It’s 2015, which means it’s a brand new season for rally racing across the globe! While that may include the high-dollar hijinks of Sébastien Ogier and the World Rally Championship, you and I can get our own taste of sideways-through-a-forest-with-the-throttle-pinned action with Rally America.
Formally known as the SCCA ProRally Championship, Rally America is the premiere series for anyone in the U.S. looking to make a name in what many consider to be the most exciting sport in the world.
One such individual is the current Rally America champion, David Higgins, seen here showing his skills in the frothy white powder. Hailing from the Isle of Man, this British racing artist dominated the 2014 season, taking first place in every event save one, consequently earning a four-peat championship title.
Other notable drivers include Ken Block and Travis Pastrana. Featuring 13 races on both coasts, plus cars from Mitsubishi, Ford, Volkswagen, Scion, and Subaru, Rally America is every bit as exciting as the WRC. Check the event schedule here to see when you might catch a Rally America car flying through your neck of the woods this year.
First on the docket is the Sno*Drift Rally in Atlanta, Michigan, January 30th-31st, where David Higgins will once again return to defend his title in the open class. Expect plenty of slippery conditions and incredible displays of car control.
Click past the jump to read about the Subaru STI.
Subaru WRX STI
The next-generation rally beast from Subaru may feature the same flat-four boxer 2.5-liter engine from years past, but that’s for very good reason — it just works. With over 300 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque, this all-wheel-drive slide specialist sets the standard for turbo-powered rocketry in any given road condition. Many have imitated it, but few can match its speed over terrain offering less-than-ideal grip levels.
It looks better too. Previous generations of the STI had, let’s say, “unique” styling cues, whereas the 2015 model is far more menacing. Around back, you can’t miss that enormous rally inspired wing or the quad exhaust tips peaking out from under the rear diffuser. Then of course there’s that massive scoop protruding from the hood, and suffice it to say, the car is an easy one to spot.
But with a multiplicity of turbocharged compact vehicles coming from the likes of Volkswagen, Ford, Honda, and others, the old standby Subaru will need to change a little bit to stay relevant. I fully expect the retention of all-wheel-drive grip and boosted power, but hopefully it’ll come with at least a little bit of refreshing. The return of the 22B STI would be a fantastic place to start.