Breaking: Patrik Sandell Switches from Ford Fiesta ST to Subaru WRX STI for 2017 GRC Season
In a surprise move, Subaru announces Patrik Sandell will join Subaru Rally Team USA in the upcoming 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross season. He switches from the Bryan Herta Rallysport team driving their Ford Fiesta ST to driving the 2017 Subaru WRX STI supercar. This is one of the biggest driver changes in the 2017 GRC offseason, and possibly the biggest move in Red Bull GRC history.
Sandell, from Sweden, is going into his fifth GRC season and coming off his first top-five drivers in the championship standings. Patrick is one of only three drivers to take a main event victory in each of the past three seasons. The only other drivers to do that are top-ranked Scott Speed and Tanner Foust driving the VW Beetles. Since his GRC debut in 2013, Sandell has claimed 11 podiums and 3 race victories.
Subaru has pulled off a coup by adding Sandell to the team. “To finally be a part of the Subaru family is a childhood dream coming true,” said Sandell. He joins Chris Atkinson who joined the Subaru WRX STI team late last season and performed well.
Subaru decided to move on from Bucky Lasek and Sverre Isachsen who have been ineffective driving the Subaru WRX STIs in the GRC series. Subaru began to make driver changes last year, and promised they would be more competitive in 2017. They get a new driver and things will improve for Subaru.
Subaru has been testing a new 2017 Subaru WRX STI supercar and it will be ready when Sandell and Atkinson get behind the wheel in 2017. Subaru just improved their chances of getting a driver and manufacturer's championship. Expect big things from the Swede in 2017. Sandell says, “I was watching Subaru cars rallying all over the world as a kid, and I am now very proud to be in those same shoes.”
Photo credit: Subaru