FORMER WRC CHAMPION DEREK RINGER TO SIT AS CO-DRIVER FOR TRAVIS PASTRANA
(February 19, 2008) Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana will team up with veteran co-driver and former World Rally Champion Derek Ringer to contest this weekend's 100 Acre Wood Rally, Round 2 of the 2008 Rally America National Championship. The switch comes after Christian Edstrom, Pastrana's long time co-driver, had recently announced a sabbatical from rallying to focus on his career and family.
Ringer, a professional co-driver since 1988 is best known for his success co-driving for World Rally Championship (WRC) legend Colin McRrae in the early nineties. The duo won the 1995 World Rally Championship together with the Subaru World Rally Team. Ringer's other major successes include winning the 1993 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship and British Rally Championship in '91, '92 and '98. Ringer now resides with his wife and son in Catalunya, Spain, where he has been involved in organizing rallies.
"I am looking forward expectantly to coming to the USA for this event with Travis and Subaru Rally Team USA. I met the team at the 2007 Wales Rally GB [Great Britain] and was very impressed with the spirit within the team," said Ringer. "Travis is obviously an extremely talented competitor, and if after this initial event we decide to do more together, then I hope I can help him to reach his full potential. The impression I have is that the Rally America National Championship is moving forward in a very progressive manner and thus I am interested to experience this. It looks like it could be a lot of serious fun!"
The 24 year-old Pastrana is looking forward to partnering with the veteran Ringer. "It should be very interesting to sit with Derek; from what I know of him he is very professional and has huge amounts of experience. It's an amazing opportunity for me," explained Pastrana.
Christian Edstrom, Pastrana's outgoing co-driver, has worked together with the reigning two-time Rally America National Champion since the very beginning of Pastrana's career. The pair have dominated rallying in the USA over the past two seasons with their BFGoodrich Tires-shod Subaru Impreza WRX STI, winning the series championship in 2006 and 2007. Edstrom has decided to take a break from the hectic travel demands of rallying in order to focus on his career and family life.
"Partnering Travis has been fantastic. To go from our first rally together in a PGT [Production GT] car to placing 5th in the PWRC [Production World Rally Championship] round in Mexico has been a dream come true for me. I will always be grateful to Travis, Subaru of America and Vermont SportsCar for the opportunity," said Edstrom. "Though I'm sad to be leaving the co-driving seat, I've gotten to a point where I really need to focus on my career, and I felt that splitting my time between co-driving at this level and a professional career would have compromised my performance in both. I think Travis has found a great partner in Derek Ringer and I wish both of them, and the entire team the best of luck. The team is world-class, so I'm sure Derek will fit in from the very first moment."