The Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team kicked off their 2013 race season with a weekend fraught with challenges at X Games Munich. The team nearly had redemption in hand for Race Two of the double-header event when Sverre Isachsen, who was set for an impressive 4th place finish in the Final, was spun out from behind by another competitor, forcing him to retire. The offending competitor, Ken Block, was later disqualified from the Final for the aggressive maneuver; however Isachsen remained classified in 8th overall.
The X Games Munich RallyCross event was a double-header affair after the previous Global RallyCross Championship round in Barcelona was cancelled due to heavy rains. The event began on Saturday with Isachsen qualifying an impressive 3rd overall, but a mechanical problem in the Race One heats forced Isachsen to miss a chance at reaching the Final. On-track incidents inhibited Subaru team drivers Dave Mirra and Bucky Lasek from reaching the Final as well.
With Saturday’s bad luck behind them, the team began Sunday’s second event with the resurgence of Isachsen qualifying 5th overall in his Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive 600hp Subaru WRX STI. Isachsen then advanced straight to the Final after passing his teammate Lasek, finishing second overall in his Heat race.
Mirra missed his chance at reaching the Final after being unable to avoid a crash unfolding in the first turn of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) and sustained heavy damage in the process. After the LCQ was restarted, it was Lasek’s turn to find trouble entering the chaotic first corner, where up to ten 600hp Rallycross cars attempted to funnel into one single racing line. Lasek skillfully evaded another incident unfolding in front of him entering the first turn, but lost several positions in the process. Lasek fought back to finish 3rd overall, just one position shy of a transfer spot to the Final.
In the Final, Isachsen rocketed from the start, but was nearly spun by a competitor in the first turn. Isachsen counter-steered but his line was too far to the inside, forcing him to clip the water barriers near the turn’s apex which pitched his Subaru up on two wheels. His Subaru was on the verge of flipping over but Isachsen saved the car from rolling, landing back down on all four wheels and powered through the turn. Although his car sustained damage in the incident, Isachsen battled his way to 4th overall, where he stayed for the majority of the ten lap race. Then, to the dismay of Isachsen, he was spun out from behind by Ken Block just three turns from the finish line forcing him to retire. The offending competitor was disqualified from the Final for the aggressive maneuver. Isachsen’s final classification was 8th Overall.
The Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team will now head straight to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the next round of the 2013 Global RallyCross Championship, Thursday July 11th and airing LIVE on ESPN at 1:30pm ET.