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ROAD TO X GAMES GOES THROUGH TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY WITH HOON KABOOM TEXAS

by TMS Media Relations | Jun 04, 2012

  • Global Rallycross Ready To Introduce Fans To New Style Of Racing
  • Field To Include Superstars Of The Sport Including Pastrana, Block, Foust and Gronholm

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 4, 2012) – The likes of superstars such as Travis Pastrana, Ken Block, Tanner Foust, Marcus Gronholm and Brian Deegan will be vying for  automatic berths in X Games Los Angeles 2012 as Saturday’s inaugural Global Rallycross Championship Hoon Kaboom Texas will serve as the final qualifier for the prestigious Games.

The top 12 in the Global Rallycross Championship standings following the season opener at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26 and Hoon Kaboom Texas will automatically advance to the Rallycross competition in the X Games set for June 29-July 1. Gronholm and Foust are in solid positions as they rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the GRC standings after Charlotte while Pastrana sits eighth. Block and Deegan will be looking for strong performances at Hoon Kaboom Texas to close in on the automatic berths as they are situated 15th and 16th, respectively, in the standings.

Hoon Kaboom Texas will begin with heats at 3:30 p.m. CT Saturday and provide fans with a doubleheader of diverse and exciting racing as the day’s marquee event, the IZOD IndyCar Series Firestone 550, will follow at 7:30 p.m.

Texas Motor Speedway’s frontstretch and pit lane will be transformed into a Global Rallycross Championship course complete with two jumps – including the signature 70-foot gap jump -- car wash, chicanes and tight turns for these vehicles that can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in two seconds.

“It’s going to be action packed,” Pastrana said. “There is going to be a lot of banging, a lot of sheet metal everywhere and we are definitely going to be flying these cars. We are looking forward to a lot of action.”

Qualifying for the X Games remains the top priority for rallycross drivers as they head to Texas Motor Speedway. Drivers don’t want to miss the X Games because of the importance it signifies.

“The X Games is really important for us to get into because it’s the Super Bowl,” GRC driver Stephan Verdier said. “The value of being there marketing-wise is huge for us, but also for having all these athletes together in one spot it’s like the Olympics of extreme games.”

Fans that enjoy speed will not be disappointed with rallycross as the cars display speed, power and agility. In addition to their acceleration that rivals Formula One cars, the drivers experience 1.4 lateral g-forces.

“If you look at the basic dynamics of the car, it’s a short wheelbase car, which means it has a lot of weight transfer,” Foust said. “You see the suspension moving around a lot because it has that small platform. It makes it incredibly nimble and almost very violent. It’s a very hyperactively capable car. In the sport of rallycar, it has that perfect match.”

Tickets for Hoon Kaboom Texas are available by calling the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500, or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.

SIDEBAR

ABCs of GRC

The Rallycross Competition

Rallycross is made up of a series of heat races that lead up to a final, which determines the overall winner. Heat race winners earn one bonus champions point. The format is as follows:

  • Seeding

    All entered cars participate in a “seeding session.” The seeding session is divided into four groups of five cars. The groups are predetermined by a random draw. Each group is allotted 10 minutes of track time, using the shorter Joker lap. After all four groups have completed their 10-minute session, the fastest lap from each driver is used to rank them from fastest to slowest. Their rank equates to their seed, and they are then grouped as follows:

    Heat 1A = Seeds 1, 5, 12, 16, 20
    Heat 1B = Seeds 2, 6, 11, 15, 19
    Heat 1C = Seeds 3, 7, 10, 14, 18
    Heat 1D = Seeds 4, 8, 9, 13, 17

    In the event that there are less than 20 seeds, those seeds shall remain open.

  • Heat 1

    All races will start five-abreast with the highest seeded driver having first choice of a lane, followed by the next highest and so on until the grid is full.

    Heat 1 consists of six-lap races of five cars each. The first driver to complete six laps, including the Joker, is declared the winner and earns one bonus championship point.

    All drivers advance to Heat 2.
  • Heat 2

    All races will start five-abreast and the groups remain as they were in Heat 1. However, the drivers are reseeded according to their finishing position from Heat 1. The winner driver has first lane choice followed by drivers in position 2, position 3, position 4 and position 5, in that order.

    The first driver to complete six laps, including the joker is declared the winner and earns one bonus championship point. Drivers finishing in positions 1 and 2 automatically advance to the final.

    Drivers finishing in positions 3 and 4 go on to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ).

    Drivers finishing in positions 5 are eliminated from the competition.
  • Last Chance Qualifier

    The LCQ will consist of one wheel-to-wheel race of eight cars finishing in positions 3 and 4 from heats 2A-D.

    The LCQ will start with a two-row starting gird. Drivers finishing in position 3 from heat races 2A-D will occupy the front row with the highest qualifying seed having first lane choice. The row will then be filled by the next highest seeds having finished Heats 2A-D in position 3.

    Drivers finishing in position 4 in heats 2A-D will occupy the second row, with the highest qualifying seed having first lane choice. The row will be filled by the next highest seeds having finished heats 2A-D in position 4.

    The LCQ is a three-lap race. The first two drivers to complete all three laps, including the Joker, will advance to the final.
  • The Final

    The final consists of a single race with the eight participating competitors from heat race 2 and the two competitors advancing from the LCQ.

    The final will start with a three row starting grid. The four winners from heats 2A-D will have front row starting positions with lane selection based on qualifying seeds. The four entrants having finished in position 2 from heats 2A-D will occupy the second row with the highest seeded driver having first lane choice. The two entrants having advanced from the LCQ will occupy the third row with the winner of the LCQ having first lane choice. The first driver in the final to complete eight laps, including the Joker is the overall winner.

    In all races, the penalty for failing to take the Joker is disqualification.

GRC Making The Jump

The Global Rallycross Championship series will take its sport to new heights this season as the series signed an agreement with Speedway Motorsports, Inc. earlier this year to play host to five events in conjunction with NASCAR and INDYCAR series events.

With new venues and a captivated audience, action sports superstars like Ken Block are excited about growing the popularity of rallycross.

“I think the main thing is having unique tracks that look great on TV and building up a good long championship series, a great set of competitions like some of these other motorsports in America have, so that people can really get invested in following along,” Block said. “That groundwork of good venues, great tracks, a good amount of competition and a TV program developed over years and years is what’s going to make it. But the reality is that rallycross really is a relatively new sport here in America and it’s got a long way to go. It’s fun to be a part of that push to help it get to where it needs to go.”

This weekend’s Hoon Kaboom Texas at Texas Motor Speedway is Round 2 of the six-round season. The Global Rallycross Championship kicked off its season on May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The season continues with the sport’s marquee event – the X Games – from June 30 – July 1. The schedule rounds off with events at a trio of SMI venues - New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14, Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sept. 1 and Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sept. 29.

Global Talent

Rallycross may be new to those in the United States, but for those overseas it is one of the most popular forms of motorsports. Developed in Great Britain as a made-for-TV sport in 1967, the sport has soared in popularity.

The sport didn’t make its debut in the United States until 2010 when rallycross was introduced during the X Games. The success prompted the creation of the Global Rallycross Championship, which enters just its second year.

The series has emerged as the home for some of the most recognizable drivers both nationally and internationally, providing the most challenging field in the history of the sport.

“The Europeans have always been so dominant in rally, then in the U.S. we had done rally and with the X Games we really started the rallycross,” Travis Pastrana said. “As of the last year, we have started getting world champions like Marcus Gronholm. This year, the series is going to be so big. You are going to have so many good cars and so many good drivers.”

Gronholm, a native of Kauniainen, Finland, is one of 17 GRC drivers from six countries competing in this weekend’s Hoon Kaboom Texas.

Known as one of rallycross racing’s greatest drivers, Gronholm has turned his sights on the Global Rallycross Championship series after an impressive career World Rally Championships. He kicked off this season by capturing a victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway last month.

“It’s one thing to decide to venture into something completely new, but it is quite another to do this with everything unknown. So for me the really important ingredient in taking up this challenge was to have absolute confidence around the team,” Gronholm said. “The Best Buy Racing Rallycross Team has a clear ambition to win and so do I, so we’re going to push hard and see what we can achieve.”

Last Lap

Global Rallycross Championship drivers aren’t the only ones excited about Saturday’s Hoon Kaboom Texas. Three-time Indianapolis 500 champion and three-time defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti is looking forward to catching a glimpse of the thrill of rallycross racing, in particular two-time World Rally champion Marcus Gronholm. “I’m looking forward to watching the rallycross at Texas,” Franchitti said during his visit to Fort Worth last week. “The rallycross will obviously be something completely new for all of us and that should be fun.” Franchitti said. “Gronholm is an incredible driver and I’m looking forward to seeing him race in person at Texas.” … On Travis Pastrana’s Twitter account, he lists himself as “pro everything.” However, one form of motorsports that the driver has not experienced is IZOD IndyCar Series racing. He will get to experience IZOD IndyCar Series racing for the first time during the Firestone 550. “I’ve never been to an IndyCar race and I’ve always wanted to go to one of those,” Pastrana said. Not only will he get to watch, but Pastrana will join legendary driver Mario Andretti for a special two-seater ride on Thursday at 2 p.m. CT.

Driver Number Country Team Car
Marcus Grönholm 3 Finland Best Buy Mobile / OMSE 2012 Ford Fiesta
Sverre Isachsen 11 Norway Subaru Puma Rallycross / VSC 2012 Subaru WRX STi
Stephan Verdier 12 France Motorcity Disney XD / RMR 2012 Hyundai Veloster
David Binks 17 United Kingdom Best Buy Serve / OMSE 2012 Ford Fiesta
Andy Scott 26 United Kingdom Scott-Eklund Racing 2010 Saab 9.3
Liam Doran 33 United Kingdom Monster Energy Citroen Racing 2012 Citoen C4
Tanner Foust 34 USA Rockstar Energy Etnies Ford / OMSE 2012 Ford Fiesta
Brian Deegan 38 USA Rockstar Energy Metal Mulisha Ford / OMSE 2012 Ford Fiesta
Dave Mirra 40 USA Subaru Puma Rallycross / VSC 2012 Subaru WRX STi
Ken Block 43 USA Monster World Rally Team 2012 Ford Fiesta
Toomas Heikkinen 57 Finland Bluebeam / OMSE 2012 Ford Fiesta
Patrick Moro 59 USA PMR Motorsports 2007 Subaru WRX STi
Rhys Millen 67 New Zealand Hyundai Rallycross / RMR 2012 Hyundai Veloster
Samuel Hubinette 77 USA Eneos Oil 2010 Saab 9.3
Bucky Lasek 81 USA Subaru Puma Rallycross / VSC 2012 Subaru WRX STi
Travis Pastrana 199 USA Dodge Red Bull Rallycross / Pastrana 199 Racing 2013 Dodge Dart
Jimmy Keeney 418 USA MCM/Venom Energy/ProDesigns 2007 Subaru WRX STi

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