June 5th, 2012
Podium Finish Puts Higgins One Step Closer to Second Consecutive Rally America Driver’s Championship
Wellsboro, Pa., June 4, 2012 – Subaru driver David Higgins completed the biggest comeback of his career to finish second overall on the sinuous and technical dirt roads of Pennsylvania’s 2012 Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR), round four of six in the 2012 Rally America National Championship. Higgins dropped over three minutes to the leaders after a mechanical problem struck his Subaru on the event’s first stage dropping him down to 13th Overall. With his BFGoodrich-tires shod Subaru WRX STI fully repaired for STPR’s second and much longer day of rallying, Higgins pushed hard and climbed the leaderboard, finding himself on the podium at the finish. The strong result retains Higgins’ substantial lead in the 2012 Rally America Championship standings and puts him within a handful of points of securing his second straight Rally America crown with two events still remaining.
On STPR’s very first stage Higgins’ Subaru experienced a transmission problem, forcing Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew to limp through the day’s three stages before they could reach their service crew for repairs. The duo lost nearly three minutes and dropped to 13th Overall on the leaderboard. The Subaru Rally Team USA technicians repaired the #75 SRT USA STI, and Higgins was primed for a big attack on the second and much longer day of rallying that included nearly 90 miles of gravel stages through the dense forests of north-central Pennsylvania.
Higgins ascended the leaderboard throughout Saturday as he won seven of the 10 competition stages by large margins. However, the biggest push came mid-day after stage nine, when with just four special stages remaining, Higgins found himself in third overall but a seemingly daunting one-minute and 41 seconds behind second place driver Leo Urlichich. Higgins continued to push hard and amazingly clawed back all of that time and more, vaulting him into second place overall.
“My Subaru team did an awesome job getting the car repaired and we went on maximum attack the next day,” explained Higgins. “Third place was my goal but when we began to pull big time on a few stages we knew second place was possible and went for it. This was one of the best comebacks of my career and it was really good fun to be able to push hard like that. These stages are so difficult when you have to push because the trees are so close to the road and the stages are very fast! You can never read the road by sight so a great co-driver and great notes are key and I had both this weekend, so big thanks to (co-driver) Craig Drew.”
Added James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc., “After a frustrating first three stages, both David and Craig rose to the occasion to claw back time on the leading pack and ultimately finish second at STPR. The team has placed themselves in a solid position to retain the national title with two rounds remaining in the championship with our #75 SRT USA STI.”
Subaru Rally Team USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), PUMA, BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, Motul, Exedy, PIAA and VP Racing Fuels.
For additional information about Subaru Rally Team USA visit: http://www.subaru.com/rally.