September 20th, 2012
Olympia, Wash. Sept. 20, 2012 – The gloves and the graphics will come off this weekend at the Olympus Rally, the final round of the 2012 Rally America Championship. Subaru Rally Team USA (SRT USA) driver David Higgins mathematically secured the Drivers’ Championship at the previous round and enters the Olympus Rally with a promise to drive flat-out in his 2012 Subaru STI rally car. The Subaru team’s traditional blue and yellow graphic livery will be replaced with a strikingly simple all-white graphic scheme, a veritable ‘white horse’, to commemorate Higgins’ four Rally America National Championship titles.
The Olympus Rally will be held September 22-23 in Olympia, WA, where over 70 teams will return to the gravel logging roads once used in the 1980’s when the Olympus Rally hosted a round of the World Rally Championship. The competition stages are located just outside of Olympia, Washington State’s capital, and will extend into the picturesque Pacific Northwest peninsula. Extremely dry conditions have resulted in an altered event schedule, which will keep the cars out of the forests during hot afternoon hours. Dust is likely to be a major factor for the top drivers, potentially slowing those behind the first car on the road.
Higgins and his co-driver Craig Drew will do battle against North America’s finest rally drivers including season long rival and Canadian champion Antoine L’Estage as well as Canadian front-runners and fellow Subaru drivers Patrick Richard and Leo Urlichich. Former Subaru driver Ken Block is also scheduled to compete. “It’s great to be able to enter an event without having to worry about points and so we can plan on going flat out if we want, but the dust may have a big impact on everyone,” said SRT USA driver David Higgins. “It’s always good to be on new roads, and I enjoy the fresh challenge this brings, plus it will be fun to be on some of the old WRC stages.” Higgins’ will pilot the same BFGoodrich Tires-shod 2012 Subaru STI that he has utilized all season except it will be virtually stripped of its graphics and painted white with the carbon fiber components left un-painted, creating a strikingly simple yet aggressive look to commemorate his fourth championship (2002, 2003, 2011, 2012) in the USA.
“Running an all-new, one-off livery on our SRT USA WRX STI that is such a stark departure from our usual colors and design is a fun way to highlight the team’s successful 2012 title run with David [Higgins] playing a large role in the new look,” added James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc. “From a competition standpoint, the recently revised and compressed rally schedule for Olympus, plus the extremely dry weather in the northwest region will likely pose challenges. I expect dusty conditions on stage roads will impact the progress of many drivers. David and Craig [Drew] experienced severe visibility concerns due to dust in the last round at the New England Forest Rally, and I would look to Rally America to make the necessary competition adjustments in an effort to minimize this handicap to affected drivers. Driving in the wake of a car’s dust that’s running ahead can be both difficult and frustrating.”
About Subaru Rally Team USA
Subaru Rally Team USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), PUMA, BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, PIAA, Exedy, Motul, and VP Racing Fuels. 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:@srtusa.
About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.
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