At the LA Auto Show yesterday, Subaru of America announced that Travis Pastrana has agreed to a 3-year contract to race for Subaru Rally Team USA. Travis was an X-Games star and the youngest ever champion in Rally America last year. They used the LA show to hand out that trophy and announce the contract.
Subaru also had 2005 "Rookie of the Year," Ken Block on hand, confirming he will be back to drive the #43 STI in '07. Pastrana was joined by co-driver Christian Edstrom, who will stick by his slide (hardy har har) in the #199 Subaru. Although not at the show, Alex Gelsomino will also continue with co-driver Block in the #43 car. Should be a good season for Subaru and for rallying as Subaru has apparently committed to it for another 3 years at least.
Press release is after the jump.
Nov 30, 2006 15:28 America/Los_Angeles
Travis Pastrana to Race for Subaru Through 2009
- Travis Pastrana wins 2006 Rally America Driver's Championship -
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Subaru of America today announced that 2006 Rally America Champion and X Games 12 Rally winner Travis Pastrana has agreed to a new, three-year contract to race for Subaru Rally Team USA. Pastrana is the youngest driver to win the Rally America National Championship.
In a ceremony held today at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, Pastrana was awarded the Rally America Championship trophy. Subaru of America, Inc. today also confirmed its future commitment to rally, announcing a two-car team in the Open Class of the 2007 Rally America series. Ken Block, 2005 "Rookie of the Year," will be back to drive in the #43 Subaru Rally Team USA STI for 2007.
"We are proud to announce that not only did Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana win a gold medal at this year's X Games in the first-ever X Games rally competition, but he also won the 2006 Rally America National Championship for Subaru," said Tim Mahoney, Subaru of America, Inc. Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "This is a strong validation of our presence in rally, and we are looking forward to X Games 13 and hopefully, another championship in Rally America."
A motorcycle racing star turned rally car racer, Pastrana had been the dominant force this year in the Rally America series, earning three rally victories and four 2nd place podium finishes at an astonishing eight out of nine rounds along with securing the gold medal at the inaugural X Games Rally event where he narrowly beat out WRC legend Colin McRae.
Subaru Rally Team USA campaigns two Open Class 2006 Impreza WRX STI rally cars in the Rally America National Championship. Pastrana and co-driver Christian Edstrom pilot the #199 Subaru; Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino in the #43 Subaru. Both team cars are prepared and maintained by Subaru technical partner Vermont SportsCar and are based on stock Subaru Impreza WRX STI vehicles.
For more information on Subaru's rally program, visit http://www.rally.subaru.com/.