Ferrari Subaru ends season with a Big White win

Sam Albert and Krista Skucas guided their glorious Ferrari-engined Subaru to Canadian success on Saturday

Albert Big White

Kelowna, British Colombia, wasn’t the warmest of places last weekend. But still they came. They came and they camped out overnight. They came for one thing: the coming together of a Ferrari V8 engine and a Subaru Impreza.

Sam Albert and Krista Skucas didn’t disappoint as they rounded out a memorable season with victory on the Big White Winter Rally in their unique Ferrari Subaru.

Joining fellow ARA stars Jeff Seehorn (Subaru WRX) and Jason Bailey (Ford Fiesta Rally3) on the Canadian Rally Championship event, the trio were the class of the field throughout the day. Bailey eventually finished second, while Seehorn lost the lead when he buried his WRX in a snowbank for 10 minutes on the final stage.

Albert endured his own frustrations, with visibility in the final two stages seriously hindered as the inside of the Subaru fogged up and froze in the snow. To make matters even more interesting, eight of the world’s loudest and proudest cylinders combined to ensure he could hardly hear Skucas at times.


Despite that, he was happy.

“This is a great way to end the year,” Albert told DirtFish. “We’ve worked hard on the car since earlier in the season. We’ve refreshed components, bearings and that kind of thing to build in more reliability. It worked. The car didn’t miss a beat.

“What got us this time was that fogging up in the last couple of stages.”

Albert had built his event around a big push on the final loop, tuning his tire plan to optimise his opportunity later in the day.

“There wasn’t so much snow early on,” he said of the Saturday rally. “That’s why we took the [Yokohama] A034. I wanted to build confidence in the car and the tire through the morning and then really charge at it in the final two loops of stages.

“We got everything right and the plan was paying off. In the second run of the 32-kilometre stage, everything felt really good. I knew we were ahead, I knew we were making time. But then the inside started fogging and we just haemorrhaged all of that time back. I was fairly livid at that.

“But OK, we still got the result.”

The fix for being able to hear his co-driver over the noise of the Ferrari engine will come over the winter.

“For Krista and I, our helmets expire this season, so we’re going with more of a circuit racing set-up in terms of the intercom,” he said. “We’ll look at earbuds which will hopefully help to keep some of the [engine] noise out.

“When you watch the onboard, you can hear Krista perfectly, but the helmet just doesn’t block off enough of the sound. She had it all figured out though and could tell when I short-shifted, I was doing that because I wanted the next note – she gave it to me. She did a great job.”

And the campers?

“Yeah, that was incredible,” said Albert. “We heard of numerous people who heard the Ferrari Subaru was competing and came up here to look out for the car. And, yes, some people managed to get the day off work and came up here camping – we were hearing a lot of these stories.

“It’s great to see how much the car has hit the spot with what we wanted to achieve. I think it’s mission accomplished from that side.”

Words:David Evans