Subaru extends front splitter to balance out bigger wing

The aerodynamic upgrade is likely to be the final tweak to Subaru's WRX STI this ARA season


Subaru Motorsports USA has once again stepped up its aerodynamic game for the latest round of the American Rally Association presented by DirtFish National championship, extending the front splitter of its cars to the edge of the rulebook’s allowance.

The change for Ojibwe Forests Rally has been put in place to help balance out the car and add more downforce to the front tires after the massive wing upgrade at the New England Forest Rally.

Subaru Motorsports USA’s motorsport director Dan Anctil filled DirtFish in on what will likely be the final big update to the platform before its retirement at the end of the season.

“[At New England] I talked a lot about the balance that we were trying to find with the added aero, and what’s going on is we still had some room to, literally, grow at the front end and find a little more front end down force,” he said at the technical inspection on Thursday.

“It’s something we’ve never had to do before, but given the current state of the championship and the competition we’re up against, we need to push everywhere.

“We had a little bit of room to grow that front splitter out and down, so we took advantage of that. Just perfectly within the rules and it was just all about testing it from after that.


“The only testing we’ve done with [the changes] was here yesterday on our road that we used last year. It was actually really nice to kind of apples to apples, see the difference between the setup previously and with this new splitter.”

While testing didn’t reveal major time gains for the Subaru drivers, it was a noticeable enough difference that they will be starting with the new front end on Friday, and hope to see some improvement in stage times going into the final three rounds of the championship.

As the current chassis nears its swansong, the improvements are solely for use in this year’s championship, as the aerodynamic rule package for next year will require the teams to pull back their bodywork modifications significantly.


Despite the threat of Ken Block and Barry McKenna’s World Rally Cars over the past two years, Subaru has stayed strong in the 2022 championship going into Ojibwe as Brandon Semenuk leads with four points over team-mate Travis Pastrana, while Hoonigan’s Ken Block sits nine and five points behind each of them respectively in third.

Ojibwe Forests Rally is also promising rally for Subaru, with Travis Pastrana having the most wins of any driver in history on the Northern Minnesota stages.