Subaru Rally Team USA (SRT USA) has announced today they will enter team driver David Higgins at legendary Rally of the Tall Pines, the sixth and final round of the 2011 Canadian Rally Championship. Higgins will drive the same 2011 Subaru WRX STI that he piloted to this year’s Rally America Championship driver’s title and a new record at the legendary Mt. Washington Hillclimb. SRT USA intends to utilize the event as a test ahead of the 2012 Rally America Championship season.
Based in Bancroft Ontario, two hours’ drive from Toronto, the Rally of the Tall Pines is one of the most challenging rallies in Canada due to the mix of high level competition and variable weather conditions. The late November date brings the likely appearance of ice, snow or mud on the event’s fast and flowing tree-lined gravel roads. Higgins can also expect a heady challenge from Canadian Rally Championship regulars such as current Canadian champion Antoine L’Estage whom Higgins battled all year in the Rally America National Championship. Also entered is former Canadian Champion and Subaru Rally Team Canada driver Patrick Richard along with nearly fifty other top Canadian rally teams.
Higgins and his co-driver Craig Drew have never competed at the Rally of the Tall Pines and are approaching the event conservatively with the knowledge that the Canadian series regulars are highly familiar with the roads and weather conditions. However, Higgins and Subaru Rally Team USA will focus primarily on further developing the team’s 2011 Subaru STI rally car ahead of the 2012 season.
“The roads look awesome and the weather will be a big factor,” explained Higgins. “The event should prove an excellent test for car development as the team has a few new things to try on the car. I am looking forward to renewing the battle with Antoine (L’Estage) and also challenge the likes of Pat Richard and Crazy Leo (Urlichich). I’ve never run the event before and so we’ll see how we go against the regulars, but it will be great to be back in my Subaru as I have not competed since July.”
The Rally of the Tall Pines will close out a banner year for Higgins that saw him win three Rally America Championship events outright on his way to the 2011 series crown, a win and new record at the revived Mt. Washington Hillclimb plus a Bronze Medal at the ESPN X Games 17 Rally Car Racing competition.
Higgins, from the Isle of Man, was the 2002 and 2003 SCCA ProRally Champion (the precursor to Rally America) as well as the 2004 British Rally Champion. Higgins lives in Wales where he and his family operate The Forest Experience Rally School.
Subaru Rally Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, Vision X, Alpinestars, Motul, Exedy, VP Fuels and Vermont SportsCar. For more information on Subaru Rally Team USA, as well as exclusive photo and video galleries visit subaru.com/rally and for the latest news follow the team on Twitter: twitter.com/srtusa.
– Credit: Vermont SportsCar/Subaru Rally Team USA.