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Subaru Rally Team USA's David Higgins and Craig Drew piloted their white #1 Subaru STI to second place at the 2012 Olympus Rally outside of Olympia, WA. With a podium finish at every Rally America round in 2012, the duo have won the 2012 Rally America Championship title for the second year in a row.
David and Craig doused their #1 Subaru STI in champagne at the podium and celebrated a fantastic rally season. At the year-end awards ceremony in Olympia, the champions David Higgins and Craig Drew accepted the 2012 Rally America National Championship trophy on behalf of Subaru Rally Team USA.
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Repeat Rally America National Champions, David Higgins and Craig Drew test their Subaru Rally Team USA STI in preparation for the 2012 Olympus Rally.
The gloves and the graphics will come off this weekend at the Olympus Rally, the final round of the 2012 Rally America Championship. Subaru Rally Team USA (SRT USA) driver David Higgins mathematically secured the Drivers' Championship at the previous round and enters the Olympus Rally with a promise to drive flat-out in his 2012 Subaru STI rally car. The Subaru team's traditional blue and yellow graphic livery will be replaced with a strikingly simple all-white graphic scheme, a veritable 'white horse', to commemorate Higgins' four Rally America National Championship titles.
The Olympus Rally will be held September 22-23 in Olympia, WA, where over 70 teams will return to the gravel logging roads once used in the 1980's when the Olympus Rally hosted a round of the World Rally Championship. The competition stages are located just outside of Olympia, Washington
The storyline and the results of the 2012 Oregon Trail Rally mimicked the 2011 edition of the event with Subaru Rally Team USA's David Higgins again leading from the start and pulling away for victory. The win, his fourth Oregon Trail Rally career victory, vaults Higgins even farther out of reach of his rivals in the points standings as he seeks to defend his 2011 Rally America Championship title. Higgins and his co-driver Craig Drew kept their mettle while at the wheel of their BFGoodrich Tires-shod 2012 Subaru WRX STI after their closest challenger dropped out of the event and Higgins ran nearly unchallenged for a large portion of the event.
Higgins' dominating win at Oregon had its only hiccup early on the second day as he slid off a slippery, rain soaked, corner at high speed. The #75 Subaru WRX STI literally bounced back on the road but the encounter with the scenery inflicted moderate damage to the suspension along with mild body damage. Higgins was able to drive back to the subsequent scheduled service and a quick repair from his service crew put his STI back on the charge.
"This is a big win for us and gives us a really firm grip on the championship," explained Higgins. "We took maximum points and Antoine [L'Estage], our closest rival, did not finish, so it couldn't have gone any better really. Our Subaru was just perfect, it's so well suited for these conditions and really proved this weekend to be equally as tough too."
Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins, the defending Rally America National Champion, has significantly extended his 2012
championship points lead with a second place finish at The Rally in
the 100 Acre Wood. Higgins' two primary season-long rivals failed to
finish the event thus providing even more impact to Higgins' second
place points-haul. The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, round two of the
2012 Rally America National Championship included over 100 miles of
extremely fast and flowing gravel roads that traversed the foothills
of Missouri's Ozark Mountains. Higgins, joined by co-driver Craig
Drew, competed in a BFGoodrich Tires-shod 2012 Subaru WRX STI rally
Higgins began the event with a three-way duel with Antoine L'Estage,
his archrival in the Rally America Championship, and Ken Block, a
five-time winner of the 100 Acre Wood Rally. The trio was separated by
just seconds after running the first three stages when L'Estage exited
the rally with a mechanical problem, leaving just Block and Higgins in
a fierce battle at the front of the field. Dry conditions meant this
year's edition of the 100 Acre Wood Rally was an extremely dusty
affair, and Higgins was slowed considerably by hanging dust as the
winds dissipated on the evening stages. Higgins ended the first day
of competition 18 seconds adrift of Block.
With Higgins' chief championship rival L'Estage out of the event and
mindful that Block is not committed to running the full Rally America
Championship, Higgins took the measured approach to find a balance
between catching Block and driving prudently enough to ensure a solid
finish which would net valuable championship points towards retaining
the title. Higgins capitalized on a tire puncture that Block suffered
on day-two and was able to close the gap to briefly take over the
lead. The rival drivers were separated by just over 12 seconds
heading into the final two evening stages of the rally. A final push
by Higgins wasn't possible though, as Higgins, running behind Block on
the road, encountered Block's hanging dust and was forced to slow
considerably and eventually accepted a solid second place overall
"The pace here was just amazing," explained Higgins. "It was a great
battle and ultimately I'd like to have been able to win but Ken
[Block] is very fast here, and it simply became a matter of safety to
push too much in the dust. However, this result is huge for our
championship defense since Antoine [L'Estage] and Leo [Urlichich]
didn't finish. We now have a very good cushion atop the standings and
our Subaru will excel on the more technical gravel roads in the