drift, 100 Acre Wood and now Oregon Trail. It’s gonna be a steep road for anyone trying to make a run at them the rest of the season.
When you think about the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, immediately visions of fast sweeping gravel roads pop into your head. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the most popular Rally America events of the year. This year was set to be no exception with 65 entries, but Mother Nature had her own plan. With snow and ice already on the ground, bitterly cold temps moved in for Friday morning. Shakedown started at 8 AM and the temp on my BMW 128i’s dash read 3 degrees Fahrenheit. Why had I got up at 5:30 AM for this, I thought to myself as I pulled on my Columbia snow pants over top of my jeans to try to stay warm. Then as I wandered down the ice covered gravel road towards a tight corner at the top of the hill I remembered just how beautiful the forest was at this time in the morning. It was quiet and peaceful and soon to be filled with the glorious sound of rally cars tearing through it. More…
Lost a tire earlier in the stage
But that’s ok, cause I’m still fly
David Higgins + Craig Drew
#75 Subaru Rally Team USA #srtusa
2014 Rally America Champions
2014 Rally America Oregon Trail Rally
The path to glory is long and dark
Victory lingers in the air
As you race towards destiny.
David Higgins & Craig Drew
#75 Subaru Rally Team USA [SRTUSA]
Rally America Oregon Trail Rally
2014 Rally America Champions
Another Throwback Thursday to the forests of the 100 Acre Wood. This time featuring David Higgins and Craig Drew in the Subaru Rally Team (SRTUSA) STi Rally car. Something about this photo emulates rally. Maybe it’s the car slightly sideways, the cloud of dust, the spray of rocks or the sunlit forest road with menacing trees right at the edge. Or maybe it’s just Higgins who just claimed the 2014 Rally America National Championship, Congrats to him and the Subaru Rally Team. More…
It’s Thursday, so that means another Throwback Thursday photo. This one is from my very first trip to SCCA Solo Nationals in 2007 at Heartland Park Topeka. Something about the positioning of the cone, the Subaru tripoding, the banners in the background, the sun glinting off the wheel, the big wing…. I don’t know it just screams AUTOCROSS! Still one of my favorites.
The 2014 running of the Rally America Rally in the 100 Acre Wood was a tough one for a lot of competitors. Nearly half of the field was forced to retire early from the rally, including last year’s winner David Higgins and Craig Drew in their Subaru Rally Team STi. Higgins suffered engine failure on the first stage of Saturday. The rough conditions also claimed Antoine L’Estage’s run. L’Estage ran into issues with his power steering half way through the day on Saturday.
With 2 of the top challengers out of the rally, Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino had a clear run to the top of the podium and another victory in Missouri. Block jumped out to nearly a half a minute lead at the end of the first day ahead of Higgins. L’Estage was almost another 30 seconds back in third and Travis Pastrana; making his return to Rally America in a factory Subaru sat in fourth.
After Travis Pastrana and Dodge cut ties after the 2013 Global Rallycross season and with Subaru only having one full-time driver in 2013, there was a bunch of speculation as to whether or not we might see Pastrana back in a Subaru for 2014. Well, it’s official, Pastrana and #199 is back. Pastrana will be teaming up with David Higgins for the 2014 Rally America season for the Subaru USA Rally Team.
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Rally America needed some big news after Ken Block announced last week that he would be cutting back on his participation in Rally America to at most 2 events. Block blamed other commitments and conflicts as to why he would be missing most of the season. Adding a big name like Pastrana is a big boost that Rally America needed. Pastrana’s announcement comes just in time for the first Rally America National event of the year, SnoDrift on January 24-25 in Atlanta, MI.
Rumors are swirling about what Travis Pastrana will be doing next year. One thing is for sure, Pastrana will not be in a Dodge Dart for the 2014 Global Rallycross season.
“Yes, we’re wrapping up our partnership with the Pastrana 199 Racing team in the Global RallyCross series. At this point in time – Chrysler Group has no firm plans to participate in Global RallyCross next season,” said Dan Reid, Chrysler Group Communications SRT, Motorsports and Product Design.
Travis has also stated that he is done with NASCAR as well. Could we see Travis back in a Subaru for next year’s Rallycross and Rally America season? It’s sure looking like that might be a big possibility.
Winter storm Q moved through the Salem, MO area Thursday dumping snow, ice and freezing rain on the area making many people dub the 2013 100 Acre Wood Rally as Sno*Drift Remix Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. The snow on the roads made for some slippery conditions. Some rally teams were a little unprepared and forgot to pack snow tires and some even had trouble making it at all, but snow and ice does not stop rally! More…