Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana and co-driver Christian
Edstrom have finished 2nd Overall on the damp high speed gravel roads
of the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR). The 21 year old X
Games star battled one of the strongest fields of rally drivers ever
assembled at a North American event, while struggling to overcome
severe illness which had him in the emergency room just hours prior to
the rally start. The strong result vaults Pastrana into a tie at the
top of the season standings of the Rally America National Championship,
with four of nine rounds completed. Subaru Rally Team USA continues to
prove the merits of the 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, with this being
the 5th event in a row that they have placed at least one car in the
top two spots of the podium. Pastrana is fresh off his first
performance rally victory last month in California.
The high-speed classic known as STPR takes place in north central
Pennsylvania on smooth, flowing gravel and clay-based roads. This is
the fastest rally in North America, taking drivers at breakneck speeds
through lush green forests that grow precipitously close to the road
edges. The 30th running of STPR was recently nominated as a qualifying
round for the first ever X Games Rally, to be held this summer at X
Games 12 in Los Angeles.
With the top two finishers of the rally earning an invite to compete in
the X Games Rally, many of North America's best rally drivers entered
in the hopes of earning a spot in the X Games. The field was one of the
strongest and deepest in not only the event's history, but possibly the
sport's North American history as well. But both Travis Pastrana, and
his Subaru Rally Team USA teammate Ken Block had no need to get caught
up in the fight for the X Games, they have both already been officially
invited to compete at the event.
Pastrana fought through severe illness, which had him feeling fatigued
all day and pulled away from the rest of the field with fellow X Game
Rally invitee Matt Iorio. But a flat tire on the later stages spoiled
any chance at victory for Pastrana, and he happily settled for 2nd
Overall. "We wanted to sit back and let all the other guys fight it
out, but we had the speed early on and just kept up a nice pace,"
explained Pastrana. "I've been very sick the past few days, plus this
rally had such an amazing group of fast and accomplished drivers
entered, so I feel a great sense of accomplishment with my 2nd Overall
Pastrana's teammate, Ken Block, set a blistering pace early on in the
rally, winning two stages outright. But the slick conditions caught
Block and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino out midway through the rally and
they were forced to retire from the event after rolling their car. Both
walked away unharmed from the incident.
Pastrana moves up the standings into a tie for First Overall in the
2006 Rally America National Championship. Subaru Rally Team USA will
warm up for the X Games Rally on the rocky logging roads of the Maine
Forest Rally, July 21-22.
Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by DC Shoes, STI (Subaru
Tecnica International), SPT (Subaru Performance Tuning), Alpinestars,
Motul, PIAA, Recaro, Meguiars and Vermont SportsCar.