Subaru Rally Team USA (SRT USA) went into the final round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross with momentum from their 1st-place finish at Seattle. The team had achieved the coveted reward for their hard work and countless hours of preparation.
Now they found themselves in Las Vegas. Could they reach the podium again?
| The Venue: the LINQ Hotel and Casino, site of the world’s largest observation tower
The Course: custom-made, 6.27-mile course, featuring 62% tarmac and 38% dirt
SRT USA Driver Standings: Sverre Isachsen 5th; Bucky Lasek 10th
Manufacturer Standings: Subaru 3rd
The Joker Lap ran inside of the turn exiting the jump and gave a significant advantage as long as clean lines were held.
Several hairpins made for intense door-to-door racing.
The sweeping dirt section prior to jump was a prime spot for passing, and maintaining tight drive lines was important.
Good to Go
Sverre Isachsen (#11) and Bucky Lasek (#81) had good practice rounds. The only course issue was the fine dirt that stuck in the wheels and crevices, leaving a gray hue on the cars and in the garage. The mechanics worked hard unclogging the parts to help prevent the dirt from causing mechanical mishaps on course.
The #11 car had a sensor that went bad, affecting shifting and later breaking a driveshaft after a heavy landing. But still Isachsen was able to power through the issues and qualified 4th fastest.
Lasek and Isachsen translated their fast practice times into top-five heat finishes. The drivers and their Subaru WRX STI cars were ready to contend for the podium.
In a tight battle for the transferring spots, Lasek made a daring move on the outside of the leader in the dirt section prior to entering the jump to snag the top spot and ultimately the semifinal win. He would transfer automatically and then start from the front row.
Isachsen was unable to finish in a transfer spot, leaving him to fight for a spot in the LCQ. The eight-car LCQ was only four laps long and the top four finishers would advance to the final.
Starting on the inside front row, Isachsen showed his notorious Viking warrior style, commanding the inside of Turn 1 and taking the lead, and driving his #11 to win the LCQ.
As the sun went down, the bright lights of the city filled the sky. With the overall title being up for grabs, it was sure to be an intense race. In true rallycross form, sparks were flying by the first corner.
A clean start by Lasek put him in position to take Turn 1 in 2nd place and just to the outside of the lead car. A dive-in by a competitor into Lasek’s drive line sent them both careening into the outside tire barrier and red flagging the race.
The drivers lined up again: Lasek returned to the front row, his competitor starting from the back – a penalty for causing the contact. The restart was clean and the battle was on.
Lasek fought hard to keep the pack behind him and earn a spot on the podium, achieving him a 3rd-place finish.
From the back of the 10-car grid, Isachsen battled with the middle of the pack, providing some deflection to help keep the competition occupied behind his teammate Lasek. Isachsen produced a respectable 5th-place finish, but as one team, a podium finish for one car is celebrated by all.
Final Driver Standings: Sverre Isachsen 5th; Bucky Lasek 8th
Manufacturer Standings: Subaru 3rd
Total Podiums: Isachsen – 2 (Seattle 1st, Charlotte 2nd), Lasek – 3 (Las Vegas 3rd, Daytona 3rd, Austin 2nd)
New Year, New Car
We are looking forward to the next season of racing with SRT USA. The team will debut the 2015 Subaru WRX STI both in rally and rallycross – don’t miss a minute of the action.
Go behind the behind the scenes of Launch Control in Drive Performance.
Watch the Vegas excitement in the final episode of Launch Control.