Sandell wins Olympus Rally for Subaru - RallySport Magazine
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Sandell wins Olympus Rally for Subaru

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Sandell and co-driver Per Almkvist celebrate the victory. Photo: Subaru USA

Subaru Rally Team USA driver, Patrik Sandell, has earned a victory at the legendary Olympus Rally on his debut stage rally event with Subaru.

Sandell, with co-driver Per Almkvist, drove the #18 Subaru WRX STI rally car for the first time in competition and were quick straight away and took advantage of attrition among their closest challenges to earn the victory.

Sandell’s teammate, David Higgins, lead the rally early before a mechanical problem dropped him from contention.

“It’s been a challenging weekend and I’m so happy to get the win with Subaru here. Driving for Subaru in stage rally has always been a dream of mine and to debut with a win is a great feeling,” explained Sandell at the podium.

“It’s been a while since I competed at this high-level in rally, but together with Per (Almkvist) we put some good notes together and we were fast and smooth and stayed out of trouble.”

“The team’s Subaru WRX STI is an amazing car to drive, we had a lot of fun!”

The Olympus Rally was Sandell’s first taste of stage rallying in the USA after being signed by Subaru in 2017 to drive primarily for the team’s rallycross efforts.

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Patrik Sandell on his way to victory. Photo: Subaru USA

Although his recent focus has been on rallycross Sandell is stage rally veteran; his accomplishments include winning the Swedish Junior Rally Championship in 2004, the Swedish N3 Rally Championship in 2005 and then the Junior World Rally Championship in 2006. In 2010, he also finished second overall in the S-WRC.

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The Olympus Rally, held in scenic western Washington, has a storied past. The rally was part of the first US Rally Championship in 1973 and later ran as a World Rally Championship event from 1986-1988 during the sport’s legendary Group B days. The Olympus Rally is as gruelling as ever with over 125 miles of technical, tree-lined forest roads.

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Subaru driver David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew were on pace to take the victory at Olympus, after leading the rally comfortably after the first few stages. However, a minor mechanical problem took them out of contention before the conclusion of Saturday’s stages.

The 2018 ARA series continues at the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally June 1-2, where team drivers David Higgins and Chris Atkinson will represent Subaru.

This article is a press release supplied to RallySport Magazine from an event, team, or media outlet.

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