Pastrana “optimistic” he’ll make start of ARA season

Champion's participation may still be in question, but comments suggest Subaru plans to contest Sno*Drift


Travis Pastrana says he is “optimistic” about making the first round of the American Rally Association presented by DirtFish National Championship, despite suffering multiple fractures in a BASE jumping accident in Florida.

The reigning champion, who also won the Nitro Rallycross series in 2021, was in Florida to shoot the latest Gymkhana film with Hoonigan when the opportunity to jump from Hyatt Centric Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale arose. Pastrana deployed his parachute too late, leading to a heavy landing.

Pastrana went into detail about the injuries sustained in the accident on Instagram, confirming he has “multiple hip fractures” as well as an L5 spinal fracture, and has had to have his sacrum pinned. He has also undergone multiple blood transfusions.

“[I] can still feel my feet and [I’m] actually getting up, moving already,” he added. “Doctors say it’s not going to be really any worse than it was when I went in, which isn’t saying much, everything was fused down there anyway.”

Image from iOS (5)

Pastrana said it was “still questionable if I make Sno*Drift rally but I am optimistic”, offering the first real indication that Subaru Motorsports USA was intending to contest the ARA season opener for a second consecutive year, having skipped it in years past.

Subaru Motorsports Motorsports USA declined to comment on the matter when approached by DirtFish.

What has been made official is Pastrana’s replacement for the Race of Champions, which will take place in Sweden next weekend. For the Nations’ Cup event, he will be replaced by IndyCar race winner Colton Herta, who will partner Jimmie Johnson at Team USA.

The announcement of Herta’s inclusion for the team element of the event ends the possibility of a reversal of the situation faced by the American team in 2006, when Pastrana competed solo when Johnson was ruled out by injury.

Pastrana made it to the final that year, beating the likes of Colin McRae and David Coulthard, before being defeated by Team Finland in the final. There, he got the better of Marcus Grönholm but was beaten twice by Heikki Kovalainen in the best-of-three contest.

Next Gymkhana will have “Dukes of Hazzard feeling”

Pastrana’s accident came with two days of filming for the latest iteration of Hoonigan’s Gymkhana series still to go.

The film will be the 12th official series entry, and will mark Pastrana’s second headline appearance in the long-running web series. He is driving a reimagined 1983 Subaru GL Wagon that has been built by the manufacturer’s US motorsport partner Vermont SportsCar.

“Filming for Gymkhana was awesome until it wasn’t,” Pastrana said. “Even Ken [Block]’s going to be excited about this one. 100mph-plus, milimeters from touching the rear bumper on the 1983 Subaru wagon.

“[The] car handles like a dream, proximity is on point, reverse entry corners were on point, [I] had some huge stunts that everyone was hanging around thinking, ‘This isn’t going to work’ and somehow we pulled it off so [there’s] definitely a Dukes of Hazzard feeling, [with] this one.”

Words:Dominik Wilde

Photography:Trevor Lyden, David Cosseboom