RED BULL GLOBAL RALLYCROSS
The Global Rallycross Championship was formed in 2010 after a successful American debut at X Games 16 in Los Angeles. The first race was a bit of a trial for ESPN, owner of the X Games. But it paid off. Though rallycross has been popular in Europe for many years, the US didn’t have its own series until 2011 when GRC held five domestic events. In 2013, the series expanded to seven domestic events, as well internationally to include Brazil, Spain, and Germany in conjunction with X Games. As the popularity of rallycross explodes across the US, GRC is growing in additional ways. In 2013 a new class of cars, the Lites, were introduced to the domestic races. And in 2014, Red Bull joined forces with GRC to become its main sponsor. Tthe series grow to 12 races a season.
Global Rallycross Tracks
Rallycross is a sprint style race that uses a closed track with tight turns, a jump, and a variety of surfaces like gravel, dirt, and tarmac. There is also a joker lap that must be used once per race and a penalty box for rule violators. The track is no more than a mile per lap. Because rallycross is still fairly new to the U.S., there are currently no permanent rallycross tracks in North America. The circuit may be built on a professional racetrack, an empty lot outside a sports arena. Because they’re designed and built for each race, every track is different.
Global Rallycross Drivers
GRC drivers come to rallycross from various other action sports including skateboarding, motocross, and other motorsports like NASCAR, LeMans, Formula 1 and rally racing. Many become champions and record holders in their first sport before moving over to rallycross, where they often enjoy new success. Rallycross provides its athletes with a similar thrill to other action sports, but with added control and safety measures. Some of the most popular and well-known drivers include 2011 and 2012 GRC Champion Tanner Foust, Ken Block, Brian Deegan, Scott Speed and Sverre Isachsen.
Global Rallycross Cars
GRC cars are from-the-factory production cars with major modifications to the engine, chassis, and safety features. The cars can produce 600 horsepower, reach 60 miles per hour in less than two seconds, handle 70-foot jumps, and make contact with other vehicles at high speed. GRC cars do not use electronic traction aids, unlike many other auto sports. Ford, Volkswagen, Honda and Subaru serve as Official Manufacturer Partners of the series.
Being a Global Rallycross fan
Differentiating rallycross from other sports, GRC encourages fans to meet their stars. Each event includes an open paddock that spectators can walk through, interacting with drivers and watching mechanics at work. There are usually autograph signing sessions, interviews, and photo ops with favorite drivers. Unlike traditional rally that allows you to see only a small section of the race at once, rallycross spectators can watch the entire race from one spot because the course is compact and easily viewed from stadium type seating. Additionally, the fast pace of the race means a lot of excitement and cheering. For those not able to attend in person, GRC races are broadcast live or tape delayed with their partner, NBC Sports.
GRC Race Basics
Practice, seeding, and the initial non-points round of heat races will typically place on the first day of action, while the second day of competition will be comprised of the remaining two rounds of heats, last chance qualifier, and final.
In 2015, Red Bull Global Rallycross introduced Knockout Qualifying. Depending on the amount of cars racing, the cars will be broken down into two to three groups and be sent out for three to five minute sessions for the first round of qualifying. The fastest six cars out of the first round of qualifying will then proceed into the second round for the top six starting position selections.
The top six starting positions will be determined solely by times set in the second round of qualifying, while seventh and below will be set by first-round times regardless of group number. Qualifying groups will be determined by lap times in the final practice session.
In the event that qualifying does not take place, the starting order will revert to driver’s championship points, with a random draw to determine the starting positions at the back of the field for any drivers without points. –
The race weekend begins with two rounds of heat races, usually consisting of four cars and six laps each, run for up to three points. The field is then combined into two groups of equal size for the semifinals, which are also six laps each. The top three finishers from each semifinal transfer into the main event, giving their teams time to work on their cars while others continue to compete. All drivers who do not make it into the main event via heat races will compete in the four-lap last chance qualifier for the final remaining qualifying spots. Ten cars then compete in the 10-lap main event. - Info Source; Red Bull Global Rallycross
The cars are lined up in a grid formation, four across in the first two rows and two across in the third row. The higher the qualifying time, the better the starting position. The race begins with a standing start where drivers are given 30- and 10-second intervals before the green. During that time they activate launch systems and are ready for an extremely fast and tight launch. The first turn usually separates the cars into a single file, which makes the lead spot strategically important.
Each car must complete six full laps of the circuit. Each lap includes a 70-foot jump, and various road surfaces. The routes are lined with concrete barriers, cones, or other barriers. Car-on-car contact is almost guaranteed and often at least one car is taken out of the action before the finish.
The Joker Lap
Each GRC course has two routes: The main route and the joker lap, which is a shorter route that a driver must take once per race but may not take during the first lap. The joker lap is all about strategy. Taking it early gives you a lead early in the race, but it can also be used to get out of a crowd of cars or to overtake the leader at the last lap.
The Penalty Box
The Penalty Box penalizes drivers for on-track infractions without a red flag or restart. In the event of a jump start or rough driving, offenders must pull into the penalty box and come to a complete stop for a few seconds, losing precious seconds, before rejoining the race.
The full point system for heat Rounds 2 and 3 is as follows:
1st place: 3 points
2nd place: 2 points
All other participating drivers: 1 point
The full final point system is as follows:
1st place: 50 points
2nd place: 45 points
3rd place: 40 points
4th place: 35 points
5th place: 30 points
6th place: 25 points
7th place: 20 points
8th place: 15 points
9th place: 10 points
10th place: 5 points
All other participating drivers: 1 point
Points are awarded in all rounds of heats and semifinals. First place earns five points, second place earns four points, and so on through fifth place and below, which earn one point.
Information provided by Red Bull Global Rallycross