While at X Games 17 this weekend we went out of our way to annoy Top Gear USA Tanner Foust until he agreed to grant us a short interview. During which we got him to weigh in on the possibility of Rally Cross becoming more popular than drifting. He also surprised us at the end by mentioning that he is putting fourth an effort to make it into an Indy Car race before the end of the season. Some digging was done after the interview and it looks like he may be trying to put together a one-off drive for the Las Vegas Indy Car race. Scroll down to check out the full interview.
X Games 17 Hype Video: Tanner Foust Weighs In On Rally Cross Popularity Vs Drifting, Confirms Indy Car Effort
X Games 17 Rally has come and gone but we were on site to bring you as much of the action as possible. We are starting off by answering the question “What do the rally cars do the night before X Games?” The answer: They jump! A special jump session was set up to test out the 50 foot gap jump made entirely from dirt and gravel. We were there to take a few shots and we even compiled a short video of all the jump action. You can see a few pics and the video below. For a full photo gallery just visit our Facebook fan page.
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ESPN blew some minds earlier this year when they revealed that instead of returning to the LA Colosseum, all rally events would take place on the streets of downtown Los Angeles. From that point imaginations were running wild trying to contemplate what streets around the Staples Center would be used, where the jump would be, the ins and outs, etc. Well today ESPN has answered all questions by finally releasing hard details about the street course including a basic rendering of the layout. The X Games officials have created a 3,100 foot course (or 6/10ths of a mile for you math geeks) with six turns. Building the course will require 5 MILLION pounds of concrete barriers, 700 feet of dirt (which includes the 70ft jump for the joker lap), and about 1,000 hours of build time to complete the course. The course will also require shutting down three streets including Figueroa. To accommodate the spectators, bleachers will be erected outside of the Staples Center. We would venture to guess that there will likely be a video screen erected as well to make sure none of the action is missed. Despite the fact that construction of the course is slated to start soon, drivers will not be able to test the course until the day before competition!
If you want to see a rendering of the course layout, click the thumbnail below for an image that we blew up slightly. You may have to squint a bit but you can see all the turns and joker lap path, as well as the course’s position in relation to other land marks such as the halfpipe, etc.
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I first heard this as a rumor at the first round of Global RallyX and I wish I had reported it because it turned out to be true! It was announced today that the RallyX events for Summer X Games 2011 will literally take place in the streets of downtown Los Angeles! The exact course details haven’t been released but expect the drivers to go through portions of the Staples Center then outside into LA Live and back into the the Staples Center. It should make for some pretty interesting pictures! I can’t wait!
Enduro X Discipline to Make its Debut; Rally Disciplines Move to Downtown Street Circuit
ESPN will kick off its 17th annual action sports competition to be held in Los Angeles July 28 – 31 and will debut the new discipline of Enduro X, as well as the first-ever rally street circuit running through the downtown area. In its ninth year in Los Angeles, X Games 17 will feature more than 200 athletes at competition venues and event spaces including STAPLES Center and Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in an effort to further consolidate events to one area and better enable fans to catch all the X Games action from downtown Los Angeles.
Enduro X will feature both men’s and women’s disciplines, showcasing riders’ talent on an all-terrain obstacle course. Riders will race through sand, mud, logs, rocks and other terrain features in a blend of motocross racing and traditional Enduro, battling not only each other but also the challenging course for their shot at X Games gold. The new addition will be one of eight Moto X competitions taking place inside STAPLES Center, while the downtown Los Angeles street circuit will offer a unique and exciting setting for the disciplines of Rally Car Racing on Saturday and RallyCross on Sunday.
“Having RallyCross at last year’s X Games was a huge step for the sport, but racing through city streets is how motorsport began,” said three-time X Games rally gold medalist Tanner Foust. “Being in the car, ripping through streets, cranking the handbrake through intersections while door-to-door and jumping next to buildings is going to be truly epic! I can’t wait!”
ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will combine to telecast 25 hours of live X Games 17 competition. In addition to the 25 original hours in high definition, the Worldwide Leader in Action Sports will also televise 18 hours of X Games action on ESPN 3D. More than 25 hours will also be distributed on ESPN3.com. Outside the United States, X Games 17 will be seen in more than 121 countries and territories to more than 106 million homes, including live telecasts in Africa, Asia, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Mexico, Middle East, New Zealand and South America.
Tickets for X Games 17 will be available for purchase June 23 at all Ticketmaster locations and the box office at STAPLES Center.
Additional information on all X Games 17 events will be forthcoming on www.xgames.com
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After his magnificant crash at the WRC Rally Of Portugal, Ken Block decided to hop on a red-eye flight back to the states to spectate at the first round of Global RallyCross at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale. I caught up with him to get his thoughts on the event and ask him about his 2011 plans which include welcoming a new hooigan into the world.
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The past weekend saw the return of Formula 1, Indy Car, and World Touring Car. It also saw the birth of an official Rally Cross (AKA Rally X) series in America. The first round of the Global RallyCross Championship officially kicked off at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale. Those who watched the Summer X Games last year had a taste of Rally X as it was part of all the action in downtown Los Angeles. The LA Colosseum was filled with dirt, complete with jumps and tunnels on a course that took the cars inside and out of the venue. In fact, one of the key parts of Rally X is the infamous jump. So, you may be asking “how did they pull that off at an asphalt oval NASCAR track such as Toyota Speedway?” With a pile of dirt and a team of earth movers, that’s how! They brought literal tons of dirt to the in field of the oval and constructed a 70 foot jump for the AWD class cars to take on. It was certainly an amazing sight.
Many were anticipating this event as its rumored to be the “next big thing” in motorsports since drifting. With big names like Tanner Foust (who is taking a break from drifting this year to focus on Rally X), Ken Block, Dave Mirra, and Brian Deegan involved Rally X already has the star factor working for them. Bringing in the “X Games crowd” is a huge advantage for Rally X and the sponsors are taking notice. For example most people in the states have never heard the name Marcus Gronhom before despite his fame in other parts of the world for kicking major butt in WRC. However, he was able to land a full title sponsorship from Best Buy for the entire 2011 Rally X season. There have been drift teams courting Best Buy for years but in the end the retail electronics company went with Rally X as their second foray into motorsports involvement. To give you an idea of the gravity of this move, the only other motorsport team Best Buy sponsors is in NASCAR.
The Competition was broken into two main classes: AWD and 2WD. The AWD class had the likes of Tanner Foust and WRC legend Marcus Gronholm in AWD Ford Fiesta’s similar to those used at X Games last year. The AWD class also had Rhys Millen competing in his new Hyundai Veloster rally car with his teammate Marcus Dodd in his own identically prepped Veloster as well. The 2WD class consisted mostly of privateers and up-and-comers. However Jeremy Barnes from Mazda showed up with Mazda Senior VP of Product Development Robert Davis on hand as his crew chief. What was their competition vehicle of choice? Not some crazy AWD modded Mazdaspeed3, or even an RX-8, no. They brought the very same B-Spec Mazda2 that ran in Thunderhill! Jeremy actually did pretty well but during the last heat of Friday he had a misunderstanding with the back of a Ford Focus which ended his weekend. He was ok but the Mazda2 was pretty much done. If you were looking forward to driving it at the next Mazdaspeed press day you are unfortunately SOL at this moment!
When the dust settled after the main competition on Saturday it was Marcus Gronholm who took the AWD class victory by edging out Tanner Foust. Matthew Johnson took the 2WD class victory in his Nitro Circus sponsored Mazda RX-8.
Check out more photos from the event on our Facebook page. Also stay tuned for a few interviews from the event!
Tags: · briandeegan, davemirra, Events, Features, Global Rally Cross, globalrallycross, irwindale speedway, kenblock, marcusgronholm, Rally, rally cross, rallycross, RallyX, summerxgames, super rally, tannerfoust, Toyota Speedway, xgames
With a few racing series getting ready to start their 2011 seasons (F1, Indy Car, Formula D) there is another starting much sooner which has flown under the radar a bit. The first season of American Rallycross racing is about to get underway this month in the form of the Global Rallycross Championship. Many were expecting to see this happen with the success and rave reviews of last year’s X-Games Rallycross competition. We were already expecting to see drivers such as Tanner Foust, Ken Block, and Rhys Millen taking part in the series but yesterday it was announced that 2-time WRC Champion Marcus Gronholm will be joining in on the fun with an Olsbergs MSE prepped Ford Fiesta sporting a BestBuy livery. I personally can’t wait to see how the former champ mixes it up against hoonigans like Ken Block and Foust. If you also want to see it for yourself, the first round of the Global Rallycross Championship will be on March 25th-26th at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale. Get your tickets now!
[Source: Motor Trend]
The latest video by our good friend Bill Wood takes you on an in-car journey of WIN with Tanner Foust as Bill lets us ride shotgun with the golden child through a full rally cross heat in his Rockstar Ford Fiesta rally car. You are definitely going to want to turn up the volume on this one. The engine sounds from this car are amazing!
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