Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team Show Impressive Speed, Endures Chaos at Charlotte

(Sept 22, 2013) The Subaru PUMA RallyCross team were on pace to potentially grab a double podium or victory at the penultimate round of the 2013 Global RallyCross Championship in Charlotte before a series of chaotic race incidents.  Team drivers Sverre Isachsen and Bucky Lasek both easily advanced to the Final with impressive drives in their Heat races. In the nine-car Final however a tumultuous first lap saw Isachsen  taken out from behind while making a pass for the race lead.   The race was red flagged and restarted, but again the race succumbed to carnage, with Isachsen being pushed off course and into a water barrier, forcing him to retire. Lasek, who was in 2nd position before the race was restarted ,  lost the power steering on his car due to contact, but  was able to soldier on to a 6th place finish in the restarted Final, albeit with extremely sore and worn arms.

The final classification of 6th overall for Lasek and 8th for Isachsen doesn’t tell the whole story of the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team’s event at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  After a season of development on the Subaru STI rallycross cars it was evident that the team has found the speed and reliability to now battle for victories.  Both Isachsen and Lasek were extremely competitive all weekend and Isachsen’s launches off the start line were clearly the class of the field, helping put Isachsen in contention for victory in the Final before being taken out from behind.

“I’m not very happy with how others were driving in Charlotte, I’m very upset because we had a very good chance at victory here,” said a frustrated Isachsen.  “My Subaru was impressive and we had very good starts and very good speed.  We were fighting for victory.”

Lasek had one of his best events to date in his still young Rallycross career. For the first time, Lasek advanced to the Final via a heat race transfer spot, rather than the Last Chance Qualifier. This put Lasek on the 2nd row of the Grid, beside teammate Isachsen.  Had the Final not been red flagged Lasek may well have been fighting for a podium or win, as he slotted into 2nd overall on the chaotic first lap. The ensuing restart would not go his way.  Race contact caused his power steering to fail making his Subaru extremely laborious to steer.

“That was the hardest nine laps of my career. The power steering went away on the first lap and I had the worst arm-pump of my life,” explained Lasek. “I felt great in the car and really enjoyed getting to watch the LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier) for the first time and not having to be in it!  The track here in Charlotte was a lot of fun but it’s disappointing we couldn’t all have a clean Final.”

The Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team heads next to the Big Event 5 at Gillman Subaru Southwest in Houston, Texas on October 5th where team drivers Lasek, Isachsen as well as Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins will appear.   The team then heads to the massive SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada for the final round of the 2013 Global RallyCross Championship, to be held Nov 7th.





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Photography: Lars Gange - rally.subaru.com