Is America ready for Global Rallycross? Well, certainly the world’s car manufacturers and extreme sports stars are – and they’re queuing up to enter factory teams into the 2012 series. Subaru are the latest team to throw its hat in the gravel ‘n’ asphalt ring, and in this teaser video the three 2012 WRX STIs that the Subaru Puma Rallycross Team will be running are revealed – along with their drivers.
BMX legend Dave Mirra is no huge surprise: he’s been an X-Games regular on two and four wheels, and has been a stalwart of the US rally and rallycross scenes over the last couple of years. Vert skater Bucky Lasek is the second action sports star in the team: he’s a relatively recent convert to racing, so is going to have his work cut out in these insanely quick machines. It’s a massive step up for him. But then Subaru have unholstered the big gun: they’ve brought multiple European Rallycross champion Sverre Isachsen back into the fold.
Then again, that’s the kind of driver you need when you see the expected level of competition in Global Rallycross this year. The Ford Monster World Rally team is fronted by Ken Block; two-time World Rally champion Marcus Gronholm, 2011 Global Rallycross title-holder Tanner Foust and X-Games 17 champ Brian Deegan bring more Fords to the party; Travis Pastrana is in play with a Dodge Dart; Rhys Millen has teamed up with ex-downhill skier and Formula Drift driver Stephan Verdier in a pair of factory Hyundai Velosters; Liam Doran’s Citroen DS3 will be out in key events; and Scott-Eklund Racing enter a pair of 600bhp Saab 9-3s.
The big names face the big jump – GRC is the only race series in the world featuring a 70-foot gap-jump on the joker lap, which is enough to focus the mind on keeping your foot in.
The six-round season kicks off at the end of this month at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, where it’s providing a right-turn antidote to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It then supports the IZOD IndyCar Series on June 9 at the Texas Motor Speedway before moving to the X-Games in Los Angeles at the end of that month and a final trio of NASCAR-supporting events taking it to the end of the season.
Global Rallycross is go – will the fans go with it?