April 23rd, 2005
Motocross star Travis Pastrana finished 2nd Overall at the Oregon Trail Rally, round two of the Rally America Championship; in his 2004 Vermont SportsCar prepared Subaru WRX STi. The grueling three day race took place on 127 miles of tree lined gravel roads that snake their way through the lush forests west of Portlan , Oregon. The result is a testament to Pastrana’s raw talent behind the wheel as the Oregon Trail Rally was only his fourth professional rally race to date and featured an entry list stacked with some of the best rally drivers in North America.
“The roads were just insane, really great fun,” explained a champagne soaked Pastrana at the awards ceremony Sunday evening. “I really liked getting back into the car, its been ten months since my last rally so it was good to get accustomed to driving a Subaru rally car in competition and working with my co-driver Christian Edstrom.”
Pastrana ended the first day of the rally in 3rd overall but promptly won the first stage of day two and led the rally briefly at that point. However, Travis spent most of Saturday battling former World Rally Champion Stig Blomquist and defending US and Canadian rally champion Pat Richard for the lead. Not bad company for the 21 year old who has only competed in three rallies, all of them nearly a year ago.
When Canadian ace Pat Richard retired from the event midway through Saturday with a broken gearbox he left Pastrana as the sole challenger to the veteran Blomquist. Fighting a World Rally legend like Blomquist was not in Pastrana’s best interests, as his main goal for this rally was to just finish and get accustomed to driving again. The final day of the rally saw Travis and his co-driver Christian Edstrom focus their attention on preserving their podium spot by steadily building their lead over veteran Carl Jardevall in third. Pastrana finished the rally 2nd overall with nary a scratch on his new Subaru WRX STi rally car which the Vermont SportsCar rally team debuted this weekend.
“Our main goal for Travis was for him to just finish and get the experience he needs, while setting top ten stage times,” explained Vermont SportsCar Team Manager Lance Smith. “He showed great maturity in easing up toward the end to preserve his position.”
Pastrana’s Vermont SportsCar teammate is friend and sponsor Ken Block, co-founder of DC Shoes. Block, running a nearly identical Subaru was sitting in 6th Overall and moving up the leaderboard when he rolled his car on its side and lost nearly 15 minutes before getting the car back on its wheels and driving again. Block finished 16th Overall and 6th in Group N class, and thus picked up some valuable championship points.
The Oregon Trail Rally was round two of the eight events Rally America Championship which will be broadcast on the Outdoor Life Network this fall. Pastrana will next test his high speed bravery at the Susquehannock Trail Rally in Pennsylvania, June 4th. The smooth flowing Pennsylvania roads are considered the fastest rally roads in North America.
Pastrana’s rally program with Vermont SportsCar is made possible through the support of Subaru of America, DC Shoes, Red Bull, Michelin, PIAA and Motul. For more information on Pastrana’s rally program as well as event photos please visit www.rally.subaru.com.