In its debut rally, the next-gen Subaru WRX rally car took first place in the 2023 Ojibwe Forests Rally. This is the second straight American Rally Association® (ARA) victory for driver Brandon Semenuk and co-driver Keaton Williams.

The Ojibwe Forests Rally – which takes place in the 10,000 Lakes region of Minnesota – featured long, fast stages early in the event on Friday, August 25. In the eight stages, Semenuk and Williams stayed on top of the leaderboard without a single mechanical issue, a surprising feat in an all-new rally car.

Saturday was a series of shorter, more technically demanding stages over narrow, rocky trails. The team experienced a punctured tire near the end of the day, but the puncture was reportedly repaired quickly without damage to the car.

The all-new WRX accomplished a first-place overall finish, and the team celebrated an overall 2023 ARA Championship victory.

Co-driver Keaton Williams (on the left) and driver Brandon Semenuk (on the right) are wearing racing suits and are standing in front of the all-new WRX rally car; two large Minnesota-shaped trophies adorn the hood.
Co-driver Keaton Williams (left) and driver Brandon Semenuk (right) drove the new rally car for an overall win in its inaugural event.

Months of building, planning and testing by Subaru Motorsports USA and Vermont SportsCar went into the new WRX. “Perfect debut for the next-gen rally car!” says Semenuk. “First event with the new car, and a nice summer day to wrap up its first win. Thanks to the entire team for the mega effort this year!

“This is a tricky event to bring a new car to,” adds co-driver Keaton Williams. “The weekend has been all about the team; they’ve done an amazing job to develop a car like this, so hats off to them. It’s been a really good weekend.”

Current standings put the Subaru Motorsports USA team with Brandon Semenuk behind the wheel in first place.

Up next, the team heads to Michigan for the Lake Superior Performance Rally on October 13 and 14, the closing event of the ARA calendar for 2023. For 2024, Semenuk and Williams welcome the return of extreme sports legend Travis Pastrana, who will pilot a second next-generation WRX rally car.