Travis Pastrana has won the Wild West Rally, the final round of the 2006 Rally America National Championship. The win caps off an amazing sophomore rally season for Pastrana, where he won four rallies, earned a Gold medal at the inaugural X Games Rally and became the youngest ever American rally champion when he secured the Rally America National Championship at the penultimate round. Fans can expect to see more of Pastrana driving his Subaru Impreza WRX STI in the years to come after Subaru of America announced Thursday, at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, that Pastrana has signed a new three year contract with Subaru Rally Team USA.
The route of the Wild West Rally, traditionally held on the flowing gravel roads of the Olympic National Forest outside of Seattle, had to be drastically altered due to record rainfall and severe weather in the region for the past month. Nearly all of the events' stages could not be used and the organizers scrambled to replace the roads with short stages on a closed course and a nearby race track. Pastrana led from the first stage and won half of the event's stages to take the Overall victory. Pastrana's teammate Ken Block finished the Wild West Rally in 3rd Overall, which moved him into 2nd Overall in the final season standings.
In addition to being awarded the Rally America Championship Trophy this weekend, Pastrana was given a special gift from Ken Block, co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of DC Shoes. Under the Christmas tree at the team hotel sat a pair of bright gold DC Driving Shoes that commemorate Pastrana's epic year of rallying. Pastrana plans to wear the shoes at the Race Of Champions event in Paris, France in two weeks time. The gold driving shoes are a modified version of the new DC Driving Shoes that will be available in early 2007. The right shoe features a Rally America National Champion logo pattern, while the left shoe features an X Games Gold Medal logo pattern. "What Travis has accomplished this year is just amazing, with the championship and the X Games Gold all in only his second season of rallying," said Ken Block. "We are all proud of what he has been able to achieve and developed this special pair of shoes to celebrate those accomplishments."
In another development for the sport, ESPN and Rally America have announced a multi-year TV agreement, in which ESPN2 will air the 2007 Rally America National Championship Series. As part of the agreement, Rally Car Racing will be included in X Games 13 and X Games 14. A qualifying system will be established whereby the results of the 2007 Rally America National Championship will be used in determining invitations to X Games 13.
Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by DC Shoes, BFGoodrich Tires, STI (Subaru Tecnica International), SPT (Subaru Performance Tuning), Alpinestars, Motul, PIAA, Recaro and Vermont SportsCar.