July 14th, 2007
Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana has taken Overall victory on the challenging gravel logging roads of the New England Forest Rally, Round 6 of the 2007 Rally America National Championship. The win moves Pastrana and co-driver Christian Edstrom into 2nd Overall in the Rally America season standings while bolstering their confidence prior to the upcoming X Games 13 rally event in Los Angeles. Pastrana’s Subaru Rally Team USA teammate Ken Block finished the event strongly in 3rd Overall, making it a double podium result for the team.
The New England Forest Rally (formerly the Maine Forest Rally) takes place in and around the Maine/New Hampshire border on over 100 miles of highly technical and rocky gravel logging roads. The weather this weekend was mostly sunny and dry, but recent heavy rains reduced the amount of dust.
Pastrana won half of the rally’s ten completed stages and fought a close battle with Canadian rally champion Antoine L’Estage, pushing hard at the end of the rally to win by only seven seconds. “On our way to the first stage, Christian and I looked at each other and agreed that we absolutely had to win this rally if we were to have a shot at winning the championship again this year,” explained Pastrana. “This win is huge for our championship defense, and it’s good to head to X Games on a high. The roads here were just so much fun, we had our Subaru in the air more than on the ground!”
The other Subaru Rally Team USA squad of Ken Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino were the best of the rest behind the battling Pastrana and L’Estage, finishing 3rd Overall, just over one minute behind Pastrana. Block drove clean and fast, never putting a wheel wrong all weekend. “We had a great rally, we were able to go fast but stayed very smooth and clean, with no mistakes,” said Block.
The highlight of Block’s weekend was when he proudly set a new stage record on the legendary Concord Pond stage in his BFGoodrich tires-shod Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally car. The 5.6 mile stage is famous for its high speed jumps and blind crests with both tarmac and gravel sections. The stage is wildly popular with spectators that flock to the massive jumps and technical turns. “Concord Pond is just so hair-raising to drive, to really go for it and be committed takes serious trust in your co-driver and in your own driving skills,” explained Block. “It is one of my favorite roads and to now hold the stage record there is really gratifying.”
Subaru Rally Team USA heads next to X Games 13 in Los Angeles where rally car racing returns after its debut last year. X Games 13 is scheduled to air live on the ABC network on Sunday, August 5th, at 4:30 – 6:00 P.M. EST.
Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), DC Shoes, BFGoodrich Tires, Boost Mobile, Recaro, Alpinestars, Motul, Exedy, PIAA and Vermont SportsCar. Visit www.subaru.com/ rally for Subaru Rally Team USA photo galleries, news and team information.