RAmer: Subaru Rally Team preview

SUBARU RALLY TEAM DRIVERS HEAD TO NORTHERN MINNESOTA TO PURSUE RALLY AMERICA CHAMPIONSHIP; PINKER, PASTRANA, BLOCK ALL IN POINTS CONTENTION CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- August 24 -- The battle for the 2007 Rally America National Championship title...

SUBARU RALLY TEAM DRIVERS HEAD TO NORTHERN MINNESOTA TO PURSUE RALLY AMERICA CHAMPIONSHIP; PINKER, PASTRANA, BLOCK ALL IN POINTS CONTENTION

CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- August 24 -- The battle for the 2007 Rally America National Championship title remains intense as the top rally drivers in the country -- all driving Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally cars - head to Bemidji, Minnesota for the Ojibwe Forests Rally, on Aug. 24 and 25.

Entering this weekend's rally, the top three drivers in the 2007 Rally America standings are separated by just 12 points. After six of nine events, RockStar Energy Drink Syms Racing Rally Team driver Andrew Pinker and co-driver Robbie Durant, driving a Subaru Impreza WRX STI, lead the standings, 86-77, over Subaru Rally Team USA's Travis Pastrana and co-driver Christian Edstrom -- Rally America's defending national champions - in their Subaru Impreza WRX STI.

Pastrana's teammates, Ken Block and co-driver Alessandro Gelsomino, in their Subaru Rally Team USA Impreza WRX STI, are third, while Pinker's RockStar Energy Drink teammates and X Games gold medalists Tanner Foust and Chrissie Beavis are fourth with 55 points with their Subaru Impreza WRX STI.

Pastrana and Edstrom, who claimed victory on the rugged Minnesota forest roads last season, are confident of their ability to repeat in 2007 but mindful of the Pinker/Durant threat. Pinker/Durant had a disappointing performances in the recent X Games arena, but the non-points exhibition is over and it's back to the championship chase.

Besides competing for the Rally America National Championship, Subaru Rally Team USA has entered Pastrana/Edstrom in several World Rally Championship events for 2007. Pastrana competed in his first world rally at the 21º Corona Rally Mexico. He finished 15th overall and fifth in the Production World Rally Championship class (Group N) - the best finish by an American in a WRC event since John Buffum finished 3rd in the Acropolis Rally in Greece in 1988. He also ran Rally Argentina in the PWRC class, finishing tenth in class.

Pinker and Durant, who have won two of the first six races this year, are looking to regain their winning form following a disappointing fifth-place finish in New England in July. The duo enters Ojibwe with a completely rebuilt race car after sustaining significant damage to their No. 5 Subaru in the X Games competition.

-credit: subaru

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Series Other rally
Drivers Christian Edstrom , Travis Pastrana , Ken Block , John Buffum , Chrissie Beavis , Tanner Foust , Robbie Durant