David-Higgins-Subaru-Rally-America-9-19-13Williston, 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.

Song-Gorman-Rally-9-3-13Lebec, Calif. — The team of Tingwu Song, of Denver, Colo., and Ireland’s Martin Brady, took their Mitsubishi Evo 8 to the overall victory last Saturday at the Gorman Ridge Rally, presented by Dirty Racing Parts, in the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreational Area.

This was the first win for the team and although it was their first time running this event, Song and Brady had the best times of all 12 stages.

“This was our first win, ever,” Song said, “and it was the smoothest rally ever!”

California-Rally-Series-Off-Road-8-8-13LEBEC, Calif. — the renowned Gorman Ridge Rally, welcoming new presenting sponsor Dirty Racing Products (DRP), returns to Southern California to celebrate its 24th anniversary on Saturday, August 24. This performance stage rally is the fourth western qualifying round for the 2013 NASA National Rally Championship and also the fourth event in the California Rally Series. The rally is headquartered at the Holiday Inn Express in Lebec.

Organizer Ray Hocker said his tagline for the Gorman Ridge Rally is “it’s the place where new legends are born.”

Although the traditional forest stage rallies slowly began to fade into obscurity in many parts of the U.S., Gorman’s flexibility in venue continues to provide both a challenging and exciting course inside the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area in Lebec, Calif.

“We are really happy with the relationship we’ve built through the many years with the staff and administration at Hungry Valley,” Hocker said.

KTM-Kurt-Caselli-10-29-12Murrieta, CA – KTM Motorsports is excited to announce the extension of Factory rider Kurt Caselli’s contract to race the Dakar Rally and SCORE/Baja events through year 2016.

Caselli, who has been a member of the KTM Factory team for the past 11 seasons, is excited to stay with his orange family for an additional three years while also adding new events to his schedule.

The 29 year-old rider raced his first Dakar Rally in January 2013 where he impressively won two stages of the event. His speed, eagerness to learn and ability to quickly adapt to the surroundings caught the eye of KTM’s Director of Racing, Pit Beirer. Together, Beirer and Factory FMF/KTM Team Manager Antti Kallonen, reached an agreement that would allow Caselli to represent the Red Bull KTM Factory World Rally Team for the next three years while also continuing his US based SCORE/Baja racing efforts as a member of the Factory FMF/KTM Team.

NASA Rally Sport is pleased to announce the formation of a new rally race in the state of New York. The two day event, named the Empire State Performance Rally, has new personnel stepping up as lead organizers and they are infusing the community with a lot of excitement. The event will be headed by Fran Gager and Michael Cosgrove. Within the sport of rally racing, tarmac refers to racing on closed paved roads as opposed to the closed gravel roads which are typical for rally in the United States.

‘It’s a great addition to our East Coast program.’ said Anders Green of NASA Rally Sport. ‘I think Fran and Michael are going to do an excellent job. Both have been involved in organizing rallies at a high level before. In the talks we’ve had over the last couple weeks, I very much feel that they have the NRS ‘put on a rally for the racers’ attitude that matches our grassroots philosophy.’

Williston, VT — The Rally America National Championship season concludes with a bang with this year’s largest assembly of top national and international rally teams at the Olympus Rally on September 22-23rd in Olympia, WA. Over 70 teams will return to the gravel logging roads once used in the 1980′s World Rally Championship located just outside the Washington State capital and will extend into the picturesque Pacific Northwest peninsula.

All eyes will be on the much anticipated rematch between Ford, Subaru and Mitsubishi’s top rally drivers. The manufacturers previously met at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood last February in Salem, MO where Monster World Rally Team’s Ken Block from Park City, UT and Alex Gelsomino from Santa Clarita, CA won the event in their 2012 Ford Fiesta HFHV marginally besting Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins from Trefeglwys, England and Craig Drew from Forest of Dean, England.

Williston, VT — Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew won their second straight Rally America National Championship title at the New England Forest Rally on July 13-14th with an event left on the Championship calendar. Needing just sixth place or better the team battled though blinding dust and hot humid weather to take the national title with a second place overall podium finish.

“It feels great winning my fourth Championship in America,” exclaimed Higgins, “It was a team effort and we had a big job to do here. It’s a big relief to put this Championship in the bag.”

The Championship came just in time as Higgins closest rival, the Rockstar Energy Drink Team of Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard, began massing a string of Rally America event wins and staging a mathematically possible come from behind victory.

Newry, ME – The Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team of Antoine L’Estage from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec and co-driver Nathalie Richard from Halifax, Nova Scotia won their third consecutive New England Forest Rally (NEFR). The team won the first six stages and took a commanding lead. As their rivals dealt with thickening dust that obstructed their views L’Estage contended with poor grip being the first on the road, sweeping away the gravel before the others had a chance to race the stage.

“It went really well,” said L’Estage, “Friday is where we made our time and then tried to keep our nose clean and not make any mistakes. For us it’s a great win and another great season.”

L’Estage and Richard are on a string of success having recently won the last two Rally America national events and all the Canadian Rally Championship events this year.

Says Co-driver Nathalie Richard, “Since May we’ve had a fantastic season. Too bad we had problems at the beginning of the Rally America season. Congrats to Higgins and Drew. Looking forward to 2013!”

Portland, OR — Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew won 12 stages out of 16 to win his fourth Oregon Trail Rally.

Higgins never trailed in the rally even when he shot off the road at high speed and bent his rear control arms. The team managed to finish the stage and hobbled to the service for repairs.

“I thought I was done for when I went off,” said Higgins, “But my team got me back on the road. I couldn’t have done it without them. I ‘m so proud to win four Oregon Trail Rallies. I’m getting up there with Ken Block in wins at single events!” said Higgins.

Notably, Higgins’ closest rival, the Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team’s Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard, needed to bounce back from a DNF suffered at the second round of the Rally American National Championship. At the Oregon Trail Rally the team dogged Higgins until a few turns into stage 7 the car stopped. They were unable to continue and a second DNF severely complicated their chances for another Rally America title.

Salem, MO — Monster World Rally Team’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino piloted their 2012 Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V. to a sixth Rally in the 100 Acre Wood title on February 24-25th, 2012, in Salem, MO. The team won 15 of the 17 stages in a hard-fought battle on the extremely fast Ozark Mountain roads and squeaked out a 29.3 second victory over Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew.

From the very beginning Block set a blistering pace outpacing his rivals to lead after day one. On the first leg of the second day, Block lost time to Higgins with a pair of tire punctures and suspension damage. After service, the team made up their lost time and pushed hard during the last two stages to secure the victory.

“I’m stoked about winning my 6th Rally in the 100 Acre Wood,” said Block. “The battle against David Higgins was intense on every stage. He’s the current Rally America champ and one of the people who helped teach me how to race a rally car when I first got started, so to finally compete against him on this level was great, I really enjoyed it. I’m definitely looking forward to running against him again later this year in Olympus.”

David Higgins’ second-place overall finish keeps the team on top of the 2012 Rally America National Championship standings.

Three-time Polish Rally Champion, WRC and Dakar Rally driver, Krzysztof Holowczyc took the third podium position in his Art Logisitics Racing Team Mitsubishi EVO. The team was slightly off the pace after replacing an engine damaged during testing, but managed to take advantage of some key competitor retirements to make the podium.

Most notably, Rockstar Energy Drinks’s Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard, last year’s Rally in the 100 Acre Wood overall winners, broke a transmission on stage 4. The characteristically reliable team was battling with Block and Higgins, and within seconds of the factory-backed teams before their mechanical failure ended their run.