August 29th, 2017
Subaru factory rally driver Travis Pastrana with co-driver Robbie Durant has claimed the 2017 American Rally Association (ARA) Driver’s Championship overall title after an intense, season-long battle with teammate David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew.
At the conclusion of the Ojibwe Forests Rally, the championship’s final round, ARA officials would need to apply two levels of tie-breaking rules to determine the champion.
Pastrana and Higgins traded wins over the inaugural six-round ARA championship leading into the final event. In order for Pastrana to claim the title, he would need to win the Ojibwe Forests Rally, and should Higgins finish in 2nd place at the rally, Pastrana would need to also win more overall rally stage wins than Higgins. The Subaru Rally Team USA factory duo battled so closely through the Ojibwe Forests Rally that an absolute winner wasn’t decided until the final two stages of the race. After a slight fault on the penultimate stage, Higgins would ultimately cede the rally and the Championship to Pastrana.
“We crashed out the last three years trying to chase David and Craig. They were spot on all year and they had a lot of adversity. We were able to make it work on the last stage and here. It is my dream come true. Thank you Subaru. Thank you for everyone who came out to the race. He (Higgins) is my mentor, my coach. I couldn’t have been here without that guy,” enthused Pastrana with Higgins beside him at the podium celebration.
“We gave everything we had. We had a big job on our hands after the time we lost on the first day with some adversity. Props to Travis and Robbie for a great rally and to win the championship. It was a great season and great competition. I’m looking forward to come back at it again.”
The battle to the finish line between our two guys to the very end of the season was as riveting as it was spectacular,” stated Subaru Motorsports Manager. “Subaru congratulates Travis Pastrana and Robbie Durant on their championship win and thanks both teams for claiming the inaugural ARA Manufacturers’ title for Subaru.”
A recap of the 2017 ARA Championship season for Subaru Rally Team USA leading into Ojibwe Forests Rally:
Higgins’ comfortable lead at Round 5, the New England Forest Rally, was stymied by a large rock in that ripped most of his rear suspension off his rally car late in the rally. A heroic effort by the SRTUSA service crew would get Higgins over the finish line in 2nd place behind Pastrana.
Full coverage of Subaru Rally Team USA is available on the Subaru Motorsports App. To download from the iTunes App store, click here, for Android App on Google Play store, click here. Follow the team on Instagram @srtusa, on Twitter @srtusa, and on facebook.
About Subaru Rally Team USA
Subaru Rally Team USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Valvoline, Method Race Wheels, DirtFish Rally School, KÜHL, DMACK Tires, PIAA, RECARO and DBA USA. Follow the team online at www.subaru.com/rally