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.

Ken-Block-Thumb-Rally-Win-8-26-13Detroit 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.

Ken-Block-THUMB-Rally-America-New-England-7-30-13Newry, 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.

Higgin-New-England-Rally-7-10-13Williston, 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.

Ken-Block-Rally-America-6-4-13Wellsboro, 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.”

Subaru-Rally-USA-5-7-13Portland, OR — Subaru Rally Team USA dominated the Oregon Trail Rally to win the third round of the Rally America National Championship held in Portland and Hood River, Oregon on May 3-5.

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.

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!”