Subaru Motorsports USA has announced its driver line-up for the 2020 American Rally Association series season, with freeride mountain bike legend Brandon Semenuk joining returning full-timer Travis Pastrana.
Canadian Semenuk has been competing in rallying events since 2010, and has notched up five overall Canadian Rally Championship (CRC) event wins and a pair of North American Rally Cup (NARC) titles in the last three years.
He also claimed fourth overall at the 2018 Idaho Rally, despite running in a UTV against open class four-wheel-drive cars. Last year he took fourth at the Oregon Trail Rally in a privately-entered Ford Fiesta R5, competing alongside co-driver John Hall.
“This season is going to be a blast,” Semenuk said. “I’ve been rallying for the last few years, but the STI is a big step up in performance.
“Travis knows the STI really well, so I’m going to take it one event at a time to learn as much as I can and get my pace up. The car is really exciting to drive and I’m getting more confident with it in testing.
“I can’t wait to put in some stage miles and see how we measure up.”
Pastrana has been part of the Subaru Motorsports USA fold for a number of years, having first driven for the manufacturer in 2005. However, he has not competed full-time since 2017 when he won the inaugural ARA title – his fifth US national championship win, having previously won the 2006-2009 Rally America crowns.
Last year he ran in Oregon and the Ojibwe Forests Rally, taking a best result of second in the former.
“I’m stoked to be back in a Subaru again!” said Pastrana. “The last couple of years I’ve been itching to get back in a rally car full-time and compete for a championship, and Subaru is where it all began for me in rally.
“I’m also really excited to have Brandon as my team-mate. He’s got a ton of talent and I know he’ll be fast once he gets a feel for the car, so I’m expecting some great competition between the two of us.”
The driver change comes after 10-time US rally champion David Higgins and three-time ARA rally winner Oliver Solberg both departed the team’s full-time line-up at the end of last year. Higgins’ plans for 2020 are currently unknown, while Solberg is contesting WRC 3 events in R5 machinery.
After skipping the opening round of the 2020 ARA season, Subaru’s first outing this year will be the 100 Arce Wood Rally on March 20-21.