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Racing News: Subaru Driver David Higgins Wins 2011 Rally America National Championship


Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew.

Subaru Driver David Higgins Wins 2011 Rally America National Championship
Subaru of America Inc.'s Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins has won the 2011 Rally America National Championship with a 2nd overall finish at the season finale—the New England Forest Rally—this past weekend. In a hotly contested season, Higgins and his co-driver Craig Drew piloted their BFGoodrich Tires-shod ’11 Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally car to three victories and two 2nd overall finishes in the six-event Rally America National Championship. The 2011 driver’s title is 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.

Higgins joined Subaru Rally Team USA at the start of the 2011 season, replacing longtime Subaru team driver Travis Pastrana who had earned the Rally America National Championship from 2006 through 2009. A season-long rivalry quickly ensued between Higgins and Canadian rally ace Antoine L’Estage—the defending Rally America Champion and Canadian Rally Champion. Higgins and L’Estage were at each other’s heels at every rally with the rivalry coming to a dramatic head last month at the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally, where Higgins came from behind late in the event to beat L’Estage by 1.3 seconds.

The victory last month in Pennsylvania earned Higgins enough of a points lead over L’Estage that Higgins only needed to finish fourth or better at the New England Forest Rally this past weekend to secure the driver’s title. A tactical fight ensued in New England with Higgins maintaining a 2nd overall position behind L’Estage while driving just fast enough to keep the chasing pack comfortably behind him.

In addition to three event victories and the driver’s title in the Rally America series, Higgins recently won the reborn Mt. Washington ‘Climb to the Clouds’ Hillclimb. He smashed the course record by more than 30 seconds, driving the same Subaru STI he utilized in the Rally America Championship. Higgins has little time to celebrate; earlier this month he was invited to compete at ESPN Summer X Games 17 in Los Angeles. He will compete in both the Rally Car Racing and RallyCross competitions taking place on July 30–31.

Present in this photograph are the Baer Brake Systems' team, Centerforce team, Doug Dwyer of Power TV Media, Mike Santa Cruz of NMRA/NMCA and newly elected SEMA board members, John Hotchkis and Steve Wolcott.

Todd Gartshore's Life Honored at NMRA/NMCA West Coast Shootout
A moment of silence for Todd Gartshore was held at the NMRA/NMCA West Coast Shootout event on July 9 at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, while the Centerforce Camaro made a lap around the autocross displaying a checkered flag. Gartshore, co-owner of Baer Brake Systems and a major supporter of SEMA and the performance aftermarket for decades, passed away just prior to this event where he planned to participate in Baer's Speed-Stop-Challenge. Many of Gartshore's best industry friends were on hand at this event as part of a special Racers Against Street Racing promotion where media and manufacturers raced with street-type racers to promote taking racing off the streets and putting it on the track where it belongs. A special picture of Gartshore was displayed all weekend where friends could write a special message in his memory. The picture was presented to the Baer Brake Systems team at the event and will be on display at their headquarters in Arizona.

The Chrisman Legacy: Always Faster
This exciting new title, written by Tom Madigan and published by the EJJE Publishing Group, is a “must have” for any drag-racing fan. Only 1,000 hardbound numbered copies will be available, and each contains hundreds of exciting and historic photographs, the majority of which have never been seen by the public. This limited-edition and large-format book, on high-quality gloss paper, allows for impressive racing photo spreads, both in color and black and white.

The Chrisman Legacy is full of historical facts and has quotes from several prominent drag-racing legends.

The Chrisman Legacy is full of historical facts and has quotes from several prominent drag-racing legends. There will be 200 “Winner’s Circle” numbered editions, signed by Tom Madigan, Art Chrisman and the publisher Ed Justice Jr. These will be beautifully bound with a rich black cover, with copper foil imprint, showing the three legendary Chrisman racecars. The additional 800 “Qualifier” copies include a colorful dust jacket and an 8x10-inch black and white photo of the Hustler 1 dragster. These will be numbered 201 to 1,000.

Tom Madigan is the recipient of the coveted Motor Press Guild’s “Dean Batchelor” award, while Ed Justice Jr. has grown up in the automotive world and wants to publish books that might have not been published, due to the current state of the publishing world. Art Chrisman is world famous.

The “Winners Circle” version retails for $150 plus shipping and insurance, while the “Qualifier” retails for $50 plus shipping and insurance. To order, visit