Subaru Crosstrek Raced the Baja 500
Subaru tried a new style of off-road racingby Mark McNabb, on
Subaru is well known for its spectacular AWD rally cars, but the Japanese brand hasn’t been overly involved in Baja-style racing. That’s changed for 2017 and could become Subaru’s newest frontier. Teamed up with the Grabowski Brothers Racing and Crawford Performance, Subaru ran a custom-built Crosstrek in the 2017 Baja 500.
The race took place June 3, 2017 with racers starting and finishing in Ensenada, Baja Mexico. In between stood 516 miles of unforgiving terrain where 34 classes of vehicles raced against the clock. The Grabowski brothers, Dusty and Parker, piloted their tube-frame Crosstrek through the desert, powered by a Boxer engine built by Quirt Crawford in the Class 5 category. The Crosstrek is hardly a showroom model. In fact, it shares almost nothing with a standard Crosstrek crossover. A close inspection suggests the door handles might be the only OEM Subaru parts – and even those are bolted to bodywork that isn’t even a door.
Keep reading to see how Team Grabowski and their Subaru Crosstrek faired in the race.
Close, but no cigar
Sadly, the Subaru Crosstrek and the Grabowski brothers did not finish the race.
Sadly, the Subaru Crosstrek and the Grabowski brothers did not finish the race. It was Andy McMillin in his SCORE Trophy Truck that took the overall first-place finish with a time of 10 hours, three minutes, and 3.88 seconds. However, it wasn’t all loss and heartache for the Subaru team.
Despite the DNF at the Baja 500, the Subaru Crosstrek proved its competence in high-speed desert racing.
In the months leading up to the 2017 Baja 500, the Grabowskis raced the McKenzie’s 250 race in Lucerne, California where the Dusty and Parker (age 20 and 24 respectively) took first place in their class by more than an hour. So, despite the DNF at the Baja 500, the Subaru Crosstrek proved its competence in high-speed desert racing. It will be interesting to see if Subaru continues and grows its presence in the sport. What do you think? Would you like to see Subaru competing in more Baja-style racing? Let us know in the comments below.
Read our full review on the Subaru Crosstrek here.