The Silk Way is one of the biggest off-road races…
Vitals: Born: December 3, 1972 // Hometown: Dundalk, MD
2015 Team: #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
2014 Results: Lasek’s third year as a Red Bull GRC driver proved to be the breakout season that he and Subaru Rally Team USA fans had been waiting for. He led the team in podium finishes, earning a silver medal at X Games and third place runs in Daytona and Las Vegas. He took a career-best eighth in Supercar points; only a handful of mechanical issues and incidents throughout the year prevented him from running higher.
What’s New in 2015: Lasek will bid farewell to the old platform that he raced for the past three years, and welcome the new 2015 WRX STI. Besides the aesthetic differences, the new car features numerous improvements based on three years’ worth of Red Bull GRC experience.
Strengths: Lasek, teammate Sverre Isachsen, and the Subaru squad are now entering their fourth year as a group—an eternity in motorsport. The communication between driver and team, therefore, is top-notch. Add to that the expanded involvement of Subaru Tecnica International, and the personnel grouping is as impressive as you’ll find in rallycross anywhere in the world.
What To Watch For: In past seasons, the cars with the smallest wheelbases have had an advantage on many Red Bull GRC courses. With this year’s Subaru challenger a bit larger than the old ride, there are skeptics who wonder if the team will struggle to adapt. But with many of this year’s tracks designed to be much longer, they could be sitting in the catbird’s seat.
Outlook: The pressure will be on Lasek to match last year’s levels of success. If the new Subaru adapts well to this year’s courses, and the team is certainly confident enough in the new machinery, he should have no problem doing so.
Photo credit: Alison Padron