Subaru of America, Inc. Subaru Rally Team USA (SRT USA) announced today that David Higgins, the 2011 Rally America National Champion will continue as factory driver for the team in 2012 in a bid to defend his title. Higgins and SRT USA begin the 2012 Rally America National Championship at the season opener Sno*Drift Rally in northern Michigan, Jan. 27 and 28 against a stacked field of over 70 entries. Co-driver Craig Drew will once again join Higgins; the duo will pilot a Vermont SportsCar-prepared 2012 Subaru WRX STI in all six rounds of the 2012 Rally America National Championship.
X Games icon Dave Mirra, Higgins' Subaru teammate in 2011, is expected to continue to drive for Subaru but will focus on the Global RallyCross Championship, because of several conflicting dates with the Rally America Championship event calendar. An announcement about the team's rallycross plans will be made in the near future.
Higgins joined Subaru Rally Team USA at the start of the 2011 season, and had an impressive year at the wheel of his Subaru WRX STI, earning three victories and two-second overall finishes in the six-event 2011 Rally America National Championship; as well as claiming victory and a new record at the famed Mt. Washington Hillclimb. The 2011 Rally America driver's title was the third for Higgins in the USA having won the SCCA ProRally Championship in 2002 and 2003. Higgins also won the British Rally Championship in 2004 after winning the Group N title in the British Rally Championship in 1997, 1999, and 2002. As a testament of his passion for the sport, Higgins and his family also operate a UK-based training facility, The Forest Experience Rally School. Higgins was born on the Isle of Man but resides in Wales with his wife and two children.
"I'm excited to defend my title with Subaru as we have made some great progress in the development of our STI rally car in the off-season, and so the confidence is high right now," explained Higgins. "The Rally America Championship is a fantastic series with a great mix of events and conditions coupled with a very high level of competition. I expect 2012 to be a big fight but we have the right car and the right team, so I'm really looking forward to it!"
"Subaru Rally Team USA is kicking off the 2012 season with aggressive goals in place while maintaining a dedicated approach towards defending our Rally America title and contending for the Global RallyCross Championship," indicated James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc. "I'm encouraged to have the 2012 Subaru WRX STI serve as our technical backdrop and renew our ongoing partnership with Vermont SportsCar. Sno*Drift [Rally] will be a great measure of our current level of preparedness against what looks to be a healthy entry list."