Subaru Rally Team USA has announced that Travis Pastrana will contest selected WRC events over the next three season.

The 23-year-old, who won the 2006 Rally America National Championship in only his second season behind the wheel, will defend his title next year while also competing in three WRC events in his Group N Subaru Impreza.

SWT-USA will then enter Pastrana in the Production World Rally Championship in 2008 and 2009.

"Our recently announced three-year extension with Travis Pastrana as a driver for Subaru Rally Team USA shows our commitment to Travis, the Rally America National Championship, and the sport of rallying," James Han of Subaru of America said.

"The prospect of developing a driving talent such as Travis with the goal of having an American competing successfully at the WRC level is an exciting one. Although the team's primary objective in 2007 will be to retain the Rally America title in our Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally cars, evaluating development opportunities for Travis is also a key priority."

Pastrana and co-driver Christian Edstrom dominated rallying in the USA during 2006, earning four victories, four second place finishes and a Gold medal at the inaugural X Games Rally event - where he narrowly beat former WRC champion Colin McRae to the victory.

Pastrana's WRC efforts – which ultimately aim to help him become the first American WRC title winner - will be managed by Subaru Rally Team USA through Vermont SportsCar, the same outfit that manages his Rally America Championship campaign.

The team hired former WRC team manager, Derek Dauncey, in late 2005 to help spearhead its WRC efforts and the man who was an instrumental part of the team that achieved four WRC driver's championships in a row with rally legend, Tommi Makinen. Dauncey said he was confident that Pastrana has what it takes to be successful.

"I have been lucky to work alongside a number of talented young drivers and I'm certain Travis has the potential to match and even surpass them," he said. "His amazing success on two wheels speaks for itself and he is very dedicated to advancing his rally career.

"It's been a pleasure working with Subaru Rally Team USA thus far and I'm really looking forward to being a part of the team's next steps."

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