The Red Bull Global Rallycross returns to X-Games this weekend, but this year not as part of the championship. X-Games with its invitational entrants and often risky medal hungry on track behavior has been converted to an exhibition round for the Red Bull GRC. Even though the points don’t matter for the championship, winning an X-Games medal is always high on the list for every driver.
For those of you that watched round 1 of the Red Bull GRC last weekend, you’ll be happy to know that the track in Austin is much, much, …much better. Ft. Lauderdale’s 0.4 mile course (and I’m not sure it was even that big) was no larger than most Go-Kart tracks. The amount of “dirt” was simply a small sandbox at the end otlf the jump, and offered none of the dirt flinging fun GRC is normally known for. The narrow design with short point and squirt straights offered little to no opportunities for passing. Quite honestly, it was one of the worst track designs they’ve had yet. It was very disappointing considering the improvements they made in the tracks throughout last season.
Austin on the other hand has the distance in the sweet spot in my opinion (0.57 miles) and it appears to be wide. I’m still a bit concerned about turn 1 calamity, but it is a wide turn with multiple entry angles possible. It is X-Games though, and unfortunately that often means cool heads will be lacking. The amount of dirt looks good with it actually being in places that will require proper off-road driving skill. Also the track sees the return of the dirt Gap Jump which was one of the hallmarks of GRC a few years ago.
The list of entrants at X-Games brings more than just the standard Red Bull GRC competitors. It also includes some FIA World Rallycross Championship guests. The “British Bomb” Liam Doran who’s now teammates with WRC and WRX Champion Petter Solberg, will be returning this year. Doran will be driving a SDRX Citroen, and we know how strong Citroens are at X-Games after Loeb dominated a few years ago. Also from the WRX is Andreas Bakkerud who will be in a Ford Fiesta ST GRC. Other drivers of note are the return of Travis Pastrana in the Subaru, and Pat Moro brings along the further developed Chevy Sonic.
|00||Steve Arpin||Fort Frances, ON||Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST|
|07||Andreas Bakkerud||Bergen, NOR||SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST|
|11||Sverre Isachsen||Hokksund, NOR||Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI|
|14||Austin Dyne||Los Angeles, CA||Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST|
|18||Patrik Sandell||Ostersund, SWE||Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST|
|31||Joni Wiman||Pohja, FIN||Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST|
|33||Liam Doran||Kent, GBR||SDRX Citroen DS3|
|34||Tanner Foust||Denver, CO||Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle|
|38||Brian Deegan||Omaha, NE||Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST|
|41||Scott Speed||Mt. Holly, NC||Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle|
|43||Ken Block||Park City, UT||Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST|
|59||Pat Moro||Dublin, OH||PMR Motorsports Chevrolet Sonic|
|81||Bucky Lasek||Dundalk, MD||Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI|
|93||Sebastian Eriksson (R)||Hagfors, SWE||Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST|
|99||Victor Gonzalez (R)||San Juan, PR||Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster|
|199||Travis Pastrana||Annapolis, MD||Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI|
X-Games, much like the Olympics, is hard to snag a single event, so be sure to follow Red Bull GRC this weekend on Twitter to see when the event goes live on TV.