June 26th, 2004
Colchester, VT (June 26, 2004) X Games star Travis Pastrana, in only his third professional rally race, finished 6th in class at the 2004 Pikes Peak International HillClimb this weekend. The legendary event is held annually on the 12.5 mile treacherous mountain road that weaves its way up to the 14,110 foot summit of Pikes Peak in central Colorado . Pastrana conquered the famed ‘Race to the Clouds’ in a Vermont SportsCar prepared Subaru WRX STi rally car.
The mountain however proved to be a worthy adversary for the 20-year-old rookie rally driver. Before tackling the traditional bottom-to-top run on Saturday, Pastrana raced on shorter sections of the mountain as part of the SCCA ProRally portion of the event. The second stage was held Friday at 3am on a section of Pikes Peak never before used for racing. The early morning hours meant complete darkness, damp roads and patchy fog. Travis and his co-driver Michael Fennell nearly had a clean run but with less than a mile to the finish Travis carried too much speed into a tight hairpin left. His car left the road, hit a large ditch and rolled, eventually landing on its wheels. Pastrana and Fennell were unharmed in the shunt but their Subaru rally car sustained heavy damage. The Vermont SportsCar rally team feverishly repaired the damaged Subaru in order for Pastrana to compete in the main event the following morning, the run for the Pikes Peak International HillClimb Championship.
Although sporting some obvious battle scars, the car was fully repaired by Vermont SportsCar and ready to run on Saturday morning. Pastrana set out on the mostly gravel, 12.5 mile, 156 turn course with thousands of fans lining the road to watch. Pastrana decided to play it safe, drive conservatively and make it to the summit unscathed. “We took no chances really, I know could have gone much faster but I really wanted to make it to the top. It was an absolute blast,” explained Pastrana. Pastrana’s conservative drive was good enough for a 6th place finish in the SCCA ProRally Open Class. “The occasional mishap will happen for an inexperienced rally driver like Travis, but Travis handled it very well and had a clear head the next day for the all important run to the top, that shows real talent,” said Lance Smith, Team Director and owner of Vermont SportsCar.
Vermont SportsCar is proudly supported by Motul Lubricants, PIAA competition lights, RECARO seats and Speedline Wheels. For more information on the rally efforts of Subaru of America visit the newly updatedwww.rally.subaru.com.