Freestyle BMX legend Dave Mirra has traded in his two-wheeled BMX for a four-wheeled Subaru Impreza rally car, with the announcement that Mirra will contest the majority of the Rally America Championship in 2008. The American finished 18th at the weekend's challenging SnoDrift Rally in Northern Michigan, only the third event Mirra has ever contested.
Mirra's result is a credible finish for the first rider to land a double back flip in competition. In addition to the tough conditions presented by a snow rally, Mirra was also at the wheel of a naturally aspirated vehicle - which series rules prohibiting rookies from driving the turbo-charged All Wheel Drive models the front runners compete with. The X Games medal record holder planning on contesting most round of the 2008 Rally America Championship.
"We had one goal for this rally, and it was to just finish and get some experience," explained Mirra. "The roads were slick everywhere and although we were not pushing hard it was definitely a huge challenge to stay clean and out of the snow banks.
"This was such a good time, now I'm really looking forward to the next rally where we'll be on gravel," he added.
Mirra isn't the only cyclist to trade in his bicycle for a rally car, with multiple downhill world champion Nicolas Vouilloz currently contesting EuroSport's Intercontinental Rally Challenge with some success.
Mirra, who turned professional as a BMX rider in 1992, was turned on to rallying through his friend and Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block - the co-founder of DC Shoes. The BMX rider's vehicle is run by Vermont SportsCar, who operate the Subaru factory team in the USA, where he is team-mates with former Rally America champion and motorcross hotshot Travis Pastrana.