Rallycross is an auto racing format which began in 1967 at the Lydden Hill Circuit track in Kent, England. The circuit is the shortest of its kind in the United Kingdom at only one mile long, and is still a popular choice for Rallycross events today. It was originally owned by the Astra motorclub, but was acquired by McLaren in 1991. Since then the track has been leased by Pat Dorran, a British Rallycross champion.
Rallycross is driven by road cars which have been outfitted with specialized racing modifications to make them faster, stronger, and better. It is a hugely popular sport in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. Rallycross came to the United States in 2009, and is often combined with drift racing for a truly unique competition on the track. U.S. rallycross racing involves jumps and off-road suspension, very different from what you would see in England.
Global Rallycross Championship
In 2011, soft drink manufacturer Red Bull, sponsored a rallycross event called the Global Rallycross Championship. It has five rounds taking place in California, Washington State, and Colorado, before returning home to California once again for a main event race through the streets of Los Angeles. This year the event is set to debut at the Thompson Speedway on the weekend of June 3rd-4th. This will be the first rallycross event in New England since 2013.
This year’s Global Rallycross event schedule went up in February 2017, with some exciting events planned for race enthusiasts across the United States. Round one will begin on April 29th in Memphis, Tennessee, which is sure to see a big turnout for the initial match of the season. It’s always exciting to see what the first race of the year brings in, as it sets the stage for the rest of the event. May 21st will see the racers head into Louisville, Kentucky, with two races in Thompson, Connecticut on June 3rd and 4rth weekend. The match will head north for round 5 and 6, visiting Canada for the weekend of June 17th and 18th, with locations to be announced. Bringing it back home in round 7, spectators can watch the race recommence on American soil for the Indianapolis, Indiana match on July 9th. Round 8 and 9 will be another weekend long event in Atlantic City New Jersey on August 12th and 13th, before heading west to Seattle Washington for September 9th and 10th. As is customary, the final match in round 12 will take things to the streets of Los Angeles in California for October 14th.
More information on times, dates, and tickets will be available soon on the official Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship webpage.
What Rallycross Brought to the Racing Game
Before rallycross, most people pictured race cars as small, fast single seater speeding bullets. The new age race style introduced brands like the Mitsubishi Evo, and even gave Subaru a shot at the title. These events were nothing like the classic style of racing seen on the Formula 1 tracks, and that’s exactly what made them so interesting. Rustic in comparison, rallycross races drive on rough terrain, dirt, and tarmac tracks. Many have jumps as high as 70 feet, and are set up to deliver entertainment value along with a race to the finish styled competition.
Rallycross cars are appealing to the average Joe because they are created using road driven cars. Anything can be turned into a rallycross car with the right tools, and they are a highly attractive vehicle to race enthusiasts because of the additional power under their hood. A standard rally car boasts a 600-horsepower engine and can boot it up to 60 miles per hour in under 2 seconds. They can also drift, jump, and pull some pretty impressive donuts.
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