Global Rallycross Launches
By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
FORT WORTH, Texas – The Global Rallycross Championship will visit Texas Motor Speedway this summer as part of an initiative between GRC and Speedway Motorsports, Inc., designed to develop the action sport in the United States.
The partnership will bring select GRC events to NASCAR Sprint Cup and IZOD IndyCar Series race weekends at SMI venues TMS, Charlotte Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2012.
The series’ star drivers include Ken Block, Tanner Foust and action sport/NASCAR crossover athletes Travis Pastrana and Brian Deegan.
“Speedway Motorsports has always been committed to providing the very best in motorsports entertainment, and the Global Rallycross Championship will be a tremendous complement to several of our NASCAR and IndyCar weekends,” Marcus Smith, SMI’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “It’s the ultimate combination of action sports and motorsports where ‘big air’ meets high-speed. These drivers combine racing, drifting and stunt jumps into a high-impact show with a jaw-dropping ‘wow’ factor.”
GRC is scheduled to debut at TMS on Saturday, June 9, as part of the IndyCar Firestone 550k/NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Winstar World Casino 400k weekend of night racing in Fort Worth.
Formula DRIFT, an “extreme motorsport” and North America’s only professional drifting championship, made its debut at TMS in a non-points competition last summer. Eight series regulars competed in a traditional bracket elimination tournament as lead-in to the IndyCar Series race.
Second-generation motorcycle daredevil Robbie Knievel and Robosaurus – a mechanized, fire-breathing, car-chewing robot – have been prominent among the actors providing pre-race entertainment for TMS’ annual IndyCar June night race.
The GRC event at Charlotte Motor Speedway has been added to the 10-days of NASCAR racing during the Coca-Cola 600 weekend in May. The GRC race will follow the NASCAR Nationwide Series HISTORY 300 on Saturday, May 26. All Nationwide ticketholders will be admitted to the GRC event. The competitor pit area will be open before and after the race to give fans an up-close look at the high-performance Rallycross cars.
GRC combines the energy of motorsport with the attitude of action sport, and features production-based, compact cars highly modified for competition to produce more than 600 horsepower. With all-wheel drive, GRC cars can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in less than two seconds. The racetracks, usually around 1-mile long, are made of asphalt and dirt and typically include a crossover 70-foot gap jump along with tight turns and snap directional changes. Races progress in multi-car heats towards an eight-car main event.
GRC enters its second year in 2012 with a strong portfolio of sponsor partners including Puma, Discount Tire, GoPro and Motegi Racing. A number of vehicle manufacturers _ including Ford, Hyundai and Subaru _ also are committed to the series and will field factory-supported teams.
“For Ford, Global Rallycross is an important fan outreach that allows us to connect with new generations of fans by showcasing our exciting new vehicles like Fiesta and Focus in action sports,” said Jamie Allison, Ford Racing director. “We applaud Speedway Motorsports and GRC officials for taking this step to move Rallycross to the next level.”
Global Rallycross Championship is the owner/organizer of the GRC racing series and manages invitations and competition for X Games rally events. The company will bring Rallycross to fans in more than 150 countries in 2012.
“This is an important step in the growth and development of GRC, offering our sponsors and teams even more value this season than they could have possibly anticipated,” said Brian Gale, series president.
The tentative 2012 Global Rallycross Championship schedule:
May 26, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
June 9, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth
June 30-July 1, X Games Los Angeles
July 14, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, N.H.
Sept. 1, TBA
Sept.29, Las Vegas Motor SpeedwayNo Comment