Rallycross Debuts at Irwindale!
MotoIQ Staff Report
Irwindale, CA (March 26, 2011 | GLOBAL RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP) – A new to the US Motorsport rocked Irwindale’s House of Drift this weekend as the Global Rallycross Championship opened with a bang, the machine gun like bang of anti-lag and launch control that is!
|We are sad to see Tanner Foust leave Formula D but are happy to see him kick ass in Rallycross!
Two-time World Rally Championship winner Marcus Grönholm took a pair of wins this weekend after two days of hard-hitting competition at the first-ever Global RallyCross Championship event, held Friday and Saturday at Irwindale Speedway outside of Los Angeles.
|Formula D two time champion Rhys Millen clears the 70 foot gap jump in his factory Hyundai. Look for a full MotoIQ feature on this car soon. The jump was difficult and claimed a couple of cars over the weekend.
The legendary Finnish driver, two time WRC, Pikes Peak and ROC champion, emerged victorious in both days of racing, piloting his Best Buy Ford Fiesta to victory in Friday’s head-to-head SuperRally contest and the multi-car RallyCross event on Saturday.
|Five time UK rally champ Marcus Dodd is Rhys’s team mate. He ran hard but had some bad luck in the main.
“The track was good to drive,” said Grönholm. “The competition was good with many good drivers… I want to come back and race here again this season.”
|Rallycross vet, Swede Michael Jernberg was fast as hell in a Skoda but a mechanical failure in the semi’s took him out of the running.
The first-ever Global RallyCross Championship event saw a field of top drivers in two-wheel and all-wheel drive classes competing head-to-head on a mixed dirt and tarmac course that featured a massive, 70-foot gap jump never seen before outside of X Games competition.
|Formula D regular Stephan Verdier did an outstanding job and came in third. A privateer on a shoestring budget, Verier made us proud and proved that good driving, prep and teamwork can go head to head with the factory boys. Verdier’s crew chief is MotoIQ regular Costa Gialamas.
Second place on Saturday went to Rockstar Energy Drink driver, Formula D drift ace and Top Gear host Tanner Foust, who campaigned the same Ford Fiesta he took to double-X Games Rally gold medals last summer. He said he was excited to be at the inaugural Global RallyCross Championship event.
|The main event was really exciting, Grönholm, Foust and Verdier ran away with it. Rallycross is really exciting to watch but they need to take cues from Formula D and get better at minimizing dead time and keeping cars on the track if they want to keep the American audience with short attention spans happy and coming back for more. Sometimes the wait between runs was really painful and for no apparent reason.