Pastrana and Block
“Travis actually had somewhat of a testing session with our big brother outfit in the Subaru World Rally Team a few years prior to us seriously considering him as a team driver candidate. Even during that short outing, the consensus was that Travis displayed uncanny car feel and serious rally potential, but, of course, lacked experience.
“After a more thorough test with Vermont SportsCar, we reconfirmed the earlier assessment and ran Travis in a limited number of rallies in 2004 and a full season in 2005. To have signed Travis to a factory program in 2006 represented a major shift in philosophy for Subaru; in essence, we opted to develop an action sports icon with legitimate rally driving potential and a built-in audience outside of rally instead of a traditional, homegrown rally driver.
“That same logic applied to our selection of Ken after he successfully completed a driver assessment session with team consultant John Buffum. Ken is co-founder of DC Shoes, which is an engaging, youth-oriented brand where Ken held the post as his company’s marketing and brand visionary.
“Both drivers had vastly different backgrounds and driving approaches, but having Travis and Ken together proved a good balance within the team. In those years, SRT USA enjoyed explosive growth in awareness and fan support.”
– James Han, motorsports marketing manager for SOA