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Origins: Subaru in American Rallying – Part 5
 

 

The Death of Colin McRae

 


 

Just a few weeks after the X Games, the world of motorsport was shattered by the news that Colin McRae died while piloting his helicopter on his property in Scotland. It was particularly shocking for Pastrana and Block, because both had become friends with the often-shy former WRC champion. 

 

“Colin’s passing was untimely and a tragic loss to the motorsports world and all the fans who knew him, including the countless enthusiasts who have played his video games,” Han reminisced. 

 

Contention for the National Championship

 

The two SRT USA drivers came on strong in the next two rallies, with Pastrana taking the victory in Minnesota’s Ojibwe Forests Rally just ahead of Block. A month later, Block won the Rally Colorado in Steamboat Springs; Pastrana finishing 3rd.

 

The final round of the Rally America National Championship at the Lake Superior Performance Rally in northern Michigan was the setting for an exciting shoot out: Pinker had a four-point margin over Pastrana and Block, who were tied for 2nd place. Since drivers could drop their two worst performances of the year, all three were in contention for the title. 

 

Block’s championship hopes faded with a crash on the first day, so it was up to Pastrana to take the win for the team. 

 

Pinker’s chances also faded because he was down on power the first day. 

 

Pastrana’s competition came from Foust. In the end, Pastrana won the rally by just 3.5 seconds. Doing so, he secured his second consecutive Rally America National Championship. He had led the series only twice – after the first event and after the final round. Pinker took 2nd in the championship, and Block was 3rd. 

 

“What an amazing finish to a very challenging season,” said Pastrana. “Winning the Rally America Championship last year, for the first time, was fantastic, but this year it feels much more special because we had to overcome tougher competition as well as battle back from some poor results earlier in the season. To win the championship by winning the final event with such a close and fierce battle is just so gratifying! It is a huge accomplishment for me, my co-driver Christian Edstrom, and all of Subaru Rally Team USA.”

 

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