Students sit behind the wheel of the Subaru Rally Team USA Car


Perla Lara

Justin Surveyor getting inside the Subaru Rally Team USA car on Thursday, Sept. 29. The Subaru show car and trailer travel to about 80 different events per year but according to Event Manager Nick Alburger the goal for this year is reaching 90 events. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara

Cars, rally races, and sitting behind the wheel of a championship winning car would be a dream come true for any car enthusiast.

Welding major Justin Surveyor had the opportunity to do just that on Thursday, Sept. 29 when the Subaru Rally Team USA car came on campus and allowed students to sit behind the wheel.

Subaru event manager Nick Alburger said the car was displayed on campus due to Cerritos College being a partner with Subaru of America LA Zone.

“[Subaru and Cerritos College] thought it would be advantageous to show [students] some of the tools we use.”

Surveyor was more interested in the race car than the tools used to maintain it.

He said that at four-years-old he already had an interest in cars, which led to an initial interest in an automotive career and now being a welding major.

Seeing the Subaru Rally Team USA car up-close for the first time made him excited and despite the small cramped space and difficulty getting in, he took the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat of the car.

He said, “It’s a nice car […] light small, looks fast, probably is fast, welding wise it has nice welding, very perfect welding I like it, it is a really good car.”

As a welding major he was surprised by the fact that “the car was torn down and rebuilt with a full roll cage and carbon fiber.”

It was also automotive technician major Alan Salcedo’s first time seeing the race car up-close.

He said, “I really like it I’m really into these [type of] cars.”

Just like Surveyor he was surprised by how everything in the car was taken out for it to be lightweight. However, he did not get to see the motor to give his opinion as an automotive technician major.

Alburger said the cars motor would never be shown to the public. “It’s a secret, can’t do it [opening up the hood of the car]. The reason is because all race teams have a certain advantage and they don’t want to give that advantage away.

“Winning is within tenths of a second [difference between first and second place] sometimes hundredths of a second and you know everyone wants to win, we have a little bit of an advantage with something we’ve [the Subaru rally team] done, we don’t want to have the competition see it.”

That advantage has resulted in winning 11 championships out of the 12 seasons since the Rally America National Championship event race was created in 2005.

Up next for the SRT USA car is participating in the RedBull Global RallyCross race held in LA on Saturday Oct. 8 and Sunday Oct. 9.

Unlike the Rally America race the SRT USA has not been able to obtain a championship in the Global RallyCross race.