Subaru Motorsports USA took a 1-2 finish in the 2021 Nitro Rallycross drivers championship and secured the Nitro RX teams championship at the seasons final round in Florida, as Travis Pastrana and Scott Speed finished the year in a thrilling tie at the top of the standings with 219 points each, one point clear of Timmy Hansen with 218. Pastrana was crowned overall champion on the tiebreaker with two event wins to Speeds one. Together with Pastranas American Rally Association championship secured less than a month ago, Subaru Motorsports USA becomes the first team to win the American rally and rallycross titles in the same year.
Wow! Three drivers within one point, me tied with Scott Speed for the championship this has been an incredible season for the whole Subaru team, said Pastrana after his victory. Scott was so quick this weekend, and put so much into developing this car, to be tied for the top spot with him and just ahead of Timmy was just unbelievable. What a season!
The last weekend of the Nitro RX season was destined to be an all-out fight for the title, with Pastrana, Speed and former world champion Timmy Hansen all within reach of the top spot before Saturdays qualifying battles kicked off. Speed sat second, seven points behind his teammate, but proved his pace on the tarmac-heavy Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park layout by working his way to the top of the head-to-head knockout rounds to earn four critical championship points plus pole position in one of the Sunday heat races. Hansen earned three points of his own and sat second, while Pastrana picked up two and maintained a five-point championship lead.
Sunday started with fireworks from the top drivers, as Pastrana outdueled Kevin Hansen from the outside lane to win his heat race, and Timmy Hansen and Speed both won from pole in their heats to put all three championship contenders in the first three positions in the final race. With Kevin Hansen also qualifying in the semifinals, the stage was set: Speed on pole, Timmy Hansen on the outside of the front row, Pastrana on the second row behind Speed, and Kevin Hansen behind his brother beside Travis.
With the championship hanging in the balance, the final start provided maximum drama. Speed, needing to maintain two positions ahead of his teammate to win the championship, launched well from pole position. Pastrana was squeezed inside onto the dirt by Kevin and into the side of Speed, pushing him wide. As Pastrana moved up, Speed and Timmy Hansen headed to the longer joker lap, dropping them further back into the field and forcing them to fight back toward the front with fast lap times. When Pastrana took his joker on the final lap, the two Hansens and Speed went through into the podium positionsbut the third and fourth-place finishes were exactly what the Subaru teammates needed to ensure a tie on points for the NRX drivers championship with a one-point margin over Timmy Hansen.
The Nitro RX double championship and 1-2 drivers title finish caps off a season that included five stage rally victories and the ARA drivers title, three rallycross event wins, a second-place finish at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and a new record at the Mt. Washington Hillclimbthe most successful season in the history of the Subaru Motorsports USA program.
About Subaru Motorsports USA
Subaru Motorsports USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., MOTUL, KMC Wheels, Yokohama Tires, DirtFish Rally School, KÜHL, RECARO, weBoost and PepLink. Follow the team online at www.subaru.com/motorsports.
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About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 630 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile manufacturing plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise, which is the companys vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $200 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged more than 63,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.
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