Many would say it’s harder to defend your title than to win one, but don’t tell that to the 2014 Subaru WRX STI Rally America crew. As the Subaru Rally Team USA heads to Sno*Drift this weekend to defend their Rally America title, they remember how hard last years race was. This is the first race of the Rally America race series season and it takes place on a completely snow-covered course in Atlanta, Michigan.
Last year, the WRX STI driven by Higgins crashed his 2013 WRX STI on stage six during the Sno*Drift Rally’s first day where he slid wide and impacted a tree, damaging the front corner of his race car. The team thought the rally was over, but they were able to bring the Subaru back to life and continued with some inventive roadside repairs including duct tape and the shoelaces from co-driver Craig Drew’s PUMA shoes!
The champs are back and ready to defend their Rally America title again. The Subaru team has won the title for three years in a row. But it won’t be easy as they try for a fourth title. This type of racing is one of the most demanding on the planet. This year should see another year-long battle between the Subaru team and Ken Block and his Ford Fiesta ST. Even though Subaru led in points nearly all season, it came down to the last race with Block last year. Both drivers gave all-out driving performances, but Higgins in the WRX STI edged ahead of Block near the mid-point of the rally and never looked back.
The Sno*Drift Rally is the first of the season, and incredibly demanding as it’s the the only race on the Rally America Championship Series that takes place in full winter conditions. Sno*Drift Rally takes place in the north-east corner of Michigan and can be a brutal place to be in the month of January. Drivers will need to be at the top of their game as the cars will be pushed to extreme limits on the snowy course.
The Subaru Rally Team is managed by STI and Vermont Sports Car and they are putting the final touches on the all-new 2014 Subaru WRX STI. The brand new 2014 Subaru WRX STI Open Class Rally Car is an evolution of the 2013 platform with a focus on improved handling and durability. The car will come equipped with a number of new goodies to make the rally car even better than last years model.
The new 2014 WRX STI will feature next-generation lightweight cockpit controls. The new controls will reduce weight and be easier for the driver to use. The rear suspension will feature a new wheel scraper under the brake rotor to keep dirt and mud from building up on the rear wheels. It will also come with backlit control panels for easy operation during night stages. The 2014 Subaru rally car will feature LED lighting integrated into the rollcage padding for the first time.
Get ready for the 2014 Subaru WRX STI driven by David Higgins and Craig Drew as they defend their Rally America title at Sno*Drift Rally 2014 this weekend. If you are going to the race, you better either take a Subaru, snowshoes or a snowmobile.
Watch last years exciting action at Sno*Drift Rally 2013 video.