Subaru Sweeps Podium for Third Straight Nitro Rallycross Win
San Bernardino, Calif. – Subaru Motorsports USA took a third consecutive Nitro Rallycross event win with a 1-2-3 podium sweep at Glen Helen Raceway. Travis Pastrana in the #199 WRX STI earned his second straight victory, with teammate and fellow championship contender Scott Speed taking second in the final. Andreas Bakkerud, returning for his third outing of the five-round NRX season, picked up his best finish of the year to round out the podium in third. Pastrana and Speed now own the top two positions in the inaugural NRX driver’s championship and three out of the four race wins so far, with Pastrana leading Speed by seven points with two wins to his teammate’s one.
“Amazing result for the whole Subaru team today!” said Pastrana after his victory. “We came into this weekend with huge momentum after the win in Phoenix last week, but there was still some pressure knowing this is a track where we have to be fast. Next round in Florida has more paved sections and we’ve been fastest on the all-dirt rally style tracks, so it was all about scoring max points this weekend to put ourselves in position for the final round.”
The Glen Helen weekend started Saturday with an apparent momentum shift away from the three-car Subaru squad, as Kevin Hansen took the top qualifying spot and looked to help his brother Timmy defend first place in the driver’s championship. Pastrana, however, took P2 in the qualifying battles to earn himself pole position for one of the two heat races, with Bakkerud on the second row behind him. Speed qualified P4 and found himself in the opposite heat, facing off against both Hansen brothers.
Sunday’s heat races proved to be the turning point of the weekend. Pastrana and Bakkerud dominated Heat 1 and landed Travis in pole position for the final, while Speed outdueled both Timmy and Kevin Hansen to lock out the other front row spot for the final. Bakkerud followed up his heat performance by winning a semifinal race to put all three WRX STIs on the front two rows of the final grid. The eight-lap conclusion was another dominant performance from the Subaru trio, with Pastrana taking the lead from the start and all three teammates turning fast, clean laps to bring home the first-ever rallycross podium sweep for Subaru.
With the stage rally season already complete, Subaru Motorsports USA will wrap up the 2021 racing season with the final NRX round at Florida International Rally & Motorsports Park, December 4-5.