Andrew Pinker 2008 season preview

AUSTRALIAN RALLY STANDOUT PINKER AIMS FOR RALLY AMERICA TITLE IN 2008 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 17, 2008 -- Australian rally standout Andrew Pinker, who finished second in the Rally America National Championship Series last year in only his...

AUSTRALIAN RALLY STANDOUT PINKER AIMS FOR RALLY AMERICA TITLE IN 2008

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 17, 2008 -- Australian rally standout Andrew Pinker, who finished second in the Rally America National Championship Series last year in only his first full season of Rally America competition, has set his sights on the series title in 2008.

Pinker will again partner with co-driver Robbie Durant on the Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team, a two-car effort which includes X Games rally car racing gold medalist Tanner Foust and co-driver Chrissie Beavis.

Pinker remained a championship contender until the series finale in 2007, ultimately finishing just 12 points behind champion Travis Pastrana despite battling a horsepower deficit and braking issues in the last event.

The Perth native -- who earned two wins and six additional top-five finishes in nine rallies last season -- is confident of his ability to challenge for the 2008 Rally America title.

"We know we can attack a lot more than we did last year," said Pinker, who drives the No. 2 Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team Subaru Impreza WRX STI . "The second half of the season, we played it safe a little too much and were a little bit too reserved. I'm quite well aware of that. We'll be able to attack the championship a lot harder this year from the get-go.

"We have experience at all the events now, which will level the playing field. We're also doing our own development and building our own cars this year, and they're better than they were last year."

Pinker will kick off his championship run at the season opening Sno-Drift rally on Jan. 25 in northern Michigan. He finished third at Sno-Drift last year, his first of six podium finishes.

"Last year, we were on track for the win at Sno-Drift with a victory on a long stage, but that stage got cancelled, which cost us the overall victory," explained Pinker. "This year, if I have a clean run and the event has a clean run, I'm hoping to challenge for the win."

The Rally America National Championship Series is the premier rally-racing series in the United States. Competitors reach speeds well over 100 mph in modified street cars on natural-terrain courses of gravel, dirt or snow. Qualifying Rally America drivers are invited to compete in the Summer X Games, the annual leading action-sport event that is broadcast live on ABC and ESPN.

-credit: ap

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Travis Pastrana , Chrissie Beavis , Tanner Foust , Robbie Durant