RAMER: Subaru Rally Team USA 100 Acre Wood summary

Event: 100 Acre Wood

Higgins and Mirra Achieve Double Podium for Subaru Rally Team USA at 2011 Rally in the 100 Acre Wood; Mirra consolidates 2nd overall position in championship

Cherry Hill, N.J., 01/31/2011 - Subaru of America, Inc. Subaru Rally Team USA drivers David Higgins and Dave Mirra finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood this past weekend piloting 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally cars. His second straight podium finish, Dave Mirra retains 2nd overall position in the 2011 Rally America National Championship while inching closer to the top points position. Higgins, in his gravel rally debut for SRT USA, pushed hard for the victory but ultimately came up just 17.7 seconds short of the top podium step. The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood was round two of the six-round 2011 Rally America National Championship series.

Named after the storybook home of Winnie the Pooh, the 100 Acre Wood Rally is set in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. Based in and around the town of Salem, the 100 Acre Wood Rally features very high-speeds on smooth and flowing gravel roads that are a favorite of many rally drivers.

The 100 Acre Wood Rally was especially challenging for new SRT USA driver David Higgins. Higgins previously rallied in the USA (he was the 2002-2003 SCCA ProRally Champion), but never competed at the 100 Acre Wood Rally. Higgins has not competed on gravel with his new ride, the 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI; and would also need to get accustomed to his new co-driver Craig Drew whom he has raced with for only a handful of competitive stage miles.

"The roads were fantastic, just loads of fun but require huge levels commitment as they are so fast," explained Higgins. "We had lost time on the first day with some handling problems that caused a lack of confidence to push and after we sorted it out I tried maybe a bit too hard to make back that time on the second day and ended up making a few small mistakes. But we pushed hard through to the end and came away with a very strong points finish and a very good feeling heading to the next gravel event." Higgins won five of the events fifteen competitive stages but would fall short of the overall winner Antoine L'Estage by just under 18 seconds.

Coming off a career best 2nd Overall finish at last month's Sno*Drift Rally, Dave Mirra entered the 100 Acre Wood Rally with the mindset of continuing his rally driving development. "I knew coming into this rally that I wanted to do exactly what I did at Sno*Drift and that was to run my own rally, set my own pace, and really work on listening to the notes," said Mirra at the podium. "We didn't try to get caught up in fighting for the win and taking any risks but were fast enough to hold off the entire rest of the field easily. I wanted to use this rally to make some progress on my driving and bringing the car home scratch free and on the podium was icing on the cake." With his 3rd place finish Mirra, co-driven by Marshall Clarke, solidifies his 2nd overall position in the 2011 Rally America National Championship standings while inching closer to the top position.

"Having both of our SRT USA cars finish on the podium at this event is a solid result," added Subaru motorsports marketing manager James Han. "Antoine [L'Estage] drove an inspired rally building on his experience from past drives at 100 Acre [Wood Rally]. There were some really positive takeaways from this event. Our 2011 SRT USA STI rally cars performed great, and David [Higgins] and Dave [Mirra] both banked valuable points for SRT USA towards the championship."

Subaru Rally Team USA heads to the west coast for the next two Rally America rounds. First stop, they head to Ocean Shores, Washington for the Olympus Rally (April 3-May 1) then on to Portland, Oregon for the Oregon Trail Rally (May 13-15).

-source: srtusa

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Series RALLYCAR
Tags rally, subaru