May 17th, 2011
(May 17, 2011) Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins, at the wheel of his BFGoodrich Tires-shod 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, won convincingly at the Oregon Trail Rally, round four of the 2011 Rally America Championship. Higgins and his co-driver Craig Drew won the event with a gap of nearly three and a half minutes ahead of his closest rival after a dominating performance on the event’s technical and rain drenched roads. The victory in Oregon is Higgins’ second win in a row in the Rally America National Championship and the points haul has vaulted him into the lead of the driver standings with just two events remaining. Higgins’ Subaru teammate Dave Mirra went off the road and rolled his Subaru on Leg Two while sitting in 3rd overall; both he and co-driver Marshall Clarke were unharmed in the incident.
The 2011 Oregon Trail Rally began with a set of mixed surface stages held at the Portland International Raceway in front of thousands of fans before moving to the scenic farmlands in and around The Dalles and Dufur area for days two and three. The event began with dry and dusty roads but heavy rains and thunderstorms moved into the area during day two which made conditions extremely challenging for competitors.
Higgins led from the start of the first leg at Portland International Raceway by winning all four stages and achieving a small lead of over ten seconds heading into Leg Two’s traditional gravel stages. On Leg Two’s first loop of stages, Higgins experienced a problem with his rear brakes, dropping him just one second off of the lead. After having the brake issue addressed during the first service break, Higgins went on maximum attack and won the remaining three stages of the day convincingly. Higgins’ closest rival, defending Rally America Champion Antoine L’Estage, was hampered by multiple tire punctures which contributed to the time gap to Higgins to eventually create a virtually insurmountable lead of nearly three and a half minutes.
Higgins then spent the third and final day of the rally conserving his lead and staying out of trouble as he went on to win his second consecutive Rally America event with a victory by over three minutes and twenty six seconds.
“This is a fantastic win and although we had a nice lead early on, the rain made conditions treacherous and it was a big challenge the whole way,” explained Higgins. “My Subaru STI, my co-driver and many of the stages in the championship are new to me this year and we knew it would take a few events to get the rhythm going, but we are there now and the team and I have a really high level of confidence headed into the final two events.”
Subaru Rally Team USA now heads back to the east coast for the final two rounds of the 2011 Rally America National Championship; The Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania June 3-4 and the New England Forest Rally based out of Newry, Maine July 15-16.
Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, Vision X, Alpinestars, Motul, Exedy, VP Fuels and Vermont SportsCar. For more information on Subaru Rally Team USA, as well as exclusive photo and video galleries visit subaru.com/rally and for the latest news follow the team on Twitter: twitter.com/srtusa.