Why is Subaru WRX STI the car of choice for top rally racing privateers?
Subaru's WRX STI SRT USA team of David Higgins and Craig Drew is the duo we hear about the most when it comes to rally racing, but Subaru is the car of choice for top privateers. The performance cars are heavily used in Rally America and Canadian Rally Championship events in North America. Where did the Subaru motorsport story start?
Subaru has a long history with rally racing that started in 1990 with a Subaru Legacy sedan. The mud-flinging Safari Rally in Kenya proved a fitting test for Subaru durability and AWD traction and the Subaru racing story had begun. In 1993, the STI-tuned Impreza rally car arrived and was 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.
In 2001, the “Bug-eye” Impreza WRX races onto the WRC scene and the WRX STI followed in 2004. The WRX STI is rally-bred and Subaru and STI learned what it took to build a winner on and off the rally course and it’s why the performance car is the number one choice for top privateers in North America. This past season there were 6 privateers who chose to run the Subaru WRX STI and 2 who run the Subaru Impreza in the Rally America Championship.
Rally America privateer teams
Dillon Van Way and Andrew Edwards 2013 Super Production WRX STI
Mickey Moran and Alice Von Denes Super Production WRX STI
Jeffrey Reamer and Jeremy Jankowske 2011 Open Class WRX STI
Evan Cline and Grzegorz Dorman 2005 Super Production WRX STI
John Cassidy and Dave Getchell Super Production WRX STI
Nick Roberts and Rhianon Gelsomino #202 WRX STI
Peter Fetela and Dominick Jozwiak 1998 Open Class Subaru Impreza
Torrent Carlson and Aris Mantopoulos 1998 Open Light Class Subaru Impreza
Five Subaru vehicles placed in the top 10 in Canada
Five Subaru vehicles placed in the top 10 at the final round of the Canadian Rally Championship (CRC), Rally of the Tall Pines, which was held November 28-29, 2014 in Bancroft, ON. Subaru Rally Team Canada driver Martin Rowe and co-driver Nathalie Richard, came away with second-place acknowledgements in their respective seating positions in the completely new 2015 Subaru WRX STI.
Other notable Rally of the Tall Pines finishers
Two other Subaru vehicles had podium finishes at Rally of the Tall Pines. Alexandre Beland and co-driver Philippe Poirer finished second overall in their 2007 Subaru WRX STI sedan, and Sylvain Vincent and co-driver Simon Vincent finished in third place in a 1994 Subaru Impreza sedan.
Privateers have done well this year in the rally-bred Subaru WRX STI and Impreza vehicles. Subaru is their brand of choice because the cars perform well without much modification with their rally-tuned suspension, Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD and a Subaru boxer engine that sits low in the chassis for optimal weight balance in the corners. Stay tuned for the 2015 Rally America season that will feature the new 2015 Subaru WRX STI rally car that’s being prepared now by Vermont SportsCar.