Subaru STI keeps rally hopes alive

2013-03-11 06:55

Subaru’s WRX STI, built for the World Rally championship, will continue the automaker’s racing legacy as it enters the 2013 Super Series.

Few vehicles can boast the sort of credentials the WRX STI has as it continues to be the the quintessential racer.


The model sports Subaru’s most powerful production engine yet – the four-cyclinder 2.5 turbocharged Boxer. The petrol unit produces 221 kW/407Nm and can rocket from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds to a top speed of 255 km/h.

Subaru’s All-Wheel Drive system characterises STI. Aided and adjusted by the Driver-Controlled Centre Differential (DCCD, which allows up to a 50/50 power split) as well as SI-DRIVE, the power and traction is customisable by the driver.

Subaru will compete in the 2013 Super Series following its stellar performance in the 2012 Super Series. The two Subarus competed in Sasol  racing colours in 2012 with veteran drivers Hennie Groenewald and Richard Pinard behind the wheel.

For the 2013 season, both drivers will race new WRX STIs during the SA Production Cars Championship.

Groenewald said: “Our performance as a team in 2012 was spectacular, where drivers and cars came together to produce some stellar results. We may have missed the title by a small margin, but that only fuelled the fire to do better this year.


With our two new STI sedans and the expert team we have come to be, we expect to continue to fight at the front of the field, with the top spot on the podium locked in our cross hairs.”

The STI’s racing heritage stretches as far back as 1990 when the first WRX STI was entered into the World Rally Championship. Subaru’s racer also competed in the X-Games and even the Nürburgring 24-Hours.

Colin McRae, Petter Solberg, Travis Pastrana and Tommi Makinen – some of the biggest names in motorsport have driven an STI to victory.

The late McRae was responsible for a number of the STI’s 46 wins in WRC over the years, with Solberg adding to the total in later Championship races.

Pastrana ended up pipping team mate McRae at the inaugural X-Games Rally Championship in 2006 and later went on to set a world record by jumping an STI a total of 80.7m off the deck of a floating barge in Long Beach Harbour.

In 2010, Makinen set a record for the fastest production sedan lap around the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit and in 2011 and 2012, the Subaru STI won its class at the Nürburgring 24-Hours endurance race. Even WRC ace Ken Block spearheaded the STI into viral video fame and glory in one of his famous stunt driving escapades.


With the Production Cars championship having started at Kyalami (February 23), the new Class A WRX STI racers took to the track in their first racing outing.

Groenewald managed two second places in the day’s sprint races, while Pinard also fared well in his STI, setting a personal best lap time around Kyalami.

The final race of the day, a 12-lap endurance event, saw Pinard placing fourth. Unfortunately, Groenewald retired with engine trouble after staying at the front of the pack for half the race.

Groenewald: “Both Richard and I were very impressed by our new cars which performed tremendously in all three races and are testament to our engineering team having done their usual stellar job.

Marketing manager for Subaru Southern Africa, Ashley Lazarus, said: “The 2012 racing season proved to be a tough one for the team, where our drivers had their hands full with stiff competition.

“The excellent performance at the first round at Kyalami is proof that the STI is indeed a true speed machine and with further testing and enhancements we should see Hennie and Richard surge in the Class A field in 2013.

“The best part is that anyone who wants a slice of the racing action is able to buy an STI off the showroom floor and revel in the same adrenalin-pumping, awe-inspiring thrills that only a Subaru WRX STI can deliver.”

  • Arthur Crook - 2014-02-11 12:56

    Subaru will compete in the 2013 Super Series following its stellar performance in the 2012 Super Series, so nothing this year 2014? .....sad!

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