One thing we really enjoy here at OpenPaddock is getting the fans perspective. I ran into a friend of mine who came with his son to the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship at DirtFish Rally School last weekend and he agreed to write up his thoughts. Without further ado, here’s Aaron’s experience from the weekend.
As a big fan of stage rally, one of my guilty pleasures is Rallycross. One of the reasons I like it so much is because it combines my love of cars going sideways with my other big motorsport love Supercross and Motocross. While stage rally is near and dear to my heart, the accessibility of Rallycross just cannot be beat.
There is no better example of this than last weekend’s Global Rallycross at DirtFish Rally School. Taking place in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, in the shadow of Mt. Si, the venue could not be more picturesque. It is by far the best event in the series due to its setting and the fact that it is mostly gravel, which really gets back to the roots of the sport.
I was lucky enough to be at the event in 2011, when there was not only the largest car jump I have personally every seen, but also a link to the stage rally by having mostly stage rally cars in the 2WD class. The sport has grown up so much in the past 3 years, with the 2WD class being replaced with the Lights, a class that is no less exciting to watch.
This years event was really top notch. So much of the track was open for spectators, and while it could be difficult to see the entire track at once due to the low bleachers, every bleacher was close enough to the track to get pelted with gravel. This is where the sport shines, the access the fans have to the track and to the paddock. You can get pelted by gravel one minute, then talk with your favorite driver in the paddock the next. You can get right up to the cars while the teams work on them, and rub shoulders with some of the top names in motorsports.
The event was also very family friendly. Motorsport is something I love to share with my kids, and I brought my son to the races. There are very few things that hold his interest for an entire day like Rallycross can. The free bouncy houses sure helped a lot too! My son even wanted to stay for the award ceremony, he was really eating it all up. It ended up being an awesome day for both of us, and he got several souvenirs so he can always remember it.
I know DirtFish has always had conflicts with the locals over the school and these types of events, but I sincerely hope they find a way to make this a yearly stop, and maybe even some grassroots local Rallycross in the future. If they do, you can find me there!
Thanks Aaron for contributing and continuing to make OpenPaddock.net “By the fans, for the fans”