BFGoodrich® Tires captured silver and bronze medals last weekend during the X Games 13 Rally Super Special in Los Angeles. Ken Block (Subaru/BFGoodrich Tires) took home the silver medal while his Subaru Rally USA teammate and last year's gold medal winner, Travis Pastrana (Subaru/BFGoodrich Tires), took the bronze medal in a semi-final heat race to determine third place.
Pastrana, the defending X Games Rally Champion and Moto X Freestyle legend of double backflip fame, was automatically the top-seed in his BFGoodrich-shod Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally car to start the event. During the quarter-final round of eliminations, Pastrana was paired against and defeated Paul Choiniere, granting him a position in the semi-finals against Tanner Foust. During the dramatic semi-final round, Pastrana slid into Foust's lane in a spectacular push for the win and was disqualified, thus giving the win to Foust who faced Block in the finals.
"I was really happy with how we drove, our Subaru and BFGoodrich Tires were amazing," said Pastrana. "I drove my best and still crossed the line first. It was the wrong line, though! But they made the right call. It made for a good show I bet, but after winning the gold last year, taking home bronze this time around is hard to swallow."
Block's charge for the finals included an intense quarter-final battle with Andrew Comrie-Picard, whom he overcame in his BFGoodrich-shod Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally car, and a semi-final duel with BFGoodrich Tires driver and former WRC Champion Colin McRae. Block won the semi-final round after McRae rolled his car near the finish line and was unable to continue, thus handing the win to Block and a final round bid against Foust.
The highly anticipated final between Block and Foust was equally intense. Both drivers pushed the envelope as they battled around the tricky dirt and asphalt course. The rally rivals swapped the lead several times with Foust inching forward in the last few feet of the course to cross the finish line .68 seconds ahead of Block to take the win.
"Our BFGoodrich Tires performed exceptionally well," said Block. "We did a lot of testing this week and found the optimal set-up for our car. I can honestly say that I wouldn't be sitting here today with a silver medal around my neck if it wasn't for these tires."
Boris Said, the NASCAR ace and last minute "at-large" invitee to the X Games Rally event was faced with a daunting challenge at the event. His NASCAR commitments had him in Montreal all week, where he nearly won the inaugural Busch event on Saturday only to have his engine fail in the closing laps. Said then flew overnight to Los Angeles where he arrived at nearly 2 a.m., just hours prior the X Games Rally start. After being absent from the two practice sessions on Thursday and Friday, Said was looking forward to nearly four hours of Sunday morning practice to become accustomed with the car. However, problems with building the X Games Rally course overnight in the stadium delayed and all but canceled practice, giving Said just one practice lap on a course he had never seen, and in a car he has never competed in! Saids' co-driver, U.S. rally legend John Buffum, coached Said as best he could on the details of the course and the handling traits of the car. Said was paired first against eight-time U.S. Rally Champion Paul Choiniere in the first qualifying heat, who pulled ahead on the last half of the course to best Said and end his day of contending the BFGoodrich Tires backed Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally car early.
Said commented on his first X Games experience: "This event was really cool because I've always been a closet rally fan, and being able to drive for BFGoodrich was very important because I wouldn't be here if they had not supported me early in my career. I knew it was going to be tough going up against some of the best rally drivers in the country and I don't have much rally experience, but I think I had a respectable outcome considering this was the first time I had ever been involved in something like this and I hope I can do it again next year."
"We are excited to be involved with the X Games because the connection between extreme sports and off-road motorsports is becoming more popular every year," said Todd Steen, Motorsports Marketing Manager for BFGoodrich Tires. "The tremendous effort shown by all our drivers during the X Games is very rewarding and five medals in two consecutive years of Rally participation is an impressive reflection on what our products can deliver. We congratulate all our drivers and are looking forward to next year's competition."
Using motorsports as a proving ground for more than 30 years, BFGoodrich® Tires is involved in every type of racing, including oval, sports car, drifting, drag, desert, dirt, rally (Dakar and WRC) and extreme rock crawling. BFGoodrich Tires combines technological expertise with vast motorsports experience, delivering a high-performance tire for every type of vehicle.
BFGoodrich Tires is dedicated to providing high performance tires for those who have a passion for driving in virtually any environment. Combining technical expertise with 50 years of motorsports experience, BFGoodrich delivers tires for a full range of driving experiences from ultra-high performance street to off-road terrain with one common theme – extreme performance. Come upgrade your performance with BFGoodrich and see where our tires can take you at www.BFGoodrichTires.com, www.BFGoodrichRacing.com, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @BFGoodrichTires.