Giving up on his NASCAR dream last November has made possible a reconciliation with his former automotive love: Subaru has just announced that Pastrana will return to its Rally Team USA for the 2014 Rally America Championship, partnering with veteran team driver and current Rally America champion David Higgins.
Although the season begins later this month in Atlanta, Michigan, Pastrana won't return until the second round in February, the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in Salem, Missouri. He'll also be at the start of the Global Rallycross round of the X-Games in June, but in a WRX STI this year instead of his erstwhile Dodge Dart. You'll find a press release below with a few more bits of information, and there's always this trip down memory lane...
Cherry Hill, N.J., January 14, 2014 - Subaru of America announced today defending five-time Rally America Champion David Higgins will have a new teammate for the 2014 Rally America Championship, former Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana.
"Subaru is very excited to bring back both of our former rally champions. Between David and Travis, Subaru Rally Team USA has won the Rally America Championship seven times in the last eight years. Having them together this season will give us our best chance at defending our title" stated Rob Weir, Motorsports Marketing Manager.
In 2013, Subaru Rally Team USA's David Higgins with co-driver Craig Drew won a season-long battle against Ford, to win their third Rally America driver's title in a row and the Manufacturer's title for Subaru of America. "It's going to be great having Travis back with the team. He has a massive following and it will be great for the sport to have him back. Amazingly, between all our championships in the USA we have never really competed against each other, aside from an odd event or two. I know we will work well together, but also have a healthy rivalry too" said David Higgins.
Travis Pastrana, who began his auto racing career driving a Subaru in 2004, won four straight Rally America titles with Subaru Rally Team USA between 2006 and 2010. "I'm so happy to be back with the team I've been most successful with in the past. Rally racing is where my heart is and it's a privilege to do it in a Subaru. The competition is stronger and our cars are faster than they have ever been here in the USA. It won't be easy to get back to the top, but I'm looking forward to the challenge!" stated Pastrana.
Higgins & Drew will begin their season at Sno*Drift Rally, the first round of the Rally America Championship held in Atlanta, MI January 24-25th. Pastrana will make his debut at the second round of the series, the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood held in Salem, MO February 21st-22nd. Pastrana will also compete in Global RallyCross at X Games June 6-7th.
Pastrana and Higgins will compete in 2014 WRX STI rally cars featuring Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Both cars are prepared and managed by Vermont SportsCar, who also manages Subaru of America's rallycross efforts in the Global RallyCross Championship. The all-new 2015 WRX STI, which debuted today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is in development at Vermont SportsCar and the team will debut the car later in 2014.
About Subaru Rally Team USA
Subaru Rally Team USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Method Race Wheels, RECARO, PIAA,, and Race Proven. For more information on Subaru Rally Team USA, as well as exclusive photo and video galleries, visit http://subaru.com/rally and for the latest news follow the team on Twitter: @srtusa.