Subaru of America has announced that Travis Pastrana will return to its Rally America squad for 2014 alongside defending five-time Rally America Champion David Higgins. Pastrana, who began his auto racing career driving a Subaru in 2004, won four straight Rally America titles with Subaru Rally Team USA between 2006 and 2010 before moving on to NASCAR and Global Rallycross programs, but announced at the end of last year that he was ending his career in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
“I’m so happy to be back with the team I’ve been most successful with in the past. Rally racing is where my heart is and it’s a privilege to do it in a Subaru,” declared Pastrana. “The competition is stronger and our cars are faster than they have ever been here in the USA. It won’t be easy to get back to the top, but I’m looking forward to the challenge!”
Subaru’s Motorsports Marketing Manager, Rob Weir, added: “Subaru is very excited to bring back both of our former rally champions. Between David and Travis, Subaru Rally Team USA has won the Rally America Championship seven times in the last eight years. Having them together this season will give us our best chance at defending our title.”
In 2013, Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins with co-driver Craig Drew won a season-long battle against Ford, to win their third Rally America driver’s title in a row and the Manufacturer’s title for Subaru of America.
“It’s going to be great having Travis back with the team. He has a massive following and it will be great for the sport to have him back. Amazingly, between all our championships in the USA we have never really competed against each other, aside from an odd event or two. I know we will work well together, but also have a healthy rivalry, too,” said Higgins.
Higgins & Drew will begin their season at Sno*Drift Rally, the first round of the Rally America Championship held in Atlanta, MI January 24-25th. Pastrana will make his debut at the second round of the series, the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood held in Salem, MO February 21st-22nd. Pastrana will also compete in Global RallyCross at X Games June 6-7.
Pastrana and Higgins will compete in 2014 WRX STI rally cars featuring Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Both cars are prepared and managed by Vermont SportsCar, who also manages Subaru of America’s rallycross efforts in the Global RallyCross Championship. The all-new 2015 WRX STI, which debuted this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is in development at Vermont SportsCar and the team will debut the car later in 2014.