The Impreza chassis has been more successful in rallying than Subaru's previous contenders. Prior to the introduction of the Impreza into World Rally Championship racing in 1993, the Subaru World Rally Team had fielded its larger mid-size Legacy. However, with the rest of the rally competition increasingly shifting towards smaller and lighter chassis, Subaru introduced the smaller Impreza, immediately achieving a podium on its debut on the 1993 1000 Lakes Rally. To jumpstart its early rally efforts, and to develop the Impreza into a competitive rally car, Subaru teamed up with its current preporatory firm, British motorsports company Prodrive, in 1989.
Immediately following the first overall WRC event win for both the fledgling Subaru team and its young driver, the late Colin McRae aboard a Group A Legacy on the 1993 Rally New Zealand, the Scotman's team-mate and childhood idol, 1981 World Rally Champion, Ari Vatanen of Finland, went on to finish second in the debut rally of the first ever factory Impreza. New recruit for the following season, 1990 and 1992 World Champion, Carlos Sainz brought the Impreza its inaugural victory on the 1994 Acropolis Rally.
The Impreza brought Subaru three consecutive WRC constructors' titles (1995–1997, the latter season the first for the newly introduced World Rally Car class) and a driver's championship for McRae in 1995, the late Richard Burns in 2001, and the Norwegian, Petter Solberg in 2003.
Another evolution of the Impreza WRC made its debut in the 2007 Corona Rally Mexico. Unfortunately, the team had several major problems with reliability as the car experienced mechanical difficulties in almost every rally from its first.
Subaru debuted an Impreza WRC in hatchback form for the first time from the 2008 Acropolis Rally onwards, on which event Solberg scored a second place finish. On 16 December 2008 Subaru announced that it would withdraw from the World Rally Championship due to economic problems.
However, the Subaru Rally Team USA is still competing in the Rally America National Championship. Also, there are still several teams using Subaru models in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. Starting in 2006, Subaru of America (SOA), as the official distributor of Subaru vehicles in the United States, participates in the Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) with a Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Spec-B in the Grand-Am Street Tuner class. In 2010, SRRT campaigns a Subaru Impreza WRX STI in the Grand Sport class. In 2011, SRRT switched from the hatchback to a 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI sedan.
In April 2010, a modified third generation WRX STI driven by Tommi Mäkinen set a lap time of 7:55 on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which is a record for a 4-door car. The Subaru Road Racing Team debuted the Impreza WRX STI hatchback and switched to Impreza WRX STI sedan in 2011 participated to the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series.
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