November 21st, 2007
BMX legend Dave Mirra will make his competitive rally racing debut this weekend at The Rally Of The Tall Pines, the last round of the 2007 Canadian Rally Championship, held in Ontario, Canada. Mirra will be at the wheel of a Monster Energy Subaru Impreza rally car fielded by the Vermont SportsCar team. Joining Mirra in a second Subaru fielded by Vermont SportsCar will be Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block, who narrowly missed out on winning the 2007 Rally America National Championship at the final round last month.
Mirra, who turned pro in 1992 holds the record for most X Games medals, (and most Gold medals), and has medaled in every X Games since they started in 1995. His current X Games medal count is 21.
“Going to my first rally and being able to do it with Ken Block is a priceless opportunity. Since this is my first rally I just need to finish and get the experience,” explains Mirra. ”If everything goes as planned, my goal is to race most of the 2008 Rally America National Championship and get my full Rally America license so I can drive a more powerful car later in the year. Thanks to Vermont SportsCar , Monster Energy, and DC Shoes for this opportunity!”
Mirra isn’t just jumping into his first event with no training. He has already completed four days at the Team O’Neil Rally School in New Hampshire, where he spent some time driving one of Ken Block’s Group N Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally cars. Then earlier this month Vermont SportsCar provided a private two-day training session for Mirra with rally legend John Buffum, where he honed his newly learned skills even further. Mirra will drive an entry level specification Subaru Impreza with a non-turbo motor and limited modifications. He will have experienced Canadian Co-Driver Alan Ockwell at his side to guide him to the finish.
Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block is both a friend and sponsor of Mirra, through DC Shoes, the company Block co-founded. ”The reason for going to the Tall Pines Rally is to hang out with Dave Mirra for his first ever rally race. He is good friend of mine, and a DC sponsored athlete, so I want to try and help him get through his first event the best that I can,” commented Block.
Block will not be running his regular Subaru Rally Team USA Open Class car, but instead a lower specification Subaru Impreza WRX STI that he made famous with his 171ft jump for the Discovery Channel show ‘Stunt Junkies’ late last year. With tight Thanksgiving holiday schedules, Block and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino must skip the two-pass reconnaissance prior to the event. ”I have to miss the reconnaissance, so I feel that I am at a distinct disadvantage racing against the very talented Canadian contingent that will do the recce, but I’ll try my best!”
The 2007 Rally of the Tall Pines will get underway this coming Saturday at 9:00am (EST), in Bancroft, Ontario. There will be fifteen, primarily gravel, special stages but early winter conditions create the distinct possibility of snow and mud. The event’s website will have results and news updates throughout the weekend at www.TallPinesRally.com.