June 21st, 2011
(June 20, 2011) Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins made an impressive debut in his first RallyCross competition this past weekend with a 2nd Overall finish at 3rd round of the Global RallyCross Championship held at Pikes Peak International Raceway near Colorado Springs. Higgins, a multi-time British and American rally champion had never competed in wheel-to-wheel rallycross before but his strong background in both rally and karting helped him adjust quickly at the wheel of his BFGoodrich Tires-shod 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI.
Higgins won both of his heat races Sunday and advanced to the front row of the A-Main final. The A-Main race featured eight of the top qualifying rallycross cars in two rows of four all vying for position heading into the first tight hairpin right. Higgins was placed on the outside of the front row and was squeezed out of several positions by those with the inside line heading into the first turn. Later while battling for position Higgins was spun out by a competitor but recovered quickly although valuable time was lost in the process. Higgins pressed on and moved from fifth to fourth midway through the race and then closely trailed a heated battle between rallycross veterans Tanner Foust and Michael Jernberg in the final laps. On the final turn before the finish, Foust and Jernberg collided and spun off track, allowing Higgins to pass them both and finish 2nd Overall behind race winner Marcus Gronholm.
“I love the wheel-to-wheel action as it reminds me karting which is what I was brought up with,” explained Higgins. “There is nothing like sitting on the start grid will all engines revving and your eyes all set on being the first off the line and into the first turn.”
Higgins has been testing and developing Subaru Rally Team USA’s new rallycross STI this season with teammate Dave Mirra having competed in the first two rounds of the Global Rallycross Championship. The car represents a significantly different specification than the stage rally car that Subaru Rally Team USA utilizes in the Rally America Championship.
“We have made some very good progress with the development of the car and we got much quicker after each race as we tried different settings. We left with some good ideas and a good feeling knowing there is still much more this car can do.”
Added James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru, “Our team really has done an exceptional job in meeting the competitive challenge against well-established rallycross models by developing the performance potential of our Impreza WRX STI into a competitive rallycross platform. Further, David [Higgins] adapted quickly to the course and event format applying precision driving to limit contact damage.”
Higgins now flies to the east coast to compete at the legendary Mt. Washington Hillclimb in New Hampshire, June 24-26. The Mt. Washington Hillclimb, known as the Climb to the Clouds is one of America’s oldest motorsports events having first run in 1904. The event was revived this summer after a ten year hiatus to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Higgins will drive a lightened and more powerful version of the 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI he utilizes in the Rally America National Championship in his course record-breaking attempt up Mt. Washington. More information can be found at www.climbtotheclouds.com.
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.