Porter, Texas – Premium synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple announced today it has joined forces with Subaru Rally Team USA in a multi-year agreement. The team, managed by Subaru technical partner Vermont SportsCar, will begin to utilize Royal Purple products in each of its factory Rally and Rallycross teams.
Atlanta, MI — Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew won a frigid Sno*Drift Rally to take the first victory of the 2014 Rally America National Championship season on January 24-25th in Atlanta, Michigan.
It was a close 2:10.5 finish for Higgins and Drew over Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team’s Antoine L’Estage and co-driver Marshal Clarke, considering that getting stuck in a snowbank could change a team’s fortune instantly.
CHERRY HILL, N.J. — Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew were crowned the 2013 Rally America National Champions, with a spectacular victory at the Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR); the final round of the 2013 Rally America Championship. Higgins entered LSPR locked in an epic season-long battle with rival Ken Block. Block needed a win at LSPR to steal the championship away from Higgins, who had led in points nearly all season. Higgins and Block both drove flat-out at LSPR, with Higgins edging ahead of Block near the mid-point of the rally. After sustaining heavy damage by rolling his car, Block retired, handing Higgins the rally win and more importantly the Championship, his third Rally America Driver’s Title in a row.
“It was the fastest that we have ever gone,” exclaimed Higgins at the podium. “Our Subaru has just been brilliant again. We’ve enjoyed this weekend and that was really the biggest, most important factor. Sure there was a lot of pressure, but we really went out there to have fun. Rally is a team sport and I’m so proud of the one we have behind us in Vermont SportsCar and Subaru of America. I’m so happy Craig (Drew) and I could step up our game to deliver for the team.”
Williston, VT — The seven-event Rally America National Championship will conclude at the Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR) in Houghton, MI on October 18-19th and all but one Rally America Championship will be decided at the final event. Crowning the overall, Super Production, Two-Wheel Drive and Manufacturers’ champions makes LSPR the most anticipated finale in recent memory, and promises to be an all-out shootout with national teams vying for a last chance at victory.
At the season’s midpoint Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew amassed enough points to position the team just one win away from locking up their third consecutive Rally America National Championship title. But their title has remained elusive when the Hoonigan Racing Team suddenly staged three event wins since the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) in June to force a title showdown at the final round.
Detroit Lakes, MN — Hoonigan Racing’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino built a commanding lead at the Ojibwe Forests Rally in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota on August 23-24th, and finished first overall – the first ever career Ojibwe Forests Rally victory for Block and his third straight overall win in the Rally America National Championship.
Block drove a relatively problem-free event and enjoyed being first on the road with a dust-free ahead of him. The other teams were not as lucky as hope for rain never materialized to minimize the dust. Block pushed hard to establish his lead and finished 5:33.2 over second place Subaru Rally Team USA.
Block is in the midst of a furious comeback in the Rally America National Championship points standings. The Hoonigan Racing driver fell behind Subaru Rally Team USA at the beginning of the season with multiple mechanical failures, but has since won the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally, New England Forest Rally, and now the Ojibwe Forest Rally.
Newry, ME –– Hoonigan Racing’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino won their first New England Forest Rally (NEFR), round 5 of the Rally America National Championship, on July 26-27th headquartered in Newry, Maine after a closely fought battle with Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew. The margins between the two teams were incredibly thin and either could have snatched victory. Subaru Rally Team USA drove a nearly flawless event and pushed the Hoonigan camp hard all weekend, but Block and Gelsomino persevered with a 6.5 second buffer at the end.
Block and Gelsomino’s NEFR nearly came to an end when their Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V. experienced electrical problems on stage 11. They had no intercom communications for nearly 13 miles before the alternator quit on the transit back to service. Open Class rivals Rifat Sungkar and Steve Lancaster, who were in fourth place overall at the time, graciously towed the Hoonigan Racing Team back to the service area so Hoonigan Racing Team could complete repairs and continue their race.
Williston, VT (July 10, 2013) — The fifth round of the Rally America National Championship resumes at the New England Forest Rally on July 26-27th in Newry, Maine with 57 national and international teams – one of the largest entry fields since 2010 – slated to tackle some of the smoothest, fastest competition roads on the calendar.
The New England Forest Rally (NEFR) has been hard at work the past year improving road conditions and gaining permission from land owners to expand the race for a better fan experience and a less punishing race for the competitors. The event promises more spectator viewing options allowing fans to choose to drive to free viewing areas, purchase a Sunday River Resort shuttle pass ($10 per person on Friday and $15 per person on Saturday) to more viewing areas or take an all-inclusive catered VIP Bus to private locations.
Wellsboro, PA — Hoonigan Racing’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino took their first overall win of the season at the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) – round four of the 2013 Rally America National Championship – held on May 31-June 1 in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. The victory marks the duo’s second STPR Rally overall win and it comes at a critical time when Block needed a victory to close the gap to current Rally America National Championship points leader, David Higgins and Craig Drew from Subaru Rally Team USA.
Block and Gelsomino were able to win 12 of 16 STPR Rally stages in their 2012 Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V. without much of the mechanical problems that have plagued the team since the beginning of the season.
“The weekend went really well,” said Block, “The first three (Rally America) events of the year went really horrible for me. I am really happy to come here at STPR and have an event with some good luck.”
The British duo, David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew, never relinquished their lead from the start and drove a masterful race to establish a 2 minute window over their competition and enough breathing room to drive the last day without difficulty. However, the team nearly ended their event when Higgins struck exposed bedrock at high speeds that tore through their Subaru Impreza WRX STI suspension on stage 16. Higgins gingerly drove through the last stage of the day as the car severely pulled to one side and just made it back to service for repairs.
Salem, MO — The sudden arrival of winter ice and snow conditions could not prevent Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew from winning the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood held on February 22-23rd in Salem, Missouri. The hard fought victory gave Higgins his first 100 Acre Wood Rally victory in three attempts at one of the more slippery events in recent memory.
On the first day Higgins and Drew fell behind early to Hoonigan Racing’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino and to Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team’s Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard until a fateful stage 6, the first nighttime stage. Block suffered frontend damage and L’Estage retired from the event with overheating issues that left Higgins with the overall lead.
It was a disappointing withdrawal for L’Estage who hoped to build on his Championship points lead after winning the Michigan based Sno*Drift Rally in late January.