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Origins: Subaru in American Rallying – Part 4


Photo: Lars Gange |
Travis Pastrana in the 2006 Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally.



Hollywood could not have written a better script for a serious film about rallying. Here would be its synopsis.




An up-and-coming youngster who had made a name for himself as a teenage motocross rider decided he would like to drive a rally car because he feels it’s akin to motocrossing. He gets to test-drive a couple of rally cars and impresses the veteran rally onlookers.


The driver’s name is Travis Pastrana – the name has a nice ring to it and matches the star’s bubbly personality and daredevil attitude.


Photo: Lars Gange |
Ken Block in the 2006 Maine Forest Rally.

Of course, Pastrana needs a teammate. Instead of a seasoned veteran, how about a friend of his – someone who has already made a name for himself as the designer of shoes for skateboarders? He could bring valuable exposure to the team and help attract new fans as well. This dude also would need to have flair and be able to take to a rally car like a duck to water. His name is Ken Block, and the name of his company is DC Shoes.


An automobile company that makes one of the best and most fun-to-drive, all-wheel drive cars and has a rich heritage in rallying believes Pastrana has a great future. That company decides to hire him as a factory driver for a season. The car is a Subaru WRX STi, which is a great fit for the story.




Photo: Greg Hamilton
Travis Pastrana and Ken Block side by side in the
2006 Rim of the World Rally.

The movie’s two protagonists would have already competed in a few events the previous year. There they proved themselves with podium finishes, but the real achievements play out during the year the movie is being filmed.


SRT USA enjoys success in a number of national championship and other events throughout the year. For example, Ken Block wins his first rally in Missouri in February.


Pastrana and Block are entered in the Rim of the World Rally, which takes place within 50 miles of Hollywood. Sponsored by Subaru, it’s a dramatic rally with excellent rally roads. It also is where Pastrana competed in his first gravel rally two years previously and finished 2nd, impressing the American rally community.


So, even though it’s not part of the 2006 Rally America National Championship, Rim of the World is worth entering. Pastrana wins his first-ever rally, and Ken Block finishes 2nd.


Other rallies include the second oldest auto race in the United States, where cars race to the clouds up Pikes Peak in Colorado. It’s a spectacular event, and it’s one where Subaru has done well in the past. This year Pastrana finishes 2nd in the rally class, while Block, in his first attempt at the event, finishes 4th.


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