CHERRY HILL, N.J., Jan. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Subaru Rally Team USA announced today that team driver Bucky Lasek will make his stage rally debut at the Sno*Drift Rally (January 28-29), the opening round of the 2016 Rally America National Championship. Lasek will enter a Super Production class WRX STI presented by Subaru Parts Online with Craig Drew as Codriver.
Although Lasek has been competing for four years in the unique mixed-surface closed circuit format of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship he has completed extensive rally driving training at DirtFish Rally School in Subaru rally cars.
Subaru Rally Team USA has fielded driver David Higgins in the Rally America Championship since 2011 and have won the championship every year since and are coming off a rare 'perfect season' in 2015 where Higgins went undefeated. Prior to Higgins Subaru driver Travis Pastrana earned four consecutive Rally America Championship from 2006-2009 with the team.
Lasek will compete at the Sno*Drift Rally in lieu of the factory entry of David Higgins, however Higgins will join Lasek at the event as coach and mentor while Higgins' longtime champion co-driver Craig Drew will serve as co-driver to Lasek. Higgins is scheduled to start his 2016 title defense at the second round of the series, the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in late March.
"We're excited to try something new this season for our rally fans," stated Subaru Motorsports Marketing Manager Rob Weir. "It's going to challenge our entire team more than ever, as we are still fighting to defend our 2015 championship title. We look forward to sharing Subaru Rally Team USA's full season plans in the coming weeks."
"Rally has always been one of the gnarliest forms of racing to me and it's something I've always wanted to do. I can't express how grateful I am for this opportunity and experience," explained Lasek. "Sno*Drift will be a bit of a challenge for me as I have very little experience driving in the snow and with pace notes. Luckily I'll have champion co-driver Craig Drew along my side to guide me and help me get me to the finish."
The Sno*Drift Rally is held on over 120 miles of snow and ice-covered roads in northern Michigan. Constantly changing weather and road conditions make this rally one of the most challenging in the series. Rally America rules also prohibit the use of spiked or studded ice tires at Sno*Drift, placing a premium on road traction and making grip levels treacherously variable. Although the rally is extremely challenging it's also a perfect 'first-rally' for a driver. With roads lined by snowbanks any small off course excursion is typically results in little to no damage to the car, while the tricky conditions help keep corner speeds slower.
Words by: Subaru Media