Global Rallycross Season Review: Pat Moro
For Pat Moro, the 2013 Global Rallycross season represented great promise for the future. The longtime privateer, twice a Super Production champion in Rally America, would be trading in his old Subaru WRX STI for a brand-new Chevrolet Sonic, giving all three American manufacturers a presence in the series for the first time.
When all was said and done, Moro only made it to two races all season. But after a long year of research and development, simply making it to the starting line was an accomplishment—and the results weren’t too bad, either.
Initially, rumors suggested that the Sonic would make its debut with the first American race of the season, appearing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July. But in order to bring a competitive car to the track, Moro and Chevrolet delayed their season debut until Charlotte in September, waiting to reach a level of comfort with the car’s performance.
As with almost any new build, the first race was an adventure; Moro’s practice would be cut short when a lower ball joint came out on the right front, and the Sonic ran near the bottom of the speed charts as development work continued in earnest. But the Chevrolet would hold together on race day, dodge the multiple accidents in the last chance qualifier, and Moro earned an 11th place finish.
Las Vegas also saw a balance of positives and negatives for the #59 team. The morale boost of outperforming Travis Pastrana in qualifying was soon mitigated by an incident in the last chance qualifier that sent the Sonic facing the wrong direction. But again, Moro would overcome the obstacle and earn another 11th place finish. In two races, he gained a total of six positions from seeding to race finish—the eighth-best mark of the 27 drivers to make starts in 2013.
Provided that the development process continues, next season should be a big one for Moro and Chevrolet. The size and aerodynamics of the Sonic are conducive to success in the sport, and further effort from the combination should add an interesting twist to the long-standing rivalry between Chevrolet and three-time GRC champions Ford.
Photo credit: Matthew Kalish (1, 2); Larry Chen (3)