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.
Officials with RallyCar, the premier sanctioning body for performance rally in North America, celebrated the closing of the 2011 Rally America National Championship with a festive awards ceremony at the beautiful Sunday River Resort. It was a fitting ending where fans, teams and organizers enjoyed food and music while the sun set over the looming ski trails.
It was a dramatic season that returned the Championship crown to Subaru after a dramatic battle all year with Mitsubishi Rockstar’s Antoine L’Estage, the Super Production Class made rally history with the inspired campaign of Travis Hanson, and another Team O’Neil Rally School instructor, Wyatt Knox, dominated the 2WD Class.
RallyCar honored the season’s accomplishments by presenting the year-end trophies to the new recipients in front of a physical and online streaming audience.
Atlanta, MI – Travis and Terry Hanson win the Sno*Drift Rally in Atlanta, Michigan, the opening round of the 2011 Rally America Championship. The Hansons piloted their 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STi to victory with a huge lead of 3 minutes and 53.1 seconds over Subaru factory driver Dave Mirra, who took 2nd overall in a 2011 Impreza WRX STi with a total time of 2 hours 31 minutes and 13.6 seconds. Rounding out the overall podium was Joseph Burke, who finished only 5.2 seconds behind Mirra in a 2006 Mitsubishi Evo 9.
A triumphant Hanson made U.S. rallying history today by being the first-ever Super Production class driver to win a National Rally America event outright! Even more significant, Hanson was able to accomplish this feat as a privateer with limited support.
European-style wheel-to-wheel rallycross made its U.S. debut on August 28-29, 2010. The newly tagged U.S. Rallycross series saw an awesome performance from Subaru driver Travis Pastrana in his Vermont SportsCar prepared 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. Starting from the rear of a six-car grid after a restart of the Final, Pastrana worked his way through the field to finish second overall. Pastrana’s Subaru Rally Team USA teammate, Dave Mirra, finished close behind in 3rd overall, while Tanner Foust took the win.
The Rallycross, organized by RallyCar (formerly Rally America), was held at the Lightning Bolt course of New Jersey Motorsports Park, a 1.9-mile track which was modified to include three dirt sections with a total distance of 1.3 miles. Pastrana’s performance wowed the thousands of fans in attendance and helped create a memorable debut for the sport in America.