Subaru’s Patrik Sandell Wins 2018 Idaho Rally International
Subaru has added yet another win to its impressive tally of rally victories, this time at the 2018 Idaho Rally International. Patrik Sandell managed to hold off Subaru teammate David Higgins on the dusty, twisty roads of the rally, though Higgins’ lead in the American Rally Association championship is such that he is now mathematically guaranteed to win the motorsport title.
The Idaho Rally International was a new fixture on the 2018 ARA calendar this year, having in the past only been used for regional-level events. This meant that Sandell, Higgins, and the rest of the field arrived at the course with virtually no prior knowledge or stage notes, forcing them to adapt quickly as they went.
As it turned out, the rally was no walk in the park. The stages were among the narrowest and most technical the drivers have faced in the ARA championship, the difficulties of which were exacerbated by hanging dust. On Sunday, already slightly behind Sandell and co-driver Per Almkvist, Higgins and co-pilot Craig Drew lost even more time because of poor visibility, and though they were able to claw back some time in the end, it wasn’t enough.
Still, he wasn’t too displeased about winning the championship. “This was a really rough and demanding rally with some great twisty roads,” Higgins said. “We struggled at times with dust and we had a big compression on a bump that nearly knocked the wind out of us in the car, so we are glad it’s over to be honest! Obviously it was good to seal the championship, since that was the main aim.”
For his part, Sandell was ecstatic. “So much fun!” he exclaimed on the podium. “Rally is really my roots and my passion, so being able to come off with a fair win is great. It was a great fight with David all through the weekend and we just tried to maintain the lead with a big push in the morning and it was just enough to make it work out!”
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