• C.Maness

A LONG WAY IN A SHORT TIME: AMERICAN RALLYCROSS


Rallycross is one of the fastest growing motorsports in the United States. It is an extreme motorsport that essentially combines stage rally, sprint car, drift, and off road pro2/pro4 trucks all in one. The Supercars are tuned to 600hp and Lites to 300hp. With door-to-door battles on the track and an open paddock atmosphere, motorsports fans are taking notice. Rallycross had its humble beginnings in Great Britain over 50 years ago and quickly spread throughout Europe and other parts of the world. But, for some reason, it never really took off on American soil until 2010.

Red Bull Global Rallycross, formerly known as Global Rallycross Championship (GRC), had made its debut back in 2010 at the X Games in Los Angeles followed by three events in New Jersey. The following year, 2011, GRC officially launched the championship with eight events. By 2013 the series had grown to 10 events and expanded outside the United States to Brazil, Germany and Spain. The series also added a supporting class with the introduction of the GRC Lites. Two years later, in 2015, the series was up to 12 events, as it still is today. What sets the Red Bull GRC series apart from other rallycross series around the world are the constantly changing track layouts. Because it is so new, permanent tracks have not yet been established. Drivers don't have the advantage of already knowing a track by having previously raced upon it. Red Bull GRC is also the only rallycross series to boast a 70 foot jump.

Since its inception the series has captured the interest of well known athletes. Personalities from the extreme sports world such as Tanner Foust and Rhys Millen, both of whom drew fans over to rallycross due to their popularity in Formula Drift. Then there is X Games phenoms, Brian Deegan, Travis Pastrana, and Bucky Lasek, as well as BMX athlete and BMX Hall of Fame recipient, the late Dave Mirra. These well-known names have helped draw fans to American rallycross.

Here in the America stage rally has a niche following. In the scheme of things, it's a small club of die-hard rally fans. Many of the previously named athletes have either competed in stage rally or are still currently competing in the American Rally Association. Block, Foust, Millen, Pastrana and Mirra have all competed in stage rally. British rally driver and multi U.S. rally champion, David Higgins, has competed off and on in Red Bull GRC events. Rally fans have welcomed rallycross in the States because it offers the fast pace, mixed surfaces, unpredictability, and big-race-event with a small-race-event feel due to the open paddock and interaction the fans get to have with the drivers and teams.

Ken Block in Los Angeles

But it wasn't just the individual athletes that were drawn into the sport. Well known teams within the racing world have begun to take notice. Teams from NASCAR and/or open wheel racing have jumped in on the fast pace of Red Bull GRC. These popular teams include Chip Ganassi Racing, Bryan Herta, Andretti, and Loenbro Motorsports.

Different car manufacturers have also participated over the years. Manufacturers such as Ford, Subaru, Volkswagen, Honda, Hyundai and Chevy have all battled it out on the tracks.

In a very short amount of time Red Bull Global Rallycross has managed to accomplish what takes most racing series years to accomplish: a strong following that continues to grow, and tremendous interest coming from the pro racing world. The atmosphere is fun and full of energy. If you're unable to attend an event, no problem. You can always catch it on NBC or NBC Sports Network, one of the largest television networks in the world. Follow Red Bull Global Rallycross for the latest updates and television broadcasts.

*All photos by RX360

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