Subaru Rally Team USA’s Travis Pastrana and his co-driver Christian Edstrom overcame treacherously icy conditions to take a dominating win at this weekend’s Sno*Drift Rally, round one of the 2010 Rally America National Championship.
In an amazing show of determination and grit, Pastrana completed the event nursing an extremely sore collarbone, which he broke riding motocross less than a week ago. He had to undergo surgery last week to plate it back together before he could drive.
The Sno*Drift Rally, held on over 130 miles of snow and ice-covered roads in northern Michigan, is characterized by constantly changing weather and road conditions that have historically made this rally extremely challenging. This year’s event featured forest roads that were a virtual skating rink after recent warm weather melted the snow cover which then refroze, leaving the roads covered in a thick sheet of ice.
'We didn’t put a wheel wrong all weekend.' -Travis Pastrana
Rally America rules prohibit the use of spiked or studded ice-tires, placing a high premium on traction. Many competitors commented that conditions were the most treacherous they have ever experienced due to the lack of snow cover over the ice as well as the extremely small snow banks, which when present, help keep errant rally cars on the road and away from the trees.
Pastrana led from the second stage and never looked back, advancing his lead to nearly fifty-five seconds after only the first of two days of competition.
With a healthy lead in-hand, Pastrana and Edstrom spent the second day focusing on a safe and conservative driving strategy but were still able to extend their lead even further, eventually winning by one minute and thirty-seven seconds over former Canadian Rally Champion Antoine L’Estage. Pastrana won thirteen of the event’s twenty stages.
"I drove as smoothly as I could because my shoulder was so sore," said Pastrana at the finish. "We didn’t put a wheel wrong all weekend. Really the key to the victory was the perfect setup of my Subaru for the conditions. It enabled me to stay calm, smooth and mistake-free."
Subaru Rally Team USA heads next to the second round in the Rally America championship, the 100 Acre Wood Rally, scheduled on February 26 - 27 in southern Missouri.
Keep up with Travis and his adventures (if you can) at TravisPastrana.com.