February 3rd, 2004
Colchester, VT – February 3, 2004 – Accomplished supercross star and X-Games gold medalist Travis Pastrana entered his first stage rally this past weekend at the wheel of a Vermont SportsCar prepared 2002 Subaru WRX rally car. The enthusiastic 20 year old was all smiles as he competed in the Sno*Drift ProRally, round 1 of the 2004 SCCA ProRally Championship. Pastrana impressed everyone as he finished half of the event’s 19 competitive stages with top ten stage times and proved that he can indeed be successful with four wheels beneath him.
The Sno*Drift ProRally is regarded as one of the most difficult rallies in the USA. The event runs on over 200 miles of treacherous ice and snow covered roads in the forests of Northern Michigan. Changing road conditions and large snow banks are among the hazards each rally driver must contend with. Just finishing the event is an immense accomplishment for any aspiring rally driver.
Vermont SportsCar paired Pastrana with ace co-driver Christian Edstrom whom finished the 2003 ProRally Championship in 2nd Overall. Edstrom was tasked with the job of keeping the eager Pastrana on a conservative pace throughout the event while he built his experience behind the wheel of his Subaru WRX.
“It was great to see his enthusiasm, his patience and his eagerness to learn about rallying,” explained a delighted Edstrom. “His skills are awesome, and I can’t wait to see what he can achieve with some more experience! It was a thrill to sit with him, we had no back flips, and only one 360, albeit on the ground!”
Pastrana’s hopes of a Production GT class win faded when his rally car twice encountered snow banks on day one and lost over 30 minutes. “At one point, Travis was almost entirely under the car, digging (in the snow) with his hands like a German Shepherd, to get the car to sink sufficiently to get some grip on the dirt,” laughed Edstrom. “The offs were really just dumb luck though, and not an indication of being in over his head.”
On day two Pastrana drove conservatively to avoid any more snow banks, yet his speed was clearly apparent as he finished seven of the day’s twelve competitive stages with top ten times and finished 19th Overall. “The Sno*Drift rally went way better than I could have hoped for,” said Pastrana “I finished the rally well, and feel very capable of competing at a top level, which was a great feeling after coming off the Porsche Cup [at the Indianapolis Formula 1 race last October], where my confidence took a nose dive.”