At the end of this month, ESPN will launch a new Rally format called Super Rally at X-Games, Los Angeles. According to ESPN, “the new SuperRally event will feature 12 drivers doing a number of trial runs to determine grid positions for three different elimination races. The winner of the Elimination heats, as well as the highest seeded driver who has not yet advanced, will battle it out in a four-lap last chance qualifier with the winner of that race competing in the five-lap final race against the winners of the Elimination heat races”. (Ignore the above, hit the jump for the real story)
It seems that from the bove jargon ESPN are already over complicating what is a relatively simple sport to understand – RALLYCROSS. Squeeze as much power as you can into the smallest shell that you can find and go nuts alongside 4 other like minded lunatics until the checkered flag. There are of course strict rules and regulations issued by the FIA, but in general the sport enjoys an excellent variety of chassis, drivers and classes.
Over the next couple of weeks I will unearth some of the more interesting rallycross stories, videos and history for Death Machines readers so that you guys are fully versed in preparation for Rallycross USA.
Pro Rallycross has been touring around Europe for decades. For the newbies, it primarily involves big powered hatch-backs bouncing off one another over a short sprint race on loose and grip surfaces. The nett result is an awesome display of high skill competition with all the best bits from rally and circuit racing mixed together. Jumps, dirt, crashes, anti-lag, etc etc.
My guess is that the USA organisers (Rally America) are going to re-brand and re-package this sport into an arena styled, 4wd bonanza with 700hp Ford Fiestas flying through the air and spraying dirt into the hot-dogs of the front five rows of packed out stadia. You guys are gonna love it!
The good news is that details are now available regarding the debut of Rallycross in the USA and I’m guessing that our New Jersey & Californian audience wil be extremely pleased to hear the schedule. Taken from Rallycross.hu, the details below are pretty exciting and might just encourage me to book Irwindale flights a week early in order to take in the action as part of a NJ Rallycross layover.
Events will be hosted at New Jersey Motorsports Park at Milville, NJ on August 28-29, October 2-3 and November 6-7.
J.B. Niday, Managing Director of Rally America, explains: “We are very happy to bring European style Rallycross to the US. We will run three events this fall at New Jersey Motorsports Park with a clear goal of “selling” this format of motorsport to an American audiance. My belief is that this sport has a big potentional and that there is definitaly a future for Rallycross in America. Events will be run in the same way as in Europe and racing will occur in two classes, a 2WD class and a class with Group A cars where also European Division 1 cars should fit too.”
Also Tanner Foust, who is taking part in his second European Rallycross event at Lydden expressed his ideas about the potential Rallycross has in the USA. “I watched the videos of European Rallycross in the past on the internet,” he said. “The American viewers are really going to like this. Specially the format, plenty of action in a short amount of time, with 5 cars each time over 4 laps. Also the fact that we making use of very powerful ‘compact’ cars, in comparison with the typically American racing cars, is something i expect American viewers are going to like.”
“We are already thinking and looking forward to 2011 as well”, Niday continues. “When the three events will be a success for us we can think about a format of running a championship with like eight events, four events in the West and four event in the East.”
For the upcoming events in 2010 different names of American drivers are already confirmed. Niday: “I even had to check with Tanner [Foust] to avoid clashes with the existing Formula Drift series. Therefore i had to apply a date change for the first event. So Tanner [Foust] is confirmed as well as Travis Pastrana and Dave Mirra from Subaru Rally Team USA and Brian Deegan. Robby Gordon is one of the American drivers who are not confirmed today but showed interest in participating.” Regarding the European drivers, according to Niday, none of them have confirmed their participation yet but of course several of them showed an interest in participating.
Based on the popularity of X-Games Rally coupled with the comercial interest surrounding ex-action sports stars participating in Rally America, Pro Rallycross should tick all the right boxes for the typical American motorsport audience. Keep an eye on Death Machines over the coming weeks for more RallyCross content as we build up to its arrival Stateside.