Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team driver Sverre Isachsen powered his 2012 Subaru WRX STI to a season best third Overall at this past weekend’s Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The team celebrated the result as proof that recent testing and development have significantly increased the performance and potential of the team’s trio of nearly 600hp Subaru WRX STI Rallycross cars. Isachsen’s teammate, rallycross rookie Bucky Lasek, steered clear of trouble to achieve a career best finish of eighth overall. Team driver Dave Mirra didn’t have lady luck on his side in Vegas, as he collided heavily into the back of a competitor who had suddenly slowed in Mirra’s path due to a mechanical issue . The collision forced Mirra to retire from the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) heat with significant front end damage to his Subaru.
Isachsen qualified sixth overall in one of the most closely contested GRC rounds this year, where the top eight qualifiers were separated by under a half second, with Isachsen just 0.3 seconds off the pole. All three Subaru PUMA RallyCross team cars went head-to-head together with two other competitors in the five-car heat race. Isachsen held an early lead in the heat against his teammates and defending GRC champion Tanner Foust, only to have Foust narrowly pass him coming off the joker lap late in the race. With a second place finish in the heat Isachsen moved straight on to the Final. Lasek would move on to the Final later in the evening with a fourth place finish in the LCQ while Mirra’s collision with a slowing competitor’s car forced him to retire from the LCQ.
Isachsen steered clear of trouble around the chaotic first turn in the ten-car Final and made a late race pass to reach third Overall. “Our goal all season has been to develop the car and reach the podium. This feels so good,” exclaimed Isachsen at the finish celebration. “My Subaru was good all weekend, and my driving too. This is a big confidence boost for the team and now I’m looking forward to the next race outside the Las Vegas Convention Center during the SEMA Show.”
Isachsen’s teammate, skate legend Bucky Lasek was equally thrilled with his own result as he achieved his best finish yet in his burgeoning Rallycross career. Lasek for the first time this season advanced to the Final where he finished eighth overall. “This event was another great leap forward in my rookie year. Getting more seat time in my #81 STI is the key and it has helped me catch up to the development of these cars. I’m now much more comfortable behind the wheel and really enjoyed driving this weekend,“ explained Bucky Lasek.
”Our team has been working relentlessly towards a podium finish, and reaching that goal in Las Vegas against an increasingly competitive field, within the GRC series, is a great boost to the team and supports the exceptional development work that our Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team has completed so far and continues make strides on”, said James Han, motorsport marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc. “There are positive takeaways from this weekend beyond Sverre’s podium. Both Bucky and Dave showed solid and consistent pace in each session and are striving to get the best performance from our cars within the context of GRC’s ‘take no prisoners’, full-out sprint style of racing. We reached an important milestone over the weekend and will strive to build on the positive result.”
The Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team will return to Las Vegas, Oct. 30 for the final round of the Global RallyCross Championship. Details about the event can be found at www.global-rallycross.com.
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