The Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship returns to the Port of Los Angeles for this weekend’s Subaru Tecnica International sponsored double header. Traditionally LA has been the best of the worst as it is yet again another parking lot track. However, in Red Bull GRC’s continuing effort to make better racing in these temporary locations they have steadily improved track design. This year’s new tracks have been longer, all but eliminated turn 1 red flag incidents, have higher top speeds, and more passing opportunities. Both drivers and fans alike have been pleased with the changes.
Now let’s take a look at the Port of LA track. The most notable design element on this track is the return of the gap jump! Okay, it isn’t like the gap jump of the past, instead it is a table-top bridge similar to the over-under head-to-head spectator stage used at the trotting track in WRC’s Sweden round. Having an over-under design allows for a more complex track in a very confined space. If you’ve ever played DiRT3, then the concept is quite familiar to you. Here’s a photo of it under construction.
Other important elements include the narrowing before the 90 degree turn one left hander. Narrowing of the course is important to force the cars in line with earlier braking points to prevent those nasty turn 1 red flags. Also of interest is the much greater use of dirt! Quite honestly Detroit was the only parking lot track this year that had a really good use of dirt/gravel this season so far. As you can see in the above diagram, dirt is not just in the straight before and after the jump, but it is also in the twisty sections before it. In order for this to be truly a rallycross track fans need to be watching drivers struggle for grip on loose surfaces and therefore the dirt/gravel must be in the turns. The combination of fast straights, twisty bits and more dirt/gravel will likely make this track the highlight of the entire season!
Also of note for the Subaru Tecnica International sponsored event are the return of Subaru Rally Team USA’s Travis Pastrana and Rally America 5 time champion David Higgins. Ken Block still has a healthy lead in the championship, but anything can happen in Rallycross.
Tickets are still available for the Red Bull GRC Los Angeles presented by Subaru Tecnica International taking place this weekend September 12-13 at the Port of Los Angeles. Click here to purchase tickets. Click here for more information.