The Subaru PUMA RallyCross team was short on luck at the final round of the Global RallyCross Championship (GRC), held Oct. 30 in Las Vegas, where on-track incidents and stiff competition kept the Subaru PUMA squad off the podium. Regardless, the team had a strong finish with team drivers Dave Mirra and Bucky Lasek earning hard fought spots in the Final where they finished sixth and seventh respectively. Team leader Sverre Isachsen missed out on reaching the Final after being on the receiving end of several on-track incidents with other competitors in the heat of competition.
The technical 0.6-mile GRC track was constructed outside at the SEMA show, the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world, where the GRC was showcased to the automotive industry in spectacular fashion. The course featured both dirt and tarmac sections and a massive dirt crossover gap-jump. The GRC combines the most entertaining aspects of circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition and features wheel-to-wheel racing with highly modified production-based all-wheel-drive cars. GRC events feature multi-car heats where top finishers advance to a ten-car Final. For rookie rallycross driver Bucky Lasek, this was his second event in a row in which he reached the Final and a season best seventh overall finish has bolstered his confidence further. Although Lasek, one of the world's top skateboaders, is new to rallycross he is no stranger to racing, having competed for nearly the last decade in a variety of racing disciplines before joining the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team. "I certainly don't feel like a rookie anymore and it was nice to end the season with another trip to the Final," explained Lasek. "I'm steadily getting more comfortable in the Subaru WRX STI, it's all about seat time and learning the limits this year. This is an amazing opportunity that Subaru and PUMA have given me and as a new team with a new car we have all worked so hard this season."
In his third appearance in a Final this season, Subaru driver Dave Mirra avoided trouble during the chaotic first turn and brought his Subaru WRX STI home to a sixth Overall finish. "The course was a lot of fun, the starts were chaotic though and I tried very hard to avoid trouble entering the first turn, which was really the key to a finish of any sort here," said Mirra. His teammate Sverre Isachsen wasn't as lucky and was denied a chance to reach the Final when he was squeezed into the inside cement wall during the chaotic entry to the first turn of his Heat race, damaging the steering on his Subaru. "This was not our weekend," said Isachsen. "2012 has been a learning year for us as we developed the Subaru WRX STI for rallycross, we knew that from the start. We achieved a podium at the last round and so we know we have made very good progress. I'm looking forward to 2013 now where we will be even stronger."
Added James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc., "Our team's results from this weekend belie the competitiveness of our cars and drivers when the racing format can sometimes serve as something of a lottery." "Jockeying for the best grid positions to start every heat often makes for dramatic albeit exciting head-to-head racing. I was pleased to see both Dave and Bucky avoid most of the on-track bumping though Sverre wasn't so fortunate. We add to our development after each event, and I'm looking forward to the further progress we'll make during the upcoming off-season. I expect 2013 will see us make additional performance steps and am very much looking forward to our team's next chapter."