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The Other Race You (Probably) Missed This Weekend: Video 30
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Kurt, News, racing, Rally America, Subaru on 01 30th, 2012

This weekend was the 50th anniversary running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and the race brought out an incredible assortment of talent to compete in both the Daytona Prototype and GT classes. It was a “who’s who” of international road racing, and Speed TV deserves credit for its non-stop coverage of the event.

There was another, lesser-known race over the weekend, which pitted both amateur and pro rally drivers against one another in some of the worst imaginable conditions. The Rally America series kicked off its 2012 season this weekend, with the 38th annual Sno*Drift rally in Atlanta, Michigan. Conditions were treacherous, with road surfaces ranging from gravel to glare ice. Since the Rally America series doesn’t allow studded snow tires, the race was more about smoothness and driving style than it was about horsepower.

David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew took the win for Subaru Rally Team USA, followed by the Rockstar Energy team of Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard. For the first time in series’ history, the event was streamed live over the Rally America website, and the series even used night vision cameras to capture the in-the-dark stages.

Next up is Missouri’s 100 Acre Wood rally on February 25 and 25th. If you’re interested in attending (or watching the live stream), head on over to the Rally America website for details.

Subaru Prepares For The Sno*Drift Rally 28
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Dave Mirra, David Higgins, Motorsport, rally, Rally America, Subaru, video on 01 28th, 2011

David Higgins, on the throttle.

Subaru may have pulled out of WRC competition, but the brand is still very much active in the Rally America Championship. Travis Pastrana has moved on to NASCAR, but Dave Mirra is back for the 2011 season, joined by fellow driver David Higgins. Both will pilot Vermont Sports Car built Impreza WRX STIs for the 2011 season, which kicks off with this weekend’s Sno*Drift Rally in Atlanta, Michigan. The Sno*Drift event features some 130 miles of racing, over snow and ice covered roads. Nearly 33% of the event is run at night, and northern Michigan’s ever-changing winter weather usually creates some interesting challenges on the course. Rally America doesn’t allow the use of studded tires, which puts a heavy emphasis on car setup and smooth driving. Check out Mirra and Higgins shaking down their 2011 cars in the video below.

Rally America has lost some big name drivers in the off-season, which won’t help to boost the series popularity. Ken Block appears to be focusing on WRC, since he’s not running this year’s Sno*Drift (but I wouldn’t count him out for next month’s 100 Acre Wood Rally, which Block seems to win every single year). Travis Pastrana is figuring out the whole go fast, turn left thing, which leaves Dave Mirra as the closest thing Rally America has to a rock star driver. Look for Mirra to mature as a driver this year, since he clearly understands the importance of working with a co-driver to develop solid pace notes. In rallying, being fast is less important than being smooth and consistent, since nothing chews up time more than mistakes and crashes. Like the old racing wisdom says, “To finish first, first you’ve got to finish”.