Event>>x Games Rally: The Competiton

Sunday was the final day of the X Games 15 in Los Angeles and for gearheads like us, the schedule saved the best for last.

Following Saturday’s Moto X comp, the course inside the Home Depot Center was leveled and new the rally course was constructed in its place. By Sunday morning, the course was complete and the teams entered the Home Depot Center for morning practice.

Up until this point the Ford Fiesta teams had dominated on the tarmac, but many wondered how the Fords would perform on the dirt section and most importantly how they’d fly over the massive gap – a centerpiece of X Games rallying.

Walking through the parking lot on the way in, it was clear just how popular X Games rally is these days. The WRX and Evo owners came out in hordes to watch the event, and I saw more people wearing Subaru and Mitsubishi T-shirts than I could count.

As coastal clouds hung over the stadium, the drivers fired up their cars for morning practice. This would be the first time for them to take the jump, so nobody really knew what to expect.

Some cars were able to run the course without incident, but others weren’t so lucky. Ken Block rolled his Impreza on the tarmac section, but his team was able to get it fixed in time for the competition. ACP in the NOS Evo landed the car on its nose, and it had to be taken to the pits for rush repairs.

At noon it was time for the first round of eliminations, where the non-seeded drivers would face each other for the chance to move on to the second round.

By this time the seats in the Home Depot Center were packed with spectators. From any part of the stadium one could have a nice view of the track, and this got me wondering what it would be like to see a Formula D event inside a big stadium like this…

After recovering from a crash on Friday, Jimmy Keeney’s day had an early end when he was defeated by Kenny Brack’s Ford Fiesta in the first match of the day.

It was another victory for Ford when Moto X rider and rally newcomer Brian Deegan outran veteran driver Matt Johnson’s WRX.

Andrew Comrie-Picard takes flight in the NOS Energy Drink Evo. He would eventually defeat Arkadiusz Gruszka’s Evo, but not after making another hard landing that tweaked the front end of his car. Still, it wasn’t as bad as ACP’s infamous front flip in ’08.

Next up Andi Mancin earned a place in the quarter-finals after narrowly defeating Piotr Wiktorczyk and his borrowed CG8 Impreza.

To kick off the quarterfinals, seeded driver Tanner Foust defeated Mancin’s Evo by a significant margin. You can see the lead that Tanner has early as they both cross the jump.

Next was another win for Ford after Kenny Brack advanced from an incredibly close battle with Dave Mirra’s Subaru.

The Subaru fans would have something to cheer about after the next match though. Travis Pastrana advanced from his battle with the NOS Evo after ACP hit the water barriers on the tarmac section.

Rounding out the quarterfinals were Ken Block and Brian Deegan in another Ford vs. Subaru battle.

Block the rally veteran was the favorite in this match-up, but his car lost power as he approached the jump – and instead of risking it he bypassed the ramp and earned a DQ. Deegan the rookie would move on. The semi-finals were set – it’d be the Fords of Deegan, Foust, and Brack vs. the lone Subaru of Travis Pastrana.

The first match of the semis was Ford vs. Ford when Tanner Foust battled Kenny Brack. The two were neck-and-neck until Tanner spun out late in his run. This costly mistake by Foust allowed Kenny Brack to secure the win and move onto the final. Tanner still had a chance to earn the bronze medal though, if his time was faster than the losing car in the next match.

That next match would be between Brian Deegan and Travis Pastrana. In a repeat of what happened to Ken Block, Deegan was unable to make the jump and was DQ’d from the race. Pastrana would advance to face his Brack in the final, and Tanner Foust secured the bronze medal due to Deegan’s DQ. Still, it was a very good weekend for Brian Deegan who doesn’t have a lot of experience driving rally cars.

And so, the final came down to former Indy 500 champion Kenny Brack in his Ford Fiesta…

…versus Moto X and now rally star Travis Pastrana in his Subaru Impreza.

After an incredibly tight battle through the first 75% of the course, Travis Pastrana hit the wall in the the entrance to the stadium, forcing his WRX to come to a stop. It wasn’t quite the nail-biting finish that we wanted to see, but it was a fitting end to a fantastic weekend for Kenny Brack and the whole Ford Racing team.

There’s Brack as he celebrates his gold medal win on the roof of his car. Silver would go to Pastrana and bronze would go to Tanner Foust.

After spending the weekend shooting the X Games, I think I’m hooked on rally.

More to come!

-Mike Garrett

X Games 15 Rally Coverage on Speedhunters



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I loved watching the rallu event yesterday, and it was pretty cool to see some older subies (like the white black and red GC impreza) still competing.


Not quite the nail bitter we had last year, but still fun to watch.


that first picture is exceptional. well done


The prob with the Fiestiva is that its a ford lol

but seriously the fiestivas would have been vanquished if the course wasn't so unforgiving. One small mistake is a broken car at that event which is what happened to the top true rally racers in the event. Good for Brack though i didnt know about all his injuries and time away from racing. Its gota feel good to be on top again after not even being able to walk. Not happy about the car that won but happy aboutt he driver, just something about ford really rubs me the wrong way.


Good to see you're a rally convert Mike! Some Rally America coverage would be pretty cool.


All in all, with all the skateboarding and ra;;y. mto-x, I thought it wa a real good X-Gmeas..it was real cool to see!

Thaks for the coverage Mike. there were some shocking results in the rally races...

I still think Ken Block is a badass driver..he backed it up...


I watched the rally competition on TV. I was disappointed to see Ken be disqualified, but it probably would have been better than missing that jump.


I was there with Subaru of America and sat with the co drivers in the suite. It was funny to hear them talk about how it was different to see the event from the view of a spectator.

All and all, it was an amazing event and when Ken Block and Deegan went around the jump, you should have seen the guys next to the corner balancing machine that they had next to the jump. They all got pissed. hahaha.


More rally america coverage please!sadly I event been able to one of the events up here in the NW....oregon and Washington host some US rally events


I´ve seen the competition on TV, and Block bumped his car in the barrier before the jump, breaking the rear differential, and the car was horrible after the crash, he didn´t have traction from the rear to do the jump, that´s why he DQ himself.

Excelllent photo coverage guys !


I was pretty disappointed that Ken Block didnt get to advance. He shoulda won it but one small mistake left him damaging the rear end. Those damn Fiestas are so damn small compared to the WRX and EVOs. I still think the WRX is the king of Rally


o0Syn: Welcome to rally, where in the woods one small mistake sees you chopping down trees with your car. Ask me how I know.


To all the Ford haters, Ford has 72 championship rally wins to Subaru's 48 and i see that lead expanding lol............


Ford should be hated. They ruined rally, by outsourcing chassis and drivetrains to builders from Prodrive, etc., in a way that no longer translated to actual production cars. Peugeot is the same. True rally fans drive Subaru and Mitsubishi, and scoff at hollow victories of one-off kit cars. That fiesta bullshit is simply "business" for ford. If they cared about rally fans, there would be at least one awd cossie in the car park.


The original Impreza was outsourced to Prodrive to create the WRC car that Colin McRae drove in the early nineties. Its a common practice among all Car markers when comes to racing.


There is a difference between tuning and constructing. Until 1997, these cars were called "Group A" cars. After 1997, they were not. Please do your research, and you will find that previous rules forced manufacturers to "run what they brung" - meaning they could not simply build 4wd kit cars, and then sell garbage to consumers. Subaru and Mitsubishi did quite well during the Group A era, and still today produce and sell amazing machines based on what they race. Ford and Peugeot only returned to rally, when the "good rules" were thrown away. Ford's new Nascar mustang shows very clearly what the brand is all about.


All rally teams are outsourced @Dan.............Ford didn't ruin rally , Ford, Saab, Lancia, and teams of bygone Era created rally!!!................Subaru is a relative newcomer to world rallying..... Escort Mk1 and MK2, Audi Quattro..enough said....this site is skewed towards japanese cars, and thats cool i love em, but give credit where its due.seems like if it you dont drive an Evo, Wrx, AE86, or a Silvia, and go drifting, you take a backseat on SpeedHunters!!!! .....Rallying evolves, the STI is the preferred car for rally enthusiasts worldwide, but give me a 1600 bda anyday!!!


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