Higgins Pips Pastrana To The Post In Oregon

by James Charman

Subaru Rally Team USA‘s David Higgins and Craig Drew won the Oregon Trail Rally in spectacular fashion, passing teammates Travis Pastrana and Chrissie Beavis on the penultimate stage.

Pastrana had built a lead from the start at the opening day’s Portland International Raceway stages, holding his lead through the second day, despite Higgins winning all but one stage, with chicane barrier penalties playing a major part in keeping Higgins behind. He went in to the final day 39 seconds behind the extreme sport icon, Pastrana.

Higgins was a man on a mission as he hunted down Pastrana, but two flat tyres for the leader on stage 17 sealed his fate, dropping him instantly to second behind his teammate. It was plain sailing from then on for Higgins, who took his fourth consecutive Oregon Trail Rally victory, and the sixth of his career. Third place went to FY Racing‘s Adam Yeoman and Jordan Schulze, scoring their third career podium and second podium of 2014.

“I just wish Pastrana didn’t get his puncture so we can see the real times,” said Higgins. “It would have been close, at least we could afford to cut back on the last stage because we had nothing left. It was so slick out there with the rain coming down. It was an awesome battle, fantastic for Subaru to sweep the podium.”

“It was such an awesome rally,” said Pastrana. “We had some fortune to get the lead, but Higgins chipped away at it. We learned so much here and we are a lot closer than we were the first race. I can’t wait for the next round.”

Meanwhile, the Super Production class went all the way to the final stage, with David Sterckx and Karen Jankowski pipping Dillon Van Way and Andrew Edwards to the win by just 7.4 seconds. It was nip and tuck for the entire of the event, with a final stage lunge from Sterckx earning him his first win of the year. Two-Wheel Drive victory went to Ramana Lagemann and Nathalie Richard, leading throughout the event and eventually winning by 31.5 seconds over Andrew Comrie-Picard and Jeremy Wimpey.

As a result of the victories for Higgins and Sterckx, Subaru now extend their lead in both the Rally America and Super Production Manufacturers’ Championships.

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