February 22, 2013, Salem, MO - Subaru Rally Team USA returns to the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood this weekend with defending Rally America Champion David Higgins at the wheel of his 2013 Subaru WRX STI. The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood represents round two of the 2013 Rally America National Championship and is now in its 11th consecutive year set in Missouri's Ozark foothills. The event's fast and flowing gravel roads have earned it the reputation as one of the fastest rallies in the USA, but it's also known for wildly unpredictable weather conditions, which will surely be the story line this year. A massive winter storm moving through the American Midwest has covered the event's roads with several inches of ice and snow.
The winter storm will clear the area ahead of the 1:30pm (CST, UTC-6) Friday start time, but many of the roads are expected to stay covered in ice as temperatures will continue to hover near or just above freezing throughout the weekend. The treacherous conditions will mean tire choice, driving skill, and bravery will be the deciding factors on the results sheets for the 63 entered teams.
"The weather will play a big factor here. The roads are now covered with a layer of ice and snow so it's going to be a huge challenge for everyone," explained Higgins Thursday evening after completing reconnaissance of the stage roads. "These roads are so fast that as you run them each year you get faster and faster, it's really about experience here. This will be my third time here and it's the only event in the Rally America Championship that I have not won. I hope this can be our year but at same time championships are won over the whole year, not at a single event."
The two-day Rally in the 100 Acre Wood is based in Salem, Missouri and the competitive stages will take place Feb. 22 - 23. The event features approximately 129 miles of competitive stages. Friday's route will include approximately 51 miles of competitive stages while the bulk of the event will be run on Saturday with the remaining 78 miles of stages. Competition will start at 1:30pm CST Friday.