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Subaru's Travis Pastrana edged out 1995 World Rally Champion and team-mate Colin McRae to win gold at the first X Games Rally on Saturday in his BF Goodrich-shod Impreza WRX STI rally car.

The twelve invited rally drivers first competed on Wednesday on eight gravel stages north of Los Angeles, where Pastrana and McRae ran away from the rest of the field and finished under a second apart after nearly forty miles of stages.

The special stages on Wednesday helped set-up an epic showdown at the Home Depot Centre where the Pastrana versus McRae duel would unfold on the dirt and tarmac course that twisted and jumped its way in and around the stadium and which was broadcast live in America on ABC.

Pastrana's quest for the gold at the inaugural X Games Rally came less than 24 hours after he made history with a death defying double back-flip in the X Game's 'Freestyle Moto-X Best Trick' competition the night before. But it was McRae that did the flipping at the X Games Rally. The Scot looked to have the Gold medal in his grasp as he narrowly led Pastrana on split times near the finish of the stadium stage finale. Flying into the stadium towards the finish line, McRae's hopes for victory were dashed though when he rolled his car after landing sideways off a jump. Much to the delight of the thousands of fans in attendance McRae's Subaru Impreza WRX STI landed on its wheels and he and co-driver Nicky Grist sped off to the finish line. Amazingly, McRae only lost to Pastrana by 0.52 seconds!

"It is an honour and a dream come true just to compete against Colin McRae," explained a jubilant Pastrana. "This was a great day for rallying in North America and I hope the fans enjoyed it, because we certainly did!"

"Travis rode well. Everybody asked if we were hanging back to keep it close, but that wasn't the case," explained McRae. "We were pushing as hard as possible. But he drove a great event. It takes a talented guy to do what he's doing this week."

Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block, and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino meanwhile netted third, narrowly holding on to take bronze and give Subaru and Vermont SportsCar a clean sweep as all three cars on the podium were Vermont SportsCar-prepared Impreza's.

"You couldn't have asked for a better ending," added Block. "Even our battle for third was hard fought to the very end, it's an amazing feeling for our team to occupy all three podium spots."

Along with McRae, Pastrana and Block, Subaru USA also supported stunt driver and 2005 Rally America PGT National champion, Tanner Foust. Foust battled Block for third overall early on but the young driver's hopes at a medal were dashed when he and his co-driver Scott Crouch were forced to stop and change out a flat tyre, losing nearly four minutes.

The X Games Rally event, the first time it has been included as apart of the X Games, thrilled the thousands of fans at the Home Depot Centre in LA and it is hoped it will boost rallying's popularity in North America.

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