Travis Pastrana Shines In World Rally Championship Debut

Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana has finished his debut World Rally Championship event in an amazing 5th Overall in the Production World Rally Championship (P-WRC), a support series within the World Rally Championship.  The 23 year old reigning Rally America Champion battled the World’s best drivers with poise and control behind the wheel of his BFGoodrich tires shod Subaru Impreza WRX STI.

The 2007 Corona Rally Mexico was based around the city of Leon in the central high-country of Mexico.  The World’s most elite rally drivers contested 227 competitive stage miles, most of which are over 7000ft in altitude.  The Mexican roads varied from fast and smooth to rough and echnical.  Pastrana’s Group N Subaru ran just behind the top tier Manufactuer teams, who run World Rally Cars and finished 15th Overall in the general standings.

Over the last three years Pastrana has made the transition from motocross star to rally driver.  Last year, in only his 2nd season of rallying he became the youngest ever American rally champion at only 23 years old when he won the 2007 Rally America National Championship title.  This weekend’s Corona Rally Mexico marked the start of the next challenge for Pastrana; to successfully compete in the World Rally Championship.  Subaru of America will enter Pastrana and his co-driver Christian Edstrom on two more WRC events in 2007 (Argentina, Great Britain) and then contest the full P-WRC in 2008 and 2009.

“What an amazing event, I had the time of my life, and to finish 5th in the P-WRC is just amazing,” exclaimed Pastrana at the finish. “This is our first WRC event and there are so many new things to learn here that are different han our events in the USA. So we just wanted to finish and learn.  But this event is very rough on the cars and so I’ve got to thank Subaru and my team for providing me a car that withstood such a harsh beating!”

Pastrana’s Subaru Rally Team USA teammate Ken Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino also entered the Corona Rally Mexico driving a Group N Subaru Impreza WRX STI.  Block had a rally to forget; rolling his car on the first stage, but the car was repaired and Block re-joined the rally on Day 2.  Block went on to finish the rally 28th Overall.

Visit for complete photo galleries from every day of the Corona Rally Mexico.

Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, DC Shoes, BFGoodrich Tires, STI (Subaru Tecnica International), SPT (Subaru Performance Tuning), Alpinestars, Motul, PIAA, Recaro, Exedy and Vermont SportsCar.

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Photography: Lars Gange -