July 11th, 2012
July 2, 2012- At high-noon this past Sunday, The Subaru PUMA Rallycross team sidled up to the starting line on South Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles for the X Games 18 RallyCross . The Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team includes two of X Games’ most decorated athletes, Dave Mirra and Bucky Lasek, who are joined by three-time European Rallycross Champion Sverre Isachsen of Norway. The trio were unexpectedly joined by defending Rally America Champion and Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins who was invited late Friday after Finnish driver Toomas Heikinen crashed out of the event on the jump. The highlight of the weekend for the team, and arguably the event as a whole, was the impressive Heat Three win by Subaru driver Sverre Isachsen over defending X Games Rallycross Gold medalist Brian Deegan. Isachsen performed a jaw dropping start where he launched from the outside position over to the inside and into the lead and kept Deegan at bay for the duration of the heat. The scintillating heat win sent Isachsen to the front row of the Final. Isachsen was caught out in the Final however when he became tangled in a bottleneck of cars at the first turn and damaged his Subaru STI.
“This has been a really good weekend for us. The car was so good, and I was right up there,” explained Isachsen. “The heat win was very good for the team, we know our Subaru is a competitive car and can win. The Final was very difficult being on the outside of the front row [at the starting grid], as the course was so narrow at the first turn, I had nowhere to go.”
The team suddenly grew from three cars to four on Friday evening, when Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins was invited to compete in the team’s spare car, replacing Finnish Ford driver Toomas Heikkinen who crashed spectacularly Friday on the gap jump. Higgins was on-site with the Subaru PUMA RallyCross team to serve as team spotter for Dave Mirra and did not expect to suit up, having left all of his driving gear at home. Higgins slipped on Bucky Lasek’s spare Puma driving suit and driving shoes and got behind the wheel of the team’s spare car, which coincidently was Lasek’s car from the previous two GRC rounds, still sporting Lasek’s gray and orange team livery.
“After competing last year and winning a Bronze in the head-to-head Rallycar Racing format I really wanted to race again at X Games this year, so this was a dream come true,” explained Higgins. “But having virtually no test time or practice in the car and just jumping in was both challenging and exciting to say the least.” Higgins finished second in his heat race to land a spot on the second row of the Final and was classified as 7th Overall after his Subaru STI was hampered by damage caused by on-track jockeying for position. Dave Mirra and Bucky Lasek were seated in the Last Chance Qualifier where they were edged out of placement for the main race.
RallyCross at the X Games has grown to an incredibly competitive level. Though not on the podium at this event, Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team USA has continued to evolve in pace with the sport and has demonstrated that they are a competitive force. The Global RallyCross series continues in two weeks.
Subaru Puma Rallycross Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), PUMA, BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, Motul, Exedy, and Vermont SportsCar. For more information on the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team, as well as exclusive photo and video galleries, visit subaru.com/rally. For the latest news follow the team on Twitter: twitter.com/srtusa.