February 24th, 2014
(February 24, 2014) Action sports superstar Travis Pastrana made a triumphant return to rally racing with a second overall finish at the 2014 Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. After nearly three years away from the sport, Pastrana, a former four-time Rally America Champion, has returned to his Subaru team for 2014.
“It’s great to be back! We really enjoyed ourselves and to finish second overall is more than we could have hoped for,” explained Pastrana. “We started off pretty conservative and I’m definitely still getting used to the limits of the new Subaru, which is an incredible machine. Chrissie (Beavis) and I worked great together and we were getting faster and faster with each stage, gaining confidence. We will need a few rallies to get up to our real pace but it felt great to be right there battling the top guys in our first event back.”
Pastrana began The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood with conservative ambitions, aiming to log miles and get back up to speed safely. He would need to acclimate to his new co-driver, veteran co-driver Chrissie Beavis, and a new 2014 Subaru STI rally car that is substantially faster than the Subaru he drove for the team nearly three years ago. In addition to those challenges a dislocated ankle and a still healing broken leg hobbled Pastrana throughout the weekend. Pastrana was up to the challenge and drove trouble-free while increasing his pace with each stage. He leapfrogged the leaderboard when his teammate David Higgins and key rival Antoine L’Estage were forced to withdraw late in the event. Battling competitors from Ford, Mitsubishi, and Scion, six of the top ten cars were a Subaru WRX STI.
Named after the storybook home of Winnie the Pooh, The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood is set in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. Representing round two of the eight event Rally America Championship, the rally features very high-speeds on smooth and flowing gravel roads that are a favorite of many rally drivers.
Pastrana’s Subaru Rally Team USA teammate David Higgins withdrew from the event on the second day while battling for the lead due to a mechanical issue. As a result Higgins’ incredible string of 19 straight Rally America podium finishes, stretching back nearly three full seasons, was snapped. As a consolation the streak continues on for Subaru Rally Team USA as a result of the podium finish Pastrana earned.
The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood marked the first time that Higgins and Pastrana have worked together on the same team. Higgins and Pastrana have dominated Rallying in the USA over the past decade, without ever having competed full time with or against each other. Higgins has won five Rally America Championships since 2002, including the last three in a row (2002-2003, 2010-2013), while Pastrana won four championships in a row from 2006-2010.
Subaru Rally Team USA has a short break before the next event; the Oregon Trail Rally held May 2-4 near Portland, OR.
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.