Subaru’s new WRX-STi revealed for Bucky Lasek’s Red Bull GRC season

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A new Subaru is out for the Red Bull Global Rallycross season. Release is below from Subaru:

After a year of secret development, the cover comes off Subaru Rally Team USA’s new 2015 WRX STI rallycross car at the 2015 New York Auto Show, set to compete in Red Bull Global Rallycross and X Games Rallycross.

Dubbed VT15x, this is the third evolution of an STI-based Rallycross car for Subaru in four years built by technical partner Vermont SportsCar. “We made huge strides in durability and competitiveness last season,” stated Vermont SportsCar Team Principal Lance Smith. “The VT15x is almost entirely-new technology. This car is a revolution, not just an evolution.”

Debuting in Bucky Lasek’s new livery, the VT15x features a 580 Horsepower 2.0L Subaru Boxer engine, a 6-speed SADEV® sequential gearbox and all-wheel drive. Other features include a rallycross-spec widebody, and METHOD® Race Wheels. The VT15x is capable of 0-60 in just two seconds. The new car will meet GRC and FIA Rallycross homologation standards.

Updates and revisions to the VT15x are widespread compared to the VT14x version ran by Subaru Rally Team USA last year. Optimizing weight balance, center-of-gravity, suspension geometry, and aerodynamics were key focuses to improve handling; while increased engine power and response led to gains in overall speed and launching capability at the start. “The foundation of every great race car is the chassis you start with. Using the 2015 WRX STI, we have seen gains in handling and cornering in both our stage rally and rallycross cars; which is a testament to advancements in design from the factory” stated Smith.

Subaru Tecnica International (STI), the performance company for the brand, has stepped up their technical support of rallycross development with Vermont SportsCar; bringing their WRC and circuit racing expertise to the Subaru rallycross program. “STI is increasing their support of our U.S. based efforts in rallycross. Their expertise and development resources will take our program to an even more competitive level,” stated Rob Weir, Subaru Motorsports Marketing Manager.

Subaru Rally Team USA showed a steady rise in performance last season, claiming five Red Bull GRC podiums including a Silver Medal at X Games, and victory for Sverre Isachsen at the GRC Seattle round. Bucky Lasek and Sverre Isachsen will again lead the factory race effort with Travis Pastrana joining them at X Games, and select rounds to be announced soon. “Confidence is high within the Subaru camp that we have a winning package of driver talent driving faster cars for this season,” said Weir. “Our goal in 2014 was getting to the front row of every final and being on the podium. This year, our only goal is winning.”

Subaru Rally Team USA will begin their 2015 rallycross season at the first Red Bull Global Rallycross round May 31 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Immediately followed by X Games June 5 in Austin, TX.

Houston Supercross by the numbers: Five riders begin to gap the field

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Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.

Houston Supercross numbers
Cooper Webb’s ability to close races makes him a Houston favorite. – Feld Motor Sports

Despite an accident in his heat in San Diego that sent him to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), Sexton recovered to score a top-five that weekend. His podium finish in Anaheim 1 and overall win last week in Anaheim 2 makes him one of the three riders with a perfect top-five record. He is joined by Cooper Webb, who finished second in the first two rounds and fourth last week, and Ken Roczen, whose consistency in the first three races contributed to him grabbing the top spot in this week’s NBC Supercross Power Rankings.

There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.

Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.

Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.

By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.

With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.

This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.

Jim Pomeroy won the first race in the Astrodome during the inaugural season of 1974 on a 250, which was the premiere class at the time. Houston was one of three races held that year along with events at Daytona International Speedway and the Los Angeles Coliseum. All three venues return in 2023 with the first SuperMotocross championship finale returning to the famed LA Coliseum in September.

Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.

Two privateers have started the season on a high note.

Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.

Michael Mosiman scored his first 250 win last year in San Diego. – Feld Motor Sports

The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.

Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.

In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.

The other 250 riders with 2022 wins this week are Mosiman, who earned his first Supercross win last year in San Diego, and Nate Thrasher, who became the fifth new class winner at Daytona.

Jeremy Martin will attempt to extend a record this week in Houston. His division leading SuperMotocross podiums number 65. He has 26 wins in the combined sessions, which ranks fourth all time.

Last Five Houston Winners

450s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Cooper Webb
2021, Race 2: Eli Tomac
2021, Race 1: Justin Barcia
2020, no race
2019, Cooper Webb
2018, Jason Anderson

250s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Colt Nichols
2021, Race 2: Jett Lawrence
2021, Race 1: Christian Craig
2020, no race
2019, Dylan Ferrandis
2018, Aaron Plessinger

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

More SuperMotocross coverage

Supercross unveils 16th edition of a Ricky Carmichael designed Daytona track
Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX
Chase Sexton wins Anaheim 2 in 450s; Levi Kitchen takes 250s
Results and points from Anaheim 2