Subaru Rally Team USA left Memphis in a positive mood despite neither of their cars finishing the final.
Patrik Sandell‘s first race with the team finished after the first start due to damage from contact while Chris Atkinson‘s event came to a premature end due to an electrical issue.
However, earlier in the weekend the ex-WRC star took his first heat win, while Sandell took a brace of second places in the early stages of the event, giving the team plenty to feel encouraged about.
“The team has moved a good step forward; we won that heat early on and we’ve shown some good pace,” said Atkinson. “It’s an all new car so we are still improving all the time on the handling setup, but the nice thing is we have barely reached its potential yet and we are already winning heat races, so that gives us a lot of confidence. I’m really looking forward to the next round.”
Sandell was equally positive, saying: “Overall we’ve made some really good steps forward and it’s been good all the time through the weekend so I’m really happy with the progress and feel really sorry for the team because we deserve better (in the final).”
“Good things will come in the future,” he added.
Team boss Lance Smith was disappointed with the end to the team’s weekend, but was pleased to hear the drivers’ feedback
“Although we showed progress through the weekend, our result in the Final was less than it could have been,” he said. “So, we just have to toughen up and go back out there for another time.”
“The best things I’ve heard the drivers say is that we can definitely win races with this car, and I’ll take that home.”