Feb 26, 2021
Subaru Motorsports USA opened the 2021 rally season with a 1-2 finish at Michigan’s Sno*Drift Rally, the lone winter event on the American Rally Association (ARA) calendar. Drivers Travis Pastrana and Brandon Semenuk swept all twelve of the event’s stages, with Pastrana and co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino taking nine stage wins and leading wire-to-wire for a dominant victory. Semenuk and John Hall secured second, with third place more than three minutes further back of the two blue and gold WRX STI rally cars.
“Tough rally, but we got the win!” said Pastrana after the event. “The conditions were super icy, especially the later stages, but we made smart tire choices and were able to get an early lead to put ourselves in a good position to win. Rhianon did a great job on the notes, and a very strong performance from Brandon and John as well—perfect way for us to start the season!”
With a condensed single-day schedule, varying road conditions, and state law prohibiting the use of studded tires, the 2021 Sno*Drift rally presented a singular challenge. Pastrana and Gelsomino struck fast on the opening loop, winning three of the four stages and building a ten-second lead over their teammates. The second loop was more of the same, with the #199 duo sweeping all four and pushing their lead to nearly a minute. With conditions growing icy and treacherous going into the night stages, both Pastrana and Semenuk adopted a more cautious approach and brought the cars home on the top two podium places without incident.
After an up-and-down 2020 season, Pastrana now takes an early lead in the 2021 ARA championship race thanks to his fourth career Sno*Drift win—a triumphant return to the event where he made his competitive rally debut with Subaru in 2004.
Subaru Motorsports USA will be back on the stages March 19-20 at 100 Acre Wood Rally, the first of the championship’s eight gravel rounds. The fast, tricky Missouri forest stages were the site of Brandon Semenuk’s first-ever U.S. win at last October’s Show-Me Rally, a rework of the traditional 100 Acre Wood route.
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