- The Subaru WRX Sti notches up National Rally Championship Wins in Australia, America and Canada.
- Nürburgring 24-Hour Race Wins in the SP3T class for the 2nd year in succession adds another chunk of silverware to the Subaru WRX Sti cabinet.
- Molly Taylor becomes the first female winner of the Australian Rally Championship.
The Subaru WRX Sti clinched a hat-trick of rally championships in the 2016 season and the terrain on which these wins came couldn’t have been more different. From the scorching temperatures in Australia to the all-white snow-covered stages in Canada, the All-Wheel-Drive Subaru proved its mettle once again.
Australian Rally Championship
The daughter of four-time Australian Rally Championship-winning navigator, Molly Taylor made history in 2016, becoming the first female winner of the Australian Rally Championship. Driving a Subaru WRX Sti NR4 prepped by Les Walkden Racing for the Subaru DO Motorsport team, Molly Taylor was crowned the champion after a nail-biting three-day campaign at the Hire Rally Australia. This win adds another trophy to the Subaru Australia cabinet, where ten consecutive ARC titles reside. From 1996 – 2005, Subaru dominated Australian rallying before withdrawing from competitive racing for ten years.
Now under the Subaru DO Motorsport banner, Molly Taylor has opened the winning streak once again and she couldn’t be more pleased. “Bill, Les Walkden and the team have done an amazing job all year and it’s been such a pleasure to work with a truly professional outfit that has an amazing team spirit. We’re so pleased to be able to do it for Subaru too, with their incredible rally heritage.”
Canadian Rally Championship
It was at the penultimate event of the Canadian Rally Championship that Subaru claimed the manufacturer’s title thanks to the pairing of Antoine L’Estage and Darren Garoud. The Rally of the Tall Pines is one the most difficult races on the CRC calendar. In the 2016 event, only 9 of the 30 starters managed to complete all stages of the race.
L’Estage and Garoud battled the deep winter conditions as well as the very tight and technical routes to emerging victorious ahead of Travis Pastrana and co-driver Robbie Durant of the Subaru Rally Team USA who were contesting the Tall Pines rally for the first time.
“These conditions are probably the worst I have seen in the 15 years I’ve done this rally,” said L’Estage. For L’Estage to finish the race and claim the championship for Subaru in just his second year with the Subaru Rally Team Canada, is a testament to his wealth of talent as well as the ability of his Subaru WRX Sti.
Whilst the manufacturer’s title was won for Subaru at the Tall Pines Rally, it wasn’t until the Big White Rally, the final event of the season that L’Estage and Garoud claimed their own drivers and codriver’s titles.
David Higgins Wins the Rally America National Championship for the 6th consecutive time
Now a six-time Rally America champion, David Higgins is no stranger to winning, nor is he a stranger to driving Subaru WRX Sti performance cars. David’s older brother Mark Higgins also smashed the Isle of Man TT lap record in 2016 at the wheel of a Prodrive-modified Subaru WRX Sti – winning is in their blood.
David’s experience, poise and consistency in 2016 earned him the winner’s trophy once again. With just one DNF and one 2nd place finish, the duo of David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew were unstoppable. Not even Travis Pastrana, also in a Subaru WRX Sti could mount a challenge for the title.
Subaru of America also won the Rally America National Manufacturers Championship in both the Overall Class and the Super Production class.
Back to Back Victories for Subaru in the Nürburgring 24-Hour Race
The SUBARU WRX STI Nürburgring Challenge car clinched the SP3T class title for the second year in succession at the famous Nürburgring 24-Hour Race which was held in May 2016. The car completed 121 laps (about 3,070km) in 24 hours to come out on top after qualifying second on the grid.
Driven by Carlo van Dam (Netherlands), Marcel Lasée (Germany), Tim Schrick (Germany) and Hideki Yamauchi (Japan), this back to back victory represents the 4th win for the Subaru Motorsport team which has competed in this race for 9 consecutive years.
The victory is a testament to the agility and capability of the Subaru WRX STI, it’s Boxer engine and All-Wheel-Drive capability. Class wins at the Nürburgring, one of the most challenging and testing racetracks in the world, prove that Subaru vehicles can be competitive both on and off-road.
It is this breadth of all-terrain capability that is synonymous with all Subaru consumer vehicles, each of which has their own character blended into the safety and dynamics of our Boxer engines and Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive.
In 2017, the road going Subaru WRX Sti will be updated with improved handling, safety and design revisions. More on this news will be revealed as soon as details for the South African Market are available.