August 2nd, 2006
Subaru Rally Team USA drivers Travis Pastrana and Ken Block are ready to kick off the first ever X Games Rally, today Aug 2, 2006. The X Games Rally is a standalone, invite only event within the 2006 Rally America National Championship, it marks the first time any form of car racing has been included in the hugely popular ESPN X Games. Today the invited drivers will tackle eight gravel stages north of Los Angeles, then on Saturday August 5th the event will conclude with a special stage in and around the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, televised LIVE on ABC starting at 3pm EDT. Joining Subaru Rally Team USA, all driving Vermont SportsCar prepared Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally cars, are former WRC Champion Colin McRae and 2005 Rally America PGT Class Champion Tanner Foust. McRae, one of the most successful World Rally Drivers in history as well as one of the most popular, is the clear favorite to take X Games Gold. McRae will be joined by his longtime co-driver Nicky Grist. Joining McRae will be 2005 Rally America PGT class Champion Tanner Foust and co-driver Scott Crouch. In addition to Foust’s rally career he also has found success as a Hollywood stunt driver and is a top drifter in the Formula D Series.
The four drivers have completed two days of testing in their freshly built Open Class Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally cars. These are new cars for the X Games, they are lighter and more powerful than the cars that Pastrana and Block have used thus far in the 2006 Rally America National Championship, where and his co-driver Christian Edstrom sit atop the overall standings after their recent 2nd Overall finish at the Maine Forest Rally. All four cars will be shod with the latest BFGoodrich Tires. “We tested the cars for the first time on Monday and I instantly felt a very good difference, the cars are more nimble, more powerful,” explained Pastrana. “I can’t wait to showcase rallying at the X Games, its going to be amazing.”
“We are very focused, there are less total stage miles than a typical Rally America event, so everything counts so much, we really need to fast everywhere with no mistakes,” said Ken Block’s co-driver Ales Gelsomino.
The addition of rallying to the X Games will be a major boost for the growing sport in the USA. Hundreds of media from around the World are in Los Angeles covering the events and rallying will gain significant mainstream exposure. The Live coverage on a major network like ABC this Saturday afternoon will be a first for US rallying as well.
In addition to watching the rally stages on ABC this weekend, fans can keep up with the team and the event by visiting www.rally.subaru.com for daily photo updates and news. Also, a daily blog at www.wrc.com will follow Subaru Rally Team USA behind the scenes at the X Games while live updates and further event information can always be found at www.rally-america.com.
Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by DC Shoes, BFGoodrich Tires, STI (Subaru Tecnica International), SPT (Subaru Performance Tuning), Alpinestars, Motul, PIAA, Recaro, Meguiars and Vermont SportsCar.