June 6, 2019 , Ensenada, MX -


Ensenada, Mexico – June 6, 2019 – The Subaru Crosstrek Desert Racer earned its first-ever class win at the 2019 Baja 500 off-road race, pushing through difficult conditions to dominate Class 5. The father/son team of Neal and Dusty Grabowski persevered through an especially tough Baja course that ensnared even some of the fastest competitors; with its victory at the legendary Baja race and last year’s win at the 2018 Vegas to Reno, the Crawford Performance/Grabowski Brothers Racing (GBR) program has now secured Class 5 victories at two of the four major U.S./Mexico desert racing events in less than 12 months.

Desert racing is known for being hard on vehicles, and this year’s Baja 500 was no exception. The area near the start and finish of the event featured several silt beds which slowed the early vehicles and led to backups and delays further down the field. Driver Neal Grabowski pushed hard after clearing the start area, and with other competitors also experiencing problems in the rough conditions, managed to put the Crosstrek back in a strong position. By the midway point of the 487-mile event, son Dusty had moved into the driver’s seat and the team had built a substantial gap over the other Class 5 teams. The remainder of the event was not without drama – following a competitor’s tire tracks a mere 15 miles from the finish, the Desert Racer team ended up taking a wrong turn and had to extract themselves from a ravine – but they were able to cross the finish line first in class after sixteen hours of racing.

“Winning at Baja is a dream for anyone who races in the desert,” said Dusty Grabowski. “This was a tough one – the conditions were a major challenge, especially getting caught in the ravine so close to the finish and wondering if we’d be able to get across the line. We knew we were the fastest Class 5 out there – just needed to keep going! It’s an incredible feeling to get our first Baja class win, especially after finishing second last year and knowing we had a chance at the top spot.”

Paired with Subaru Motorsports USA’s 1-2 overall finish at Oregon Trail Rally, the Baja class win also completed a double victory for the Subaru factory racing effort in a single weekend. The Subaru team will look to build on that success at the season kickoff of the Americas Rallycross (ARX) championship at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, June 8-9.

The Crosstrek Desert Racer will return to Mexico’s Baja California peninsula at November’s Baja 1000 race, the vehicle’s first running of the grueling endurance race.

About Subaru Motorsports USA
The Subaru Crosstrek Desert Racer program is managed by Crawford Performance and Grabowski Brothers Racing and proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc.. Subaru Motorsports USA rally and rallycross efforts are managed by Vermont SportsCar and supported by Idemitsu Lubricants, Yokohama Tires, Method Race Wheels, DirtFish Rally School, and KÜHL. Follow the team online at www.subaru.com/rally.

Follow Subaru Motorsports USA on Facebook, on Instagram @subarumotorsportsusa, and on Twitter @subarums_usa.

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 630 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise, which is the company’s vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $145 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged more than 40,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.

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