Subaru Motorsports USA Wins 2021 Nitro Rallycross Championship
Starke, FL – Subaru Motorsports USA took a 1-2 finish in the 2021 Nitro Rallycross driver’s championship and secured the Nitro RX teams championship at the season’s final round in Florida, as Travis Pastrana and Scott Speed finished the year in a thrilling tie at the top of the standings with 219 points each, one point clear of Timmy Hansen with 218. Pastrana was crowned overall champion on the tiebreaker with two event wins to Speed’s one. Together with Pastrana’s American Rally Association championship secured less than a month ago, Subaru Motorsports USA becomes the first team to win the American rally and rallycross titles in the same year.
“Wow! Three drivers within one point, me tied with Scott Speed for the championship… this has been an incredible season for the whole Subaru team,” said Pastrana after his victory. “Scott was so quick this weekend, and put so much into developing this car, to be tied for the top spot with him and just ahead of Timmy was just unbelievable. What a season!”
The last weekend of the Nitro RX season was destined to be an all-out fight for the title, with Pastrana, Speed and former world champion Timmy Hansen all within reach of the top spot before Saturday’s qualifying battles kicked off. Speed sat second, seven points behind his teammate, but proved his pace on the tarmac-heavy Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park layout by working his way to the top of the head-to-head knockout rounds to earn four critical championship points plus pole position in one of the Sunday heat races. Hansen earned three points of his own and sat second, while Pastrana picked up two and maintained a five-point championship lead.
Sunday started with fireworks from the top drivers, as Pastrana outdueled Kevin Hansen from the outside lane to win his heat race, and Timmy Hansen and Speed both won from pole in their heats to put all three championship contenders in the first three positions in the final race. With Kevin Hansen also qualifying in the semifinals, the stage was set: Speed on pole, Timmy Hansen on the outside of the front row, Pastrana on the second row behind Speed, and Kevin Hansen behind his brother beside Travis.
With the championship hanging in the balance, the final start provided maximum drama. Speed, needing to maintain two positions ahead of his teammate to win the championship, launched well from pole position. Pastrana was squeezed inside onto the dirt by Kevin and into the side of Speed, pushing him wide. As Pastrana moved up, Speed and Timmy Hansen headed to the longer joker lap, dropping them further back into the field and forcing them to fight back toward the front with fast lap times. When Pastrana took his joker on the final lap, the two Hansens and Speed went through into the podium positions—but the third and fourth-place finishes were exactly what the Subaru teammates needed to ensure a tie on points for the NRX driver’s championship with a one-point margin over Timmy Hansen.
The Nitro RX double championship and 1-2 driver’s title finish caps off a season that included five stage rally victories and the ARA driver’s title, three rallycross event wins, a second-place finish at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and a new record at the Mt. Washington Hillclimb—the most successful season in the history of the Subaru Motorsports USA program.