January 27th, 2014
(January 27, 2014) Defending Rally America Champion David Higgins kicked-off his 2014 Title defense with authority by winning the Sno*Drift Rally this past weekend at the wheel of his 2014 Subaru WRX STI. Higgins, with co-driver Craig Drew, dominated the event winning 16 of the event’s 20 ice and snow covered stages to win by over two minutes. The win extends Higgins’ amazing streak of Rally America podiums to 19 in a row as he begins his fight for his fourth straight Rally America Championship.
The 2014 Sno*Drift Rally, now in its 48th year, was comprised over 130 miles of twisting, tree-lined, ice and snow covered roads in Northern Michigan near the towns of Atlanta and Lewiston. Frigid and windy conditions greeted competitors this year while the roads were the usual varied mix of snow and ice. The challenge of racing on the roads that compose the Sno*Drift Rally are compounded by rules which prohibit studded or spiked competition ice tires, meaning traction is fleeting and driving skill truly shines.
“A great result for the team. Last year Antoine (L’Estage) hurt us really bad when he beat us on the last stage at Sno*Drift,” said Higgins, referring to being edged out in 2013 by chief rival and multi-time Canadian Rally Champion Antoine L’Estage. “These difficult conditions can change so quickly and you never know what you are going to get. That just makes me pleased to set the year off and get the points in the bag. Now I am looking forward to getting on the gravel at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood.”
Higgins was locked in a tight battle with L’Estage again at this year’s event. Midway through the first day, Higgins trailed L’Estage by eight seconds. Higgins fought back on the night stages and took the lead from L’Estage, ending Day One ahead by over 26 seconds. On the second and final day however Higgins never looked back and won ten of eleven stages while increasing his lead to over two minutes at the finish.
The entry list and the top finishers at Sno*Drift are typically stacked with Symmetrical All Wheel Drive Subaru rally cars and 2014 was no different. Of the 58 entrants 25 were Subaru rally cars while seven of the top ten finishers were at the wheel of a Subaru.
Subaru Rally Team USA heads next to the Ozark foothills of Missouri for the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, February 21-22, where Travis Pastrana will re-join the team as teammate to Higgins. Pastrana won four consecutive Rally America Championships (2006-2009) with Subaru Rally Team USA.
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), Method Race Wheels, RECARO, PIAA, Race Proven, and MOTUL. 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 and Instagram: @srtusa.