The Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) wasn’t a race to be taken lightly and crucial title points were up for grabs.
Mathematically, Subaru Rally Team USA (SRT USA) could secure the Rally America National Championship at STPR. But even with a 330-hp Subaru WRX STI and a four-time Rally America Championship driver and co-driver, anything can happen out on the stages.
Since debuting the new 2015 WRX STI rally car at Sno*Drift, driver David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew have been leaving the competition in the dust each race.
Heading into this rally, the #75 team held a 26-point lead over their nearest competitor and had won the last 10 races. Could they keep up the blazing pace on the dirt and gravel of Pennsylvania? Higgins has won at STPR four times in the last 13 years, putting experience on his side.
Day one started out dry, dusty, and hot. The #75 team came out fast, finishing 17 seconds ahead in Stage 1. After Stage 3, they held nearly a minute lead.
The crowd and teams moved to finish the night at the Tioga County Fairgrounds for the Super Special – but Mother Nature had other plans. Severe storms brought the day to an abrupt end and changed the course dynamics for the next day.
The dirt and gravel were wet to start day two. The sun dried out sections as the day went on, changing the conditions once again. But neither wet, dry, sunny, nor dusty could hold back the duo as built their lead stage by stage.
The final result was a spectacular finish five-and-a-half minutes ahead of the nearest competitor. But the best number of the rally was that 1st-place finish by the team, securing the Rally America National Championship title for Higgins and Drew.
More importantly, it was a record-breaking championship run, giving them their fifth consecutive National Championship title and edging out Travis Pastrana’s four consecutive championship titles.
Up Next: New England Forest Rally where Pastrana makes his 2015 season debut with SRT USA.
– Melissa Carlson