Subaru Rally Team USA has announced Red Bull Global Rallycross (GRC) star Patrik Sandell and former Subaru World Rally Team driver Chris Atkinson will spearhead the factory team’s 2017 rallycross efforts. The two drivers will compete in the 2017 Red Bull GRC at the wheel of 2017 Subaru WRX STI GRC Supercar prepared by Subaru technical partner Vermont SportsCar.
“Subaru is very excited to have Patrik and Chris join our factory program,” stated Subaru Motorsports Marketing Manager Rob Weir. “We’re confident they have the proper mix of skill and experience to bring us success in Red Bull GRC.”
Swede Patrik Sandell is one of the Red Bull GRC’s brightest stars and consistently one of the top drivers in the series. Since his GRC debut in 2013, Sandell has claimed 11 podiums and 3 race victories. Before joining Red Bull GRC Sandell was a standout in stage rally where he won the Swedish Junior Rally Championship in 2004, the Swedish N3 Rally Championship in 2005, then the Junior World Rally Championship in 2006. In 2010, he also finished second overall in the S-WRC.
Joining Sandell will be Australian Chris Atkinson who in late 2016 joined Subaru for three four Red Bull GRC rounds. A former Subaru World Rally Team driver, with over 70 WRC starts in his career including 41 WRC stage wins and six podiums, Atkinson had never raced in rallycross before 2016 but seemed right at home in the much more powerful Subaru WRX STI GRC Supercar. In just his third GRC weekend Atkinson earned the pole position at the 2016 GRC Los Angeles, a first for Subaru in the sport.
Sandell and Atkinson complete the Subaru Rally Team USA factory driver roster with teammates David Higgins and Travis Pastrana. Sandell and Atkinson will focus on GRC while Higgins and Pastrana will focus on stage rally in the newly formed American Rally Association (ARA). The Subaru program will also make efforts to explore opportunities to enter Higgins or Pastrana in select GRC rounds in 2017.
The team’s 2017 GRC driver lineup was first revealed in the season finale episode of Subaru Launch Control, the award-winning behind the scenes docu-reality web series.
Article courtesy Speedville.