Production Car World Rally Championship runner Travis Pastrana has admitted that he will scale back his plans for the 2008 WRC season after a difficult campaign in 2007.
The Subaru Team USA driver, who successfully defended his Rally America National Championship title this season, endured a trying part-season in the PWRC – which concluded with an eleventh place finish on Wales Rally GB after an event that saw him suffer five punctures and a suspension failure.
Pastrana had planned to contest the full PWRC in 2008 but will now only complete a selected programme again as he instead focuses on bringing himself up to speed – although his focus remains very much on making it to the top of the WRC tree.
"Horribly to be perfectly honest!" he told Crash.net
when asked how he feels his PWRC career has gone to date. "Every production event has been a different learning experience for me. We planned to do the full season next year but I've backed that down and said I need to go and do some more events where they have recces.
"Instead, I'll go to Canada a lot more next year and hopefully come over to Europe and do some events. I'm hoping a lot of the speed I need to find is down to my notes, because in America we don't make our own notes and they are all computer generated.
"I have been a huge fan of the WRC since I was five years old and I think it is the coolest form of driving on the face of the earth. To be one of the top guys in that would be an accomplisment that I would definately like to check off the list."
Pastrana was speaking at the Race of Champions event at Wembley stadium in London, where he will line-up alongside NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson for Team USA and the former Moto-X star admitted he was looking forward to the annual end of season event - with the pressure off and the whole ethos being on having fun and putting on a show.
"It's such an honour to come over here and represent the USA," he said. "Jimmie ended up hurting himself last year and I got more track time than anyone else which was a huge advantage and was great. But a lot of my success in Paris was luck and getting through the early rounds.
"We are realistic and looking forward to it, but aware that these other guys are the best in the world."