July 14th, 2008
BMX legend and Monster Energy rally driver Dave Mirra drove to his best finish yet of his rookie rally season with a 7th Overall finish at the 2008 New England Forest Rally, round 6 of the 2008 Rally America National Championship. Mirra with co-driver Alex Kihurani set consistent top ten stage times against veteran rally drivers while behind the wheel of their BFGoodrich Tires-shod Vermont SportsCar prepared 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. This marks the best finish of Mirra’s burgeoning rally career after entering several rallies earlier this year in a lower specification Subaru rally car. Last month Mirra was confirmed as an “at-large” entry to the X Games 14 Rally Car racing event, to be held in Los Angeles on Aug 3rd .
The New England Forest Rally, Round 6 of the 2008 Rally America National Championship runs in and around the Maine/New Hampshire border on over 100 miles of highly technical and rocky gravel logging roads. The rally is highly regarded for its unique combination of fast but rocky roads, big jumps and the occasional moose! The 2008 New England Forest Rally served as a “Last Chance Qualifier” for entry into X Games 14, to be held in Los Angeles this August 3rd. The event’s top-finishing driver who had not already earned an invitation to the X Games would earn the coveted ‘last-chance’ spot. With an X Games Rally invite already in-hand, Mirra could go at his own pace while the front of the field battled hard for the ‘last-chance’ spot.
The impressive 7th Overall result didn’t come without drama however. Early on the second day of competition Mirra experienced a tire puncture that left him riding on a bare rim for most of a stage, dropping time and making the car extremely difficult to drive. However, the real scare came on stage eight, the longest stage of the rally at over 17-miles long. Midway through the stage Mirra ran wide and hit a dirt embankment, then suddenly the throttle was stuck to the floor, wide open! “It was crazy, the pedal got jammed down to the floor and the Subaru was just wailing at full throttle, there was nothing I could do but hold my foot on the brakes and get creative with what gear I was in,” explained Mirra. For Mirra, controlling a rally car stuck on full throttle and hurtling down a one lane, tree-line gravel road is something he’ll not soon forget. “The fans must have thought I was crazy because I came screaming around some tight turns way too fast, with the throttle pinned and totally sideways!”
Eventually Mirra started to feel his brakes give-in from the abuse, so he decided to stop the car and fix the throttle pedal. “I got it fixed and got going again, but now we had no brakes at all! It was crazy, and that is what rallying is all about!” Mirra lost well over two minutes on the stage, but he was able to continue on to the next service stop where the Vermont SportsCar technicians were able to repair the damaged brakes. Mirra was then able to continue on to the finish and his best result yet of his young rally career.
Next up for Mirra is the biggest event of the year for North American Rallying, ESPN’s X Games 14 in Los Angeles, Aug 3rd. Mirra will compete in both BMX and Rally car events. The X Games will be broadcast live on ABC with highlights and preview shows on ESPN.
Dave Mirra’s rally program is made possible by Monster Energy, DC Shoes, Vermont SportsCar, BFGoodrich Tires, Boost Mobile, RECARO, Motul, GReddy, PIAA, Exedy and Alpinestars.