IMPREZA IMPRESSES (AGAIN)
In addition to its long history of
stage rally success worldwide,
Subaru is now a strong presence in
Red Bull Global RallyCross.
Now in its fourth year in the
series that features rally-like
conditions on a closed course
where 10 cars race side by side
over multiple laps in the main
event, Subaru has emerged as a
force to be reckoned with.
“When any new manufacturer or
team comes into the sport, there’s a
development curve,” says Subaru of
America’s motorsports marketing
manager Rob Weir. “You have to build
your speed and durability against guys
with a lot more experience. We’ve
been able to rise to the challenge; this
year we took five podiums, including
an X Games silver with Bucky Lasek
and an outright GRC win at Seattle
with Sverre Isachsen.
“Now we want to take our GRC
program to the next level and fight
for more outright wins. We’re already
in striking distance, and we’re
confident that, with the new chassis
and other development pieces, we’re
going to be fighting at the front.”
Skateboard vert legend Bucky Lasek
finished the 2014 GRC on a high, taking
a third podium in the Las Vegas finale.
LEARNING TO FLY
SUBARU IN GRC
always a strong presence of Subarus, not
only competing, but also parked at the
stages watching the cars come through. We
definitely feel at home within the series.”
The success comes down to an intense
desire on the part of everyone involved to
win, although Higgins might contest that...
“I wouldn’t say I’m massively driven to
win, but I absolutely detest losing,” he
smiles. “I don’t want to lose what we’ve
worked so hard to achieve.”
That said, a key to his success is doing
just enough to make sure he stays ahead.
“I only go as fast as I need to, depending
on any given situation,” he says. “If I’m in
a big battle, I can push a lot harder; if I’m
not, I tend to cool down the pace a little.
Because of that, I think it makes it easier
on the cars. You’re not stressing your
There are times, though, when the team
has had to press. When Ken Block left
Subaru and brought Ford to the series with
its WRC-spec cars in 2013, it was the sort
of challenge relished by Higgins and the
team, who proved more than up to the task.
“It’s a big testament to both David’s
ability and the guys at Vermont SportsCar
to be able to defend that championship
and take it back four years in a row,
whatever gets thrown at them,” says Weir.
Now the team faces another challenge
for next year – an all-new car based on
the 2015 WRX STI. While Higgins notes
that some things will carry over from the
existing rally weapon, getting that car up
to speed quickly will be a challenge.
It’s one the team has to meet, and
likely will do, to earn its fifth Rally America
championship in a row.
David Higgins’ Open Class STI begins life as a stock Subaru
Impreza WRX STI straight off the showroom floor. Safety and
performance modifications include seam-welding the body,
adding a T45 steel roll cage, Reiger rally dampers and a
Sadev 6-speed, close-ratio gearbox, plus launch control and an
anti-lag system for the turbocharged, 2-liter, 4-cylinder engine.
U.S. rallying from
returned with Subaru
in 2014. You’ll be
pleased to hear he’s as
spectacular as ever.