After a frustrating 2012 season that saw Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team score only one podium in 19 starts between four drivers, the goal for 2013 was to be a more competitive team overall. Though bad luck has still plagued them this season, there’s no doubt that Sverre Isachsen, Bucky Lasek, and Dave Mirra are more competitive this year than in the last one.
Subaru’s season started a round later than the rest of the paddock, making their first starts at X Games Munich after missing X Games Foz do Iguacu and being unable to compete in the rain-cancelled X Games Barcelona event. The first Munich race ended in disappointment, as no Subarus made it into the main event.
Things appeared to turn around when Isachsen made it to the main event in the second Munich race, but the race ended in frustration yet again when Ken Block turned Isachsen around with less than half a lap to go in the final. The incident cost Subaru a sure-fire fourth place finish, but the speed that Isachsen demonstrated proved that the cars were more competitive than last year.
Both Isachsen and Lasek made the main event in New Hampshire, making up for a left front hub issue that prevented Mirra from building upon his spot atop the charts in the first practice session. Isachsen finished sixth, while Lasek would have scored a top five run if not for damage that caused his motor to quit working just short of the finish.
Bristol was another up-and-down weekend for the team, with neither Mirra nor Lasek making the final. But Isachsen made up for it by charging into the first turn, coming out of the carnage second, and preserving fourth place despite a damaged exhaust.
X Games Los Angeles will be the real test of just how far Subaru has come. Mirra is X Games’ all-time leading medalist, while Lasek has swept the past three skateboard vert competitions this year. Isachsen may stand the best chance of medaling among the three, but a strong showing would go a long way towards establishing the team as a bona-fide contender for victories down the road.
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