The second round of the United States RallyCross Championship kicked off again at New Jersey Motorsport Park in Millville on October 3rd and 4th.
RallyCross is brand new to the U.S. and is hoping to grow quickly in popularity among many racing fans. It is a very exciting sport that consists of five rally style cars jumping and sliding on a road course made up of pavement and gravel. Five or more drivers line up to start at once, piloting high-horsepower cars through a challenging short course that features jumps and sharp turns on the pavement and gravel.
Each car must also take a "Joker" lap at some point during their heat. A Joker Lap is a small detour—normally over a jump—that adds a level of unpredictability to the heat's outcome by changing a driver's strategy in an instant. Fans get close to the action with trackside viewing of aggressive door-to-door driving and the sliding and jumping that makes rally car events unique among motorsport.
Many of the top names from the first round were back again bringing along some new faces as well. Tanner Foust was there in his Rockstar Energy Ford Fiesta, along side a new teammate that came out from Finland, Jussi Pinomak. Dave Mirra and Travis Pastrana were back in their Vermont Sports Car prepped Subaru STI’s. Liam Doran, who placed third this year in the European RallyCross Championship (ERC) shipped his Citroen C4 out from England to compete in the final two events of the year, was also here to add to the competition.
Rhys Millen, in an Ex-WRC Red Bull Hyundai, came out to the event as another top driver. Joseph Burke was also looking to contend but a blown engine in qualifying ended his weekend. In 2WD Josh Wimpey was back to defend his dominant win from the first round in his Volkswagen Golf. While Matthew Johnson and Dillon Van Way both in fords tried to knock Wimpey off the top spot. The only Irishman in the competition, Dan Brosnan was looking to finish well in his Stadium Sports Bar & Grill sponsored Nissan Sentra.
The runs on Saturday ran under clear and sunny skies, while this was only the practice runs and qualifying many of the drivers were still putting on a show for the fans.
Sunday was the big day when the heats began, with the rain falling, making the track extremely interesting and even more exciting. Fans’ being able to see all the action up close is very exhilarating, as it was displayed during this second round of the Championship.
In the AWD final we saw Liam Doran slide off into a tire barrier do to a flat wheel, this caused the race to be “Red flagged” do to the tires now being in the way. Doran was not disqualified because it was an unintentional off, therefore he was allowed to go back into service and repair his damaged Citroen C4, that he shipped out from England to do the event. Fans rushed over from the stands to watch his car get fixed and find out what had happened.
No other motorsport would allow you to do this that easily and freely. They were able to speak with the drivers during this delay, and also throughout the day itself. After Doran’s car was repaired he was put to the back of the grid. Travis Pastrana was now out do to a blown engine, which occurred shortly before Doran’s off. Foust and Mirra dominated the field on the restart with Doran pushing his way up to third after a weekend filled with problems. In 2WD Matthew Johnson crushed Dillon Van Way and Josh Wimpey, who finished second and third respectively.
Come out to support this “new” form of motorsport to the U.S. when the competition comes back to Millville, NJ on November 6th and 7th. For more information visit www.rally-america.com.