2015 Subaru WRX STI has a rich and storied racing pedigree
The 2015 Subaru WRX STI is about to launch, and the performance sports car has a one of the richest racing pedigrees from where it gets it quickness and toughness. Since the WRX STI made its debut in the World Rally Championship, the performance car has taken on the most grueling challenges in motorsport and thrown down some of the most extreme acts of performance. This racing pedigree is what makes the new STI what it is today. Each race has given the cars developers the information to make it better. Below, is a timeline from the WRX STI’s motorsport heritage.
The STI-tuned Impreza rally car would not debut until 1993, but its story begins with the first Subaru entry in the World Rally Championship (WRC) in a Subaru Legacy sedan. The mud-flinging Safari Rally in Kenya proved a fitting test for Subaru durability and AWD traction. The Subaru racing story had begun.
Next up for the Legacy was Rally 1000 Lakes in Finland. The race took place over 4 days. Legacy saw 3 rollovers and 1 snapped tree. Racing with goggles and no windshield on the final day, Colin McRae and his Subaru Legacy would still finish in a fight for points. The legend of McRae’s never-lift driving and never-quit Subaru durability is born.
Win number 1 of 47 in the WRC comes as Colin McRae power-slides the Subaru Legacy through the flowing gravel stages of Rally New Zealand. It was the final race for the Legacy in the World Rally Championship.
The STI-tuned Impreza rally car arrives and is unleashed on the WRC in Finland at the Rally 1000 Lakes. Smaller, lighter and more nimble, it took second place in its first event. 46 victories would follow.
Subaru takes its first World Championship, times two. With a win-or-crash drive from behind, Colin McRae leads a Subaru sweep in Britain to win the Drivers’ World Championship. Finishing 1-2 with Carlos Sainz for the season, Subaru also wins the Manufacturers’ World Championship.
Subaru powers to 3 wins, including 2 in a row to close the season and take a second consecutive Manufacturers’ World Championship.
The trademark STI rear spoiler is first bolted to the STI-tuned Impreza rally car. It dominates, winning 8 times that year. With another full-throttle charge, Colin McRae wins the final 3 in a row and Subaru takes its third straight Manufacturers’ Championship.
The “Bug-eye” Impreza races onto the WRC scene. Petter Solberg joins the Subaru team. And Richard Burns wins the second Drivers’ World Championship for Subaru in a 4-way melee at the final event in Great Britain.
Petter Solberg makes his mark with 4 wins, including victory in the season finale at Rally Great Britain, Solberg comes from behind to claim the third Drivers’ World Championship for Subaru.
Colin McRae caps his Subaru legend the same way he started it. In the first X Games rally competition, McRae rolls his WRX STI on the penultimate corner in an all-or-nothing charge for the win, losing by just 0.13 seconds. The winner: teammate Travis Pastrana. A new era for Subaru begins.
Flying 269 feet from the dock to a floating barge, Travis Pastrana jumps his WRX STI to a record over Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor. A bold way to celebrate 4 consecutive Rally America championships. Pastrana builds a new Subaru tradition of extreme performance feats.
Rally legend Tommi Makinen returns from rally retirement to lay down an unofficial production sedan record lap of 7:55 on the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife, the world’s most famed and demanding road course.
Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins powers through fog and mist, and drops the record in the Mt. Washington Climb to the Clouds. Higgins lowers the all-time best time Travis Pastrana had set in a WRX STI just one year earlier.
Setting a new record for the historic Isle of Man TT Course, Mark Higgins averages over 115 mph through the narrow lanes and walled village streets. And survives a fishtailing 150-mph slide to make it even more memorable.
The Subaru racing story turns from rally to road racing. Using its AWD traction on a slick course, the WRX STI wins its class in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring on the twisting, rolling Nordschleife combined course.
The Subaru Tecnica International Inc. (STI) Team wins the Nurburgring 24, one of the biggest road races overseas, for the second year in a row, while the USA Subaru Road Racing Team claims victory on their home track, taking first place at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
David Higgins and Craig Drew lead Subaru Rally Team USA to their third straight Rally America title, bringing Subaru drivers and cars’ championship streak to a grand total of eight Rally America Championships and six World Rally Championships
The Subaru PUMA RallyCross team will start the season with new 2014 Subaru WRX STI Rallycross cars prepared by technical partner Vermont SportsCar. The Subaru GRC team will also start with the 2014 WRX STI that features a 600 horsepower, turbocharged Boxer engine. And of course it will transfer all that power to all four wheels via Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive.
The Subaru Rally Team USA and Subaru RallyCross Team will bring the new WRX STI cars later in the season. They are ready to take on new terrain and new challenges this year. Toshihiro Yoshida and Kouta Sasaki will drive the new 2015 WRX STI NBR 24-hour Nurburgring race car. David Higgins, Craig Drew, Travis Pastrana, Chrissie Beavis, Sverre Isachsen and Bucky Lasek get ready to launch the new 2015 WRX STI Rally cars and 2015 WRX STI Global Rally Cross cars. Stay tuned to Torque News for all Subaru racing news as the story continues.
The WRX STI’s motorsport heritage timeline source: Subaru
Other 2015 Subaru WRX STI stories of interest.
- Subaru improves WRX STI Global Rally Cross team and cars for 2014
- 2015 Subaru WRX STI Nurburgring 24H completes shakedown
Watch Subaru TT Challenge at Isle of Man video.