May 6th, 2007
Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana and his co-driver Christian Edstrom have driven their BFGoodrich Tires shod 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally car to a 10th place P-WRC (Production Car World Rally Championship) finish at Rally Argentina. Argentina was only the 2nd WRC event in Pastrana’s young career, after his debut at Corona Rally Mexico in March where he finished an impressive 5th overall in the P-WRC.
Rally Argentina is based in Villa Carlos Paz – a small lakeside town near the large city of Cordoba. The all gravel event is known for rough roads and dramatic water crossings. Speeds are typically high, but the stages feature numerous bumps and dips that test the rally car’s suspension and the driver’s mettle. Drivers must also contend with large rocks embedded in the hard road surface that have been known to tear wheels off.
The rally was an extremely challenging for Pastrana as he experienced first hand why Argentina has a reputation for breaking cars. First Pastrana lost time when his Subaru ingested water after hitting a water splash. Next it was a large rock that catapulted his rally car across the road and into a berm, damaging the rear suspension. Lastly he dropped from 8th to 10th place near the end of the rally after hitting a rock that subsequently punctured both front tires. Pastrana had to stop in the middle of the stage and change both tires with the help of his co-driver Christian Edstrom, losing seven minutes in the process.
“This was a real learning experience again just like at WRC Mexico,” said Pastrana. “We drove at our own pace and tried to stay out of trouble but here in Argentina trouble finds you! But we really don’t care where we finish, so long as we are get valuable experience while increasing our speed. It was great experience and practice for our full attack on the P-WRC next year.”
Another challenge for Pastrana was finding time to sign autographs for all of his Argentinean fans. Pastrana was the main attraction at the rally for many of the estimated 1 million plus spectators and was constantly mobbed by adoring fans.
Subaru Rally Team USA attended Rally Argentina with the same American based team of mechanics and management that handle their assault on the Rally America National Championship, where Pastrana reigns as the defending national champion. Subaru Rally Team USA will compete in three WRC events this year, the next being Rally Great Britain, in preparation of a full P-WRC calendar of six global events in 2008 and 2009.
Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), DC Shoes, BFGoodrich Tires, Boost Mobile, Recaro, Alpinestars, Motul, Exedy, PIAA and Vermont SportsCar. Visit www.subaru.com/rally for Subaru Rally Team USA photo galleries, news and team information.