Brandon Semenuk Signs With Subaru Motorsports USA To Race Rally Cars Alongside Travis Pastrana

Mar 12, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  

Brandon Semenuk has today announced he has signed with Subaru Motorsports USA to form half of their rally team alongside action sports legend Travis Pastrana.


This is far from Semenuk's first introduction to rally car racing. Competing first in a production WRX and then in a Subaru Canada-supported Crosstrek rally car, Semenuk has racked up five overall Canadian Rally Championship event wins and a pair of North American Rally Cup titles in the last three years. His achievements in U.S. events include an impressive 4th overall at Idaho Rally in 2018 and another 4th place finish in a privateer car at 2019's Oregon Trail Rally.

Here's a video of him racing in a Subaru back in 2017:


Semenuk has also previously appeared in a Subaru advert called Vice Versa, shot by Revel Co.:


Travis Pastrana is also a seasoned rally driver and is a five-time national rally champion with Subaru. He is returning to the US circuit for his first full season since 2017. The Subaru press release indicates that Semenuk and Pastrana will both be racing every round of the competition, kicking off at the 100 Acre Wood rally on March 20-21.


bigquotesThis season is going to be a blast. I’ve been rallying for the last few years, but the STI is a big step up in performance. Travis knows the STI really well, so I’m going to take it one event at a time to learn as much as I can and get my pace up. The car is really exciting to drive and I’m getting more confident with it in testing. I can’t wait to put in some stage miles and see how we measure up.Brandon Semenuk

More info, here.


168 Comments

  • 292 5
 seems only fitting seeing how MTB has been cancelled for 2020
  • 23 3
 Give it time, its unlikely this will be any different, awesome form of motorsport mind.
  • 24 0
 hahahah! when biking is too easy too maybe?
  • 6 0
 john hall as co driver
  • 18 1
 @chyu: Hopefully they don’t end up with the wrong crank in the engine; he’ll never hear the end of it.
  • 81 0
 no need to cancel spectators at these events. Anyone who heckles on the side of a flat turn as cars pass at 150mph on gravel has no fear of a virus.
  • 8 51
flag kevinsliwinski (Mar 12, 2020 at 14:01) (Below Threshold)
 RIP Brandon, nice knowing ya.
  • 3 24
flag colincolin (Mar 12, 2020 at 14:21) (Below Threshold)
 @kevinsliwinski: my first thoughts as well
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: well they just canceled the Melbourne F1 race that starts today.
  • 15 0
 I rode today. My trails weren’t closed!
  • 1 1
 stay positive, the spring is all most here...
  • 1 1
 @icespec: don’t believe the hype. They’re comparing this to MERS and that came from camels in Saudi Arabia. Can handle the heat.
  • 5 0
 @ninjatarian: more realistically....hopefully Subaru doesnt make a junky inferior swiss cheese engine that blows up when you start it, and then saddle the blame on a highly respected professional mechanic to cover their asses. Looking at you e13.
  • 2 0
 This.
  • 229 4
 "Raw 100" with a WRX instead of the bike. GIVE US WHAT WE NEED BRANDON
  • 60 140
flag vhdh666 (Mar 12, 2020 at 9:43) (Below Threshold)
 in addition to the e-bike filter, we will need a car filter as well
  • 6 2
 awesome idea
  • 22 49
flag ratedgg13 (Mar 12, 2020 at 10:00) (Below Threshold)
 @vhdh666: Couldn't filter out Bernard Kerr's failed motocross run videos/updates, so doubt they'd put in a filter for that either
  • 46 4
 @vhdh666: you know you can just scroll over and ignore it?
  • 17 1
 Semenuk is such a fkn baller
  • 39 7
 @ratedgg13: I would like updates on his rally racing accomplishments. I would rather have a WRX and regular MTB, than adding an eMTB to my garage.
  • 12 9
 @vhdh666: why did this get so many dislikes lol it’s just a joke? People on this platform are kooks.
  • 4 4
 @vhdh666: Bore off
  • 3 1
 @Stokedonthis: haters gonna hate, they can’t help themselves
  • 5 7
 @HadrienButte: yes it was a joke. The 48 downvozers are either intolerant or stupid AF. I am fine with that
  • 2 3
 @Stokedonthis: yes I know that.
  • 2 0
 Cork 720 incoming
  • 5 1
 Semenuk fans now reaching car-buying stage of life?
  • 1 0
 @PinkyScar: funnily enough, yes
  • 62 2
 i raced against Brandon in the Idaho Rally a couple years ago. i was like a school girl hanging out with him. Such a nice down to earth guy. Unfortunately the Idaho Rally isn't a national anymore so i doubt he'll be back this year :/

good luck Brandon this year Brandon!
  • 174 4
 *this message brought to you by the department of redundancy department*
  • 15 4
 A school girl that wanted to make sweet, sweet love
  • 5 0
 @Ryanfitz81: I like you, Brandon. I like you. A. Lot!
  • 8 0
 How about a serious question...Did you beat him?

#hotcarl
  • 50 0
 For sale: Lightly used WRX
  • 33 0
 How're those headgaskets?
  • 6 0
 @enduroelite: I do believe the FA20 has been much more reliable headgasketwise than the EJ. obviously the sample size is much smaller, but time will tell.
  • 4 0
 @enduroelite: where did ya machine ya head-gasket bra?
  • 7 0
 @enduroelite: the turbo charged engines have different heads and higher quality head gaskets. much less prone to head gasket failure.
  • 3 0
 @jaycubzz: They're hoping to squeeze 400whp out of the FA for the next gen WRX, so I hope they have more faith in it. Headgaskets were just one problem with the EJ.
  • 4 0
 @aerob: Maybe the selling price of my 2005 Outback will go up a bit! Classic Dad mobile!
  • 7 0
 I finally let go of my 07 this year after 2 head gaskets, 2 timing belts and a bunch of other stuff racking up. 357,000 km wasn't bad though!
  • 2 3
 Yup, my EJ WRX Hatch is also lightly used. But has had a new short block, twice rebuilt transmission, 3 throwout bearings, new steering rack, new rear heating element, new front caliper, new clutch, and new rear hatch latch. All courtesy of SOA! To be fair, mostly all of that occurred before 30k. Since then she's been tip-top (aside from the steering rack). I also recently received an 8 year/100kmi settlement warranty on the powertrain, which I still have two more years of.

My wife also had her forester 2.5L replaced @99k mi due to oil consumption. But Subaru family!
  • 2 0
 @map-guy:

Someone wrote off my WRX hatch just a couple weeks ago, sad way for it to go. Aside from a steering rack, had no typical Subaru issues. Just regular maintenance.
  • 2 0
 @enduroelite: i dunno what the prices are in canada, but in washington, oregon, or colorado, used subarus go for top dollar despite the known issues. could easily get $3-4k usd out of an 05 outback.
  • 1 0
 @turco999: what did you replace it with? I picked up a Focus ST. It's been fun but I miss AWD
  • 8 1
 Damn subies. So much fun to drive but I had that shit latex paint that flakes off if you looked at sideways. After numerous paint jobs and the head gasket going at not even 60k I traded the piece of shit and will avoid them like the plague forever and a day. Seems some go forever but many are lemons off the lot.
  • 2 1
 @map-guy:

Probably a Taco. They're fun to drive for a truck, and Toyota reliability cant be beat. Dont think I can drive anything without AWD anymore though.
  • 2 0
 @map-guy: I'm on engine $ clutch # 2 250K km on the body. She's got a few more tricks up her sleeve
  • 4 4
 @turco999: i just got a manual tacoma. So fun to drive. Like an impreza, but beefier
  • 2 0
 @aerob: we race an evo in hill climbs and limited TA. it seems like the subaru guys are continually having head gasket issues turbo or not.
  • 2 0
 @meathooker: mine's at 174k miles, no head gasket issues. but it hasn't been raced. everything else will probably break first.. they're just.. delicate.
  • 1 3
 Really, "Lightly Used" lol? Great video, Semenuk drives the Subie to the top of the mountain and just leaves it there? Hey, maybe the keys are in it and can rally test it 1st...
  • 3 0
 @turco999: gotta do it, shuttle truckin
  • 3 0
 @enduroelite: ah yeah for sure, barely broken in haha
  • 2 0
 @turco999: My supercharged manual taco does not have me missing my Focus ST at all. Until I look at the MPG's...
  • 2 1
 Yeah nice quick cars, I had one in Canada but any time anything needs fixing it cost a thousand dollars. New exhaust - 1000, new set of tires - 1000, new taillight bulb... you get the picture.
  • 2 0
 Never raced, never jumped, slight scuffs and scratches from normal use, maintained by professional (garage) mechanic.
  • 40 6
 Comment section when ebike article is posted: "Get this non-bike crap out of here!"

Comment section when rally car article is posted: *Grunts of approval*

Pinkbike, everyone!
  • 36 3
 The difference is that rally cars are cool
  • 19 3
 @tstaudte: And that rally car drivers have no issues with the fact that theirs are motor vehicles and should be treated as such.
  • 5 0
 @tstaudte: *Grunt of approval*
  • 28 0
 Mountain bikes and rally cars, two of my favourite things! He's living the dream
  • 18 0
 Yes! Badass! Nice work Brandon!
  • 5 1
 Whenever I read/hear the name "Brandon," I think of the skip the dishes commercials. Lol.
  • 14 0
 This guy is living too many dreams!
  • 9 0
 I’m amazed that there is funding for rallying in the US. It’s so expensive to run a team and the public interest is so low. I guess it’s a media stunt rather than a competitive series or Subaru would just use one of their junior Scandinavian drivers come over and demolish everyone.
  • 4 0
 They did that will Oliver last year. that kid is going to be a world champion
  • 10 1
 It is a competitive series, but the competitive field isn’t very deep. There are a few fast guys at the top, but I have read that good drivers can show up in vintage RWD vehicles with maybe ~200 hp, and beat the majority of the pack.

I think you’ve nailed it I’m regards to the ex-action sports guys... Ken Block, Travis Pastrana- They help bring in viewers and interest, even if they aren’t the fastest. (Pastrana has been competitive though.)

That’s probably how it will go with Semenuk to... No doubt he’s an awesome driver, and will do well, but it’s unrealistic to think he’ll ever be as good as a European like Solberg who’s been banging gears and fenders since birth.
  • 2 3
 I didn't even know rally was still a thing. I haven't had cable TV in 10 years though.
  • 7 1
 @jwdenver:

I don’t think it’s on TV anyways.
  • 13 1
 Zink:
"I'm going to race a bike in my Porsche"

Semenuk:
"hold my beer"
  • 11 1
 -wasted guy in the back ... "hey Brandon do a backflip" 1:31
  • 5 0
 Smart move!
Carlos Sainz (snr) was still racing rally into his late 40's.. last rally win at 48!
I see Semenuk as more of a do-er than a team manager/race director or whatever else human powered sports athletes go into once they start slowing down.
  • 1 0
 Cool I didn't know that. Now his son races Formula 1
  • 2 0
 @map-guy: Snr is still winning Dakars
  • 9 1
 Semenuk vs Atherton vs Block vs Loeb. 4 events, 4 stages per event including a SS night race.
  • 18 0
 Loeb would be 1min up!
  • 19 0
 @jclnv: And Block would be DNF'd in a tree
  • 8 0
 Not fair to put amateurs against the GOAT
  • 2 0
 @jclnv: thinking we give Loeb a handicap

@src248 super special stage is gymkhana
  • 13 0
 @fatduke dude , Loeb is the goat , block is a wannabe who couldn’t & the other 2 would be club drivers at best ...... WRC is different gravy .
  • 3 0
 @spannermonkey73: exactly. Can’t help but think so much of this is based on the exposure through semenuks social media “followers army” It seems most important in these days of 2020’s
  • 3 0
 @spannermonkey73: Dude I know that WRC is so in that case give them all the same car lets say a 2wd Fiesta give Loeb a 1.0 litre engine and then let them race.


Jeez some people take a flippant comment way too seriously.
  • 4 0
 @spannermonkey73: Ken's a good guy and hes done a lot for the sport, he's not at the very top level competitively, but he's certainly not far off.
  • 3 0
 Sadly no one know Loeb outside France and Europe. Ppl still think Block is faster
  • 2 0
 @pbuser2299: I don’t doubt it , he can certainly handle a car , he had his arse handed to him when he played with the big boys though.
  • 1 0
 Loeb would need to have his turbo disconnected or something.
  • 3 0
 @Trudeez: I think he’d still school them if he rode a vacuum cleaner
  • 6 0
 I've been following him thought the Canadian Rally Championship social medias for years. I always chuckled when they'd say "Brandon rides mountain bikes as well" and a post would get 40 likes.
  • 4 0
 I hope Subaru US Rally racng team continues the 'Launch Control' YouTube show. It would be great to follow Brandon's US Rally racing career.
US Rally is worth watching and I wish Red Bull Media would cover it. WRC is ok, but AWD subcompacts are not really cars that people can buy. At least the rules in WRC allow for AWD performance cars that people can buy (i.e., WRX, etc.).
  • 1 0
 Correction: 'rules in US Rally Racing allow for AWD performance cars that people can buy'
  • 4 0
 Put someone who understands how little grip 2 tires have into a fully caged car with 4 tires, and you'll see them beat the pants off the hobby rally folx.
Grip, balance, flow/line, focus and don't forget fitness all transfer Very Well from 2 wheels to 4.
Find that video of Pastrana yardsailing the factory car in Colorado in the 2000's. . . gets out 'Wheeee, that was a hell of a ride' . . . Belted in with head and neck restraints and it's easy to feel invincible.
The ~200hp RWD car can be built for the price of an average MTN bike (Carbon, not that Ripmo AF), but the entry fees went from $350/event to ~$600-1000, and makes it hard to justify.
  • 2 0
 We’ve seen Pastrana and Bucky Lasek learn rally driving from the beginning. And they have improved up to competition level. What amazes me though, are those teenage Scandinavian drivers in rally competitions. How early did they start?

And good luck Brandon! More Pinkbikers wish we could drive our 80hp, front wheel drive car, like a rally car Smile
  • 4 0
 Sure wish Subaru would make a WRX STI wagon again. The sedan just doesn’t do it for me. Rallying a grocery getting Crosstrek..........
  • 2 0
 Can we please get a Video of Brandon messing around on bikes with Travis at Travis' house/compound? And visa-versa? Both of them have insane playgrounds at their houses... and both would be so fun to see try each other's sports.
  • 4 0
 Looks like a Session... Seriously though, really sick! Good luck Brandon!
  • 4 0
 that subaru looks like a session. why is there no disclaimer about the riding? experienced rider, do not attempt
  • 4 2
 I like how reporting on Motorsport ignites interest and conversation, but put an e-bike with electrical motorisation on Pinkbike and everybody shits the bed saying it's not a bike.
  • 9 4
 Semen and STI lol
  • 2 0
 Sounds like you may have twisted your words and gotten yourselve into a very sticky situation...lol
  • 3 0
 Hmmm, following in the footsteps of Nicolas Vouilloz?
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Vouilloz
  • 2 0
 Nicolas Vouilloz is so underrated, I am sure he had BOS suspensions like the Citroen Xsara and C4 WRC. Nico was also competing in WRC that is a different level too.
  • 4 0
 > Subaru Canada-supported Crosstrek rally car

Slowest rally ever!
  • 1 0
 Yeah, 150hp doesn’t feel like much by the time it makes it through the drivetrain too the ground.
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure that car wasn't using the stock engine.
  • 1 0
 @baulz: I'm sure, but it just seems funny that they'd use rally to advertise a Crosstrek, which has got to be one of the slowest cars you can buy in the US. It'd be like Toyota racing a Prius.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: It's one of the last of their cars that can come with a manual transmission. Really, there are only 6 or 8 AWD cars ( other than super cars ) that still come with manual transmissions. I'm gonna hold on to my 5spd stick shift for as long as I can.
  • 2 1
 just shows you how much is costs to race cars.. if you can bring funding anyone will sign you in racing more than speed or podiums … not hating just speaking the truth about motorsports
  • 2 0
 @borisimobike: Usually there's only two of us standing around spectating anyways and we're far enough apart that we can't sneeze on each other...
  • 1 1
 If you've never been to a Rally America event, go do it! I've attended Lake Superior Performance Rally in the UP of Michigan the last few years, and it's always amazing. Drive up to Houghton on Thursday, drink hard at the college bars, ride the Michigan Tech Trails on Friday morning, see the cars and talk to the drivers in the afternoon, drive 1.5 hours to the spectator stages, watch 40+ bomb past you at 100mph and get all sideways in the turns, repeat everything on Saturday.

The fan and community involvement in rally is very reminiscent of the MTB scene, everyone is respectful, supportive, and out to have a good time.
  • 2 0
 My childish brain likes the idea of him racing a Rally car fitted with a roof rack and his bike.
  • 2 0
 Interesting... Have to see if we run into each other since they're based in Colchester, VT
  • 1 0
 Well this just makes Brandon Semenuk all the more awesome. He's got wicked style on a MTB and he's got rally skills to boot. Freaking awesome!
  • 1 0
 Pretty sweet life to have limited experience and get picked up as a WRC racer. Similar to TP, I guess RedBull exposure is more valuable than just getting a sweet helmet.
  • 1 0
 I guess somebody already got tired of the same jumps, same movements, same and same things every day and people still all get exited about it...
  • 3 2
 MTB doesn’t seem to get that we just lost our #1 star. No disrespect to a lot of other guys but I’m gonna miss a bike world that doesn’t include Semenuk.
  • 4 1
 What makes you think he won’t also be riding his bike?
  • 2 0
 @sb666: I don’t mean to say I think he’s not going to ride at all, but I think it’s hard to progress and be as good as any top athlete is if it’s not their sole focus. I hope I’m wrong!
  • 1 0
 The last time the economy crashed, Subaru ditched their rally team and handed Ken Block over to Ford. I'm sure they are standing by that decision...
  • 2 0
 I doubt it. Ken Block is a shoe and clothing salesman.

Clearly Ford’s return on investment wasn’t enough to stop them cancelling the Fiesta ST & Focus RS.

To my knowledge, Subaru intends to keep selling the WRX.
  • 1 0
 @alreadyupsidedown: Ken Block comes with an entire brand. And that brand reps Ford. Success to Ford isn't selling fiestas and focuses. Block is pushing Raptors like it's no body's business.
  • 1 0
 @man4sure:

So what you’re saying is that Ken Block is better at selling trucks then cars? Trucks being a thing that Ford sells, and Subaru doesn’t?

Again, I highly doubt Subaru regrets their decision- especially when they can pick up new talent that’s more appropriate to their brand.
  • 2 0
 Haha!! Semenuk is gonna go nuts from Pastrana’s constant high energy rattling..! :-)
Pastrana is the man!!
  • 1 0
 What a time to be alive! I mountain bike and I drive a Subaru! Oh, the money I'll spend!
  • 7 5
 Not if COVID19 has anything to say about it
  • 1 0
 Two of my favorite sports dominated by mountain bikers lets dominate more lol
  • 1 0
 Awesome! I remember the days of Nico Vouilloz racing the WRC for Peugeot and Skoda. He's fast on any wheels too...
  • 1 0
 I mean why not? If he thinks he's up to it, he should have a go. Motorsports is quite a different animal though...
  • 1 0
 Nice! This is something I could enjoy!!
  • 1 1
 In my mind, I think I could beat Pastrana and Semenuk in rally. Sign me up!!
  • 1 0
 There is nothing this kid cant do!
  • 3 2
 Get Cam Zink the B-series Porsche...
  • 1 0
 Didn't Gee try this out already?
  • 1 1
 I sprayed champagne once in the stripclub too!! Was cool!!! My wallet was empty afterwards...not so cool!! ????
  • 2 1
 Way better than "e-bike"!
  • 1 0
 I have nothing to dream about anymore since Brandon has stolen all of them
  • 1 0
 Couldn't like this more!!!
  • 2 1
 April fools. He joined the Ebike world tour
  • 3 2
 Subarus are for pussies. Peugeot 306 über alles!!!!
  • 1 0
 Subs are Ok, Love the Xsara and I miss my Megane RS so much.
  • 1 0
 Subaru needs to worry about fixing all these junk CVT transmissions.
  • 2 0
 CVT lol, they pay for their laziness. Manual transmission is the best option, cheap, fun, reliable and faster than CVT. I had to teach to all my girlfriends how to drive stick in Canada. I was surprised to see that bike here didn't have automatic transmission too.
  • 1 0
 This guy is living the life. Fair play to him and wish him luck.
  • 1 0
 From a purely selfish perspective: Disappointing.
  • 1 0
 RAW 100!
  • 1 0
 this some heavy clout
  • 4 3
 pinkmotorsport
  • 1 2
 Good career move. You won everything you could in MTB, now move on to something else.
  • 2 2
 ok. now we need pink douche rally section
  • 1 0
 Stay woke.
  • 3 4
 This has nothing to do with cycling so it should not be worth an article on this website!
  • 1 1
 So fuckin' stoked on this. Brandon for president.
  • 1 0
 eeew 1:45, poor rack...
  • 1 0
 Traitor!
  • 1 1
 Keep it in the ground.
  • 1 1
 Frick Yah!!!!!!
  • 1 1
 awesome!
  • 4 4
 Who cares?
  • 3 5
 April 1st isn't for a couple weeks PB
  • 2 0
 I think they are afraid it might be canceled
  • 1 4
 You don’t race rally you compete, at night point is it a race
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