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Sno Drift Rally – Click above to watch the video after the jump

After losing both Ken Block and Travis Pastrana last year, Subaru's American rally efforts are undergoing a bit of rebuilding. The factory-backed Pleiades team took to the stages for the first time this season at Sno*Drift 2011 in Atlanta, Michigan, and despite a solid effort, driver Dave Mirra found himself three minutes and 53.1 seconds behind the father and son team of Travis and Terry Hanson in their 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. Their win made United States rallying history as the duo became the first Super Production class effort to win a National Rally America event.

Day one saw Sno*Drift favorites Antoine L'Estage and David Higgins both forced to retire, leaving the Hanson duo to widen the gap between themselves and their closest competitors. Mirra, meanwhile, was handicapped by a tire puncture that saw the factory Subaru team fall all the way to fifth place before clawing its way back to take the silver.

The Hanson team was joined on the podium by Joseph Burke, another Super Production class contender. Burke was last year's Rookie of the Year, and managed to give Mirra a solid fight for second place despite limited experience on snow and ice. Hit the jump for an excellent recap video.

[Source: Rally-America]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is very good news. I'm glad to see participatory racing get attention at any level.

      Partly this was made possible by manufacturers like Mitsubishi and Subaru who actually make their cars available for sale instead of making their top cars from "rally specials" with entirely different drivetrains than their production cars like Hyundai and Ford do. Please Ford, Hyundai and others (Renault-Nissan?) make your rally cars available in a somewhat rally ready form to the public.

      Not that I want to see the end of FWD classes (such as the Fiesta was doing well in at this rally), but it's better to have rally cars of several levels available to the public.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your argument runs afoul in two big ways.

        1. I don't give a rip about NASCAR.
        2. At least NASCARs and street cars share the same drivetrain layout.

        So if people want to do their own "NASCAR thing" all they need is access to a track and an RWD car. But if you want to go rallying and do well, you either need a Subaru, an Evo or to take another car and convert the drivetrain on a Fiesta, Hyundai, Neon, etc to AWD.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I can understand what you are saying - and I am obviously a big Subie fan - but you also have to look at this way... even the converted Fords and Hyundais are still infinitely closer to production cars than NASCAR cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        NASCARS share their drivetrain layout?

        Which one?

        The Toyota Camry?
        The Ford Fusion?
        The Chevy Monte Carlo?

        Maybe the dodge charger version shares, at a wide angle level.

        The Mustang is the only car that shares the live-axle rear end with NASCARS, and Mustang isn't Ford's NASCAR nameplate, Fusion is, which isn't a coupe, RWD, or V8 powered, let alone tube-framed or a carbureted pushrod V8.

        Other than that, the aero, the tube frame, carburetion, and all sorts of other things are completely different than a street car of the same name, or any name.

        Stock Car bears no real resemblance to a stock car anymore.

        on the contrary, Rally spec Subarus and Lancer Evolutions share their drivetrains much more directly with street spec Subaru cars and the Lancer Evo, than any car shares anything with a NASCAR race car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      PS: we already have something better on TV. It's called Short-Course off-road racing.

      Faster, louder, higher, and all sorts of sideways.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's only not popular to viewers because it's not promoted/televised very well...chicken and egg syndrome. Everyone that I've talked to that was introduced to rally at Xgames said they would love to see more, but didn't know how to.

      I think if someone took it upon themselves to front the money to get some decent coverage (sweet on-road cams, HD onboard streaming, heli, service cams, decent spectator points), it would take off pretty quickly. If nothing else, there is significantly more carnage in rally than in NASCAR, and we all know many people only watch NASCAR for the crashes.

      The best bet for getting more exposure/coverage is the upcoming Rallycross season. That's a ton more spectator friendly, and way easier to film.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Comment system strikes again, that was meant as a response to Ol' Shel'
      • 4 Years Ago
      Pretty slick how that Scion magically changes into a Fiesta at 2:29. I bet there are a LOT of Scion owners out there who wish they could pull off that trick!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ol Shel:

      It's called an onboard camera:
      Also, good thing no one told WRC that people don't watch them.

      ( Petter Sohlberg, Neste Rally 2007, SS10 )

      ( Marcus Grönholm, wide open throttle. SS Ouninpohja )


      Petter Sohlberg's World Record run at Ouninpohja

      And sideways isn't faster, so you can only pick one. :]

      Oh, sorry, higher?
      ( The late Richard Burns on an anonymous Finnish Special stage. )
      Youtube -> watch?v=5jcvxKMHN6w&feature=related
      • 4 Years Ago
      And to get things back on topic, I'd like to congratulate Travis (whom I went to college with) and his Dad Terry on an impressive win! Good job guys!

      I was only there for the last half of Saturday, but it was still a good show!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Uhhh, they don't televise rally because virtually nobody cares. Viewership would be horrible.

      And since stages are relatively long, they're very difficult (expensive) to film. So, expensive to produce/ not popular with viewers. A real lose-lose.

      • 4 Years Ago
      That's cool as hell.

      Why again is fun motorsports racing like this not widely televised and crap like NASCAR gets all the spotlight???
        • 4 Years Ago
        Couldn't agree more, dump the driving in circles in one direction stuff.
        • 4 Years Ago
        While I agree i would love to see a lot more of this and other forms of motor sports, I also love my nascar and find f1 to be the most boring thing on tv. Its like watching a dog show, if you see who qualifies first, you know whos gonna win the race (usually) not to mention all the crap politics involved in f1. In nascar it is what is it, you like it or you hate it. I just wish the editors at autoblog would hide their bias a little better. there have been like 5 posts on the new lotus f1 car and yet the daytona 500 is in 3 weeks, there are talks of a new car from chevy that will be built along side the nascar, (monte carlo?) so that it will be the same in nascar and the production car (you know, the biggest problem most have with the sport) waltrip just put a book out yesterday about his win 10 years ago, and the loss of the greatest driver in the sport, dale earnhardt.

        We are all car guys, we can all have our fun, but for real, theres no need to insult us who simply enjoy different forms of racing than you do.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed - this is INFINITELY more fun to watch than boring-ass NASCAR
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Atlanta track has a nice "stadium" section there at the end, where you see the cars zooming by and the crowd can stand on a nearby escarpment and watch in safety.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have no idea...US rallycross was televised a little on NBC, but there isn't much coverage of stage rally. I think part of it is that it takes a ton of up-front cost to get good live coverage, since the stages are in the middle of the woods and not in a giant stadium with press boxes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've been on the service crew for one of the drivers for the past 2 years, and this year we were 4th in class.

      It's a fun event. Rally people are generally pretty awesome but the sport doesn't get the attention it deserves.
      • 4 Years Ago
      T. Hanson Motorsports... representing Traverse City, Michigan! What an exciting event.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Bah, the first year we havent gone in awhile and a TC team wins? I will have to make sure we are there next year..
      • 4 Years Ago
      I live in Milwaukee. I do not want to see any more snow. Ever. Not even on AB. Thank you.,
      • 4 Years Ago
      The best part of that rally was the Chevy Caviler sticking with WRXs...


      Also the Golf with the dumb Navigator who seemed clueless when their car got a flat feet from the finish line...


      The guy waving the flag in the video was the same guy in a 3 hour competition with his fat friend to see how long they could go without their shirts in 12 degree temps. He lost and fat friend won...Also in the above video..

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