Subaru Rally Team USA finishes third and fourth overall at Cherokee Trails ProRally Lovell and Turvey take early lead in ProRally Championship standings CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Subaru Rally Team USA earned valuable points...
Subaru Rally Team USA finishes third and fourth overall at Cherokee Trails ProRally
Lovell and Turvey take early lead in ProRally Championship standings
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Subaru Rally Team USA earned valuable points for the 2002 SCCA ProRally Championship this weekend, as Mark Lovell and Steve Turvey drove their all new WRX rally car home third overall, second in class. SRT USA Teammates Ramana Lagemann and Michael Kidd drove a smart rally to finish fourth overall. The race was won by the AV Motorsports Subaru Impreza WRX of David Higgins and co-driver Calvin Coolege, finishing just one second ahead of Janusz Kulig and Jaroslaw Baran in a Mitsubishi.
Tire selection was paramount on the early stages, as heavy morning rains muddied the course and hindered visibility. Subaru Rally Team USA's tire choice proved a bit optimistic, causing Higgins, Kulig and Mitsubishi's Rhys Millen to pull ahead in the overall standings. Lovell and Turvey also battled a few niggling teething problems with the new car, but Subaru Rally Team USA soon corrected the maladies putting the British duo back in the hunt. The rain also marred the debut of the 2002 Hyundai piloted by Higgins' younger brother Mark, who drove his Tiburon into three trees thanks to a stuck windshield wiper. However, Mark Higgins would battle hard to finish fifth overall despite the early setback and the difficulty of driving with a broken right foot.
"We lost a bit of time in the early stages, but the team and our Pirelli engineers did a fantastic job to keep us competitive," said Lovell. "We have a bit more development bugs to be worked out with the new car, but overall, I'm quite pleased with the result. I'm confident the new car will only get better."
Despite a similar appearance to last year's championship winning WRX, Lovell's new car is completely re-engineered to maximize the tolerances of SCCA Open class rules. Lovell's previous car is now in the capable hands of teammate Lagemann, who displayed excellent car control and reserve throughout the event, further validating his status as one of the most talented young drivers in the series.
"The car has a lot more power than I've experienced before, but I continue to gain confidence on each stage," said Lagemann.
Lovell and Turvey returned to the United Kingdom with an early lead in the 2002 SCCA Championship Standings, seven points ahead of fellow countrymen Mark Higgins and Calvin Coolege. Hyundai maintains a slim margin in the overall manufacturer's standings, leading Subaru by just one point. Subaru Rally Team will head West for the Oregon Trail ProRally April 19. Follow all the action at www.rally.subaru.com/.
About Subaru Rally Team USA
In its debut season, Subaru Rally Team USA captured the 2001 SCCA ProRally Manufacturer's Championship, as well as Driver's Championships in both the Open and Group N classes. Subaru Rally Team USA is a collaborative effort between Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STi) and Subaru World Rally Team Representative, Prodrive. Subaru Rally Team USA use Pirelli tires exclusively.
About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Subaru pioneered the concept of the passenger car/sport-utility vehicle with the introduction of the Subaru Outback, the "World's First Sport Utility Wagon."
Headquartered near Philadelphia, the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of nearly 600 dealers across the United States. Over the past nine years, the company has achieved year-over-year retail sales increases thanks to its popular line of car-based sport utility vehicles, and is among the fastest growing brands in the automobile industry.