In 2007 Tanner Foust earned the nick name “Golden Child” by winning X Games Rally gold and winning the Formula Drift championship all in the same year. Since then hes had some significant success (he followed up his ’07 Formula Drift championship with another in ’08) but this year Tanner is in position to raise the bar for himself yet again by winning two gold medals at X Games 16. The first in head to head rally racing then again in the 4 car mayhem known as “Super Rally”.
Head to head rally racing could only be described as chaotic. Things were shaping up ok but after Friday’s practice many of the rally drivers felt that the course design was too tight. This left the drivers meeting with track officials Saturday morning about possibly re-configuring the course lay out. The driver’s got their wish and the course was changed but by the time the changes were complete there was no time for the drivers to practice on the new configuration. To add to the tension the drivers were feeling from no practice time was the red-flag rule hanging over their heads. In short the red-flag rule states that if a driver deviates from the designated course they will instantly be “red flagged” and if you get red flagged it is an automatic disqualification from that heat.
This combination resulted in nearly every heads up rally racing heat ending with a red flag disqualification. Including the final battle between Tanner Foust and fellow Rockstar Energy/Ford Racing driver Brian Deegan. You can watch their battle below.
After the pandemonium of head to head rally racing was over it was time for the event that everyone was waiting for: the 4 car tandem “Super Rally”. In the Super Rally race 4 cars at a time all race against each other in a 4 lap heat. To mix things up each driver is required to use the “Joker Lane.” The Joker Lane is a slightly longer path through the course that included the massive gap jump. The tricky part about this was that the drivers could choose when they wanted to take the Joker lane. Since no one knew what driver would take the Joker lane at what time no one knew what to expect or when to expect it!
After four heats the final was dominated by professional drivers as Verdier, Foust, and Hubinette all lined up against the only non-drifter Brian Deegan. You can see how the final Super Rally battle played out below:
With Formula D drivers dominating the X Games rally, could this mean we might see more action sports and rally drivers like Ken Block and Travis Pastrana take up drifting to improve their skill set? Probably not, but it would be interesting to see!
All in all despite the confusion during the head to head rally racing Super Rally more than made up for everything and definitely looks like the sport could have a BIG future on American soil.
X Games is back in town and the entire local automotive culture has gone Rally crazy. There are a few big changes to the Rally event this year versus previous years. The biggest change is the new “Super Rally Cross” format. Before the X Games used a “Super Stage” style in which two cars would run at the same time but on their own set course trying to beat their rival’s time to move on to the next battle. The “Super Rally Cross” format takes the old style but shakes it up by having 4 cars run at the same time…on the same course! Yet they’re still racing the clock more than each other.
However, they have to battle each other for the fastest line through a corner. If that wasn’t crazy enough, they’ve also introduced the “Joker Lane” The Joker Lane is a longer route around the track but it also includes the infamous “gap jump”. Now, a driver can use any lap of the race to take the Joker lane but each driver MUST use the lane at least once per race. This adds a whole new level of excitement as well as strategy for the drivers. Will they get the Joker lane out of the way early? Or will they save it for the last lap?
Tune into the X Games on ESPN and ESPN HD TODAY to watch the action. You can also stay tuned to Xgames.com or right here on MotorworldHype.com as well as our twitter page @MotorworldHype to stay updated on the action. Check out some practice pictures from Friday below and even more pictures in our gallery.
RedBull just released a short documentary on Rhys Millen’s attempt to bring the Pike’s Peak record back into the family. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to pull it off this year but this video of how everything went down is pretty entertaining to watch. Here’s to next year mate!
The “Race To The Clouds” is going on this week and Rhys Millen’s Genesis PM580 is now fully dressed and ready for the party. He built this 1950lb 750HP Genesis powered battle machine to reclaim his father’s Pike’s Peak record that stood for 13 years until Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima broke the record back in 2007. Since then Monster’s record went unchallenged until now.
As you might guess Mr. Tajima isn’t going to sit idly by while Rhys Millen aims to take the record away from him. Rumor has it that Monster Tajima’s 2425lb 910hp Suzuki SX4 “hill-climb” special spent a lot of time in the wind tunnel to extract extra environmentally appropriate downforce before it made the trip to the peak.
So, Rhys has the obvious weight advantage while Monster Tajima has more power and both contenders have plenty of experience on the peak. Can Rhys claim the record back for his family and achieve a sub 10-minute time? Or will Tajima’s pre-peak aero tweaks and 160hp advantage be enough to keep him on top of the peak? It is times like this that I wish the hill-climb was televised!
The 2010 Formula Drift season officially kicked off over the weekend with Round 1 taking place on the streets of Long Beach. All the pre-season hype was over and it was time for all the teams with new cars to put their money where their mouths were. Questions were answered and more were asked but when all the tire smoke cleared it was Vaughn Gittin Jr on top of the podium thanks to his new Falken Tire/Monster Energy Drink 2011 Ford Mustang. Taking 2nd place was Rhys Millen in his Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe and coming in 3rd was Tanner Foust in his Rockstar Energy Drink Scion tC thus creating an all energy drink podium.
So what were some of the highlights from the weekend? Well Long Beach was to be the debut for several new cars such as Sam Hubinette’s Dodge Challenger, and Conrad Grunewald’s 2010 Chevy Camaro. However not all the new cars made it to the grid. Noticably absent was the Hankook Tire GT-R built by Gruppe-S/Dynamic Autosport for Robbie Nishida as well as the Hankook Tire Subaru WRX for Irish driver Eric O’Sullivan. Both cars failed to pass a last minute tech inspection and were not allowed to run. You can follow up on that drama on WreckedMagazine.com.
I am happy to say that the other highlight wasn’t controversial but a shocker nonetheless. Nordic driver Fredric Aasbo was extremely impressive in his Toyota Supra and shocked the crowed when he took down 2009 Formula D Champion Chris Forsberg in the top 16! Aasbo made it all the way to the final four where he lost to Vaughn Gittin Jr. in what some would call a questionable call by Formula D judges. Aasbo then had to take on Tanner Foust but it appeared as if his confidence was shaken since Tanner made quick work of Aasbo who seemed hesitant to stick close to Tanner during the battle. Vaughn used the momentum from his earlier win over Aasbo to take on Rhys Millen in a heated battle. But when Rhys spun and crashed into the tire barrier on his second run he handed the victory to Gittin thus securing the all energy drink podium.
With Long Beach wrapped up it is on to Road Atlanta where hopefully some of the cars who had trouble in Long Beach will be all sorted. WIll Vaughn be able to repeat down south? WIll the new Hankook Tire cars be ready for the next round? We’ll do our best to keep you posted!
In the mean time you can check out our 2 day gallery on our Facebook page or you can check out UrbanRacer.com’s gallery full of yummy action shots.
I just caught this little gem on Cosworth’s USA website. It looks like Cosworth collab’d with Vermont Sports Car to build another “Jump Car” for Ken Block. From what it looks like this car was built for an attempt to break Ken Block’s previous record rally jump of 171 feet. According to the article this attempt might take place somewhere in the UK as the car was recently shipped there to complete tuning and testing. So why was all this on Cosworth’s site? Well, it looks like Cosworth handled the ECU tuning duties of Block’s newest toy and they were eager to get the word out. What leads me to assume that this information is a “leak” is the fact that I haven’t seen any announcements or news about another jump attempt on Ken Block’s website or any of his affiliate sites.
What really thickens this plot however is that it was also recently announced that Ken Block’s teammate/energy drink rival Travis Pastrana would also make an attempt at a world record rally jump at the next Red Bull New Years event. So is Ken going to try to raise the bar even higher before Travis has at it? Or will Mr. Block hang back until next year to try and beat Travis’ record? I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
Check out the announcement video of Travis Pastrana’s jump attempt.
I just found out about this on J-Rod’s (AKA voice of Formula D) blog. RedBull commissioned the famous “Jay The Jeweler” to create a one of a kind steering wheel for rally driver Travis Pastrana. Travis WILL be rocking this wheel during his X Games run this weekend. How awesome is that?! If you got the scratch J-Rod can hit up Jay for you so you can get your own custom piece.
Earlier today the principals at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing officially confirmed that Robert Doornbos will be joining the team for the 2009 Indy Car season. A short while back it was reported that N/H/L Racing was also supposed to sign Milka Duno but so far there isn’t any word from N/H/L about it. Maybe this means that Justin Wilson wont be out of a ride after all?
Towards the end of ’07 Rhys Millen got this crazy idea that he wanted to back flip a truck for new years eve. However, before he had a chance to make his attempt he badly injured himself during a practice run when the truck over shot the safety landing and hit cold hard concrete! After the injuries he sustained many thought he might have ended his career. But in typical Millen fashion not only did he recover he still remained a top contender for the 2008 Formula D title and won the Red Bull Drifting World Championship. That’s a pretty good year coming off such a major injury right? So, how does the Kiwi celebrate? By deciding to try the backflip again!
This time he avoided any practice mishaps and made it to the big moment. He almost made it too! Personally I feel like he pulled it off but technically since he didn’t stick the landing it doesn’t “count.” I guess that means we’re going to see this “one more ‘gain” at the end of 09! Check out the video below.
I got an email the other day from VIMBY (Video In My Back Yard) these guys put together a pretty cool overview video of the Red Bull World Drifting Championship which ironically had the winner Rhys Millen doing some narrating and kicking down some knowledge about what drifting is for the 5 people who still dont know yet. Thanks for the vid VIMBY!