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Dart RallyCross car confirmed

by Bill Cawthon on

Dodge and SRT Motorsports announced this morning that a new 2013 Dodge Dart rally car will compete in the 2012 Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) Series. At the wheel will be by four-time Rally America Champion and 17-time X Games Gold Medalist Travis Pastrana.

Contrary to the rumors, there was no mention of Samuel Hübinette in the Chrysler release.

“At Dodge, racing is an integral part of our heritage and embodies our competitive spirit, so we’re very excited to announce the next chapter in racing for Dodge with our all-new Dodge Dart,” said Dodge CEO Reid Bigland. “The new Dart Global RallyCross Championship car with 600 horsepower and driver Travis Pastrana takes our passion for performance to all new heights.”

Pastrana, 28, is a four-time Rally America champion and owner of multiple supercross and motorcross championships. He also owns Nitro Circus, an empire that includes a television show, live tours and 3D feature film project. Pastrana is one of the most searched athletes in the world (6 million Google searches in 2010) and he has more than 3.5 million Facebook followers.

“When I first heard about GRC, I was really interested, and after watching some of the rounds last year and then actually competing at X Games I was hooked!” said Pastrana. “Now to be able to partner with Dodge to field my own program this year is a dream come true. The new Dodge Dart offers the perfect platform for rally cross, and I look forward to putting it on the podium all season long!”

Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, said that having Pastrana piloting a Dodge Dart and competing in GRC is a natural fit.

“Travis is a living example of what action sports activities are all about, so he fits in perfectly with the youthfulness and passion for performance of the Dodge brand and the SRT Motorsports team,” said Gilles. “He’s proven that he can handle just about anything with wheels, so it’s going to be great to watch him pilot our new Dodge Dart in Global RallyCross.”

The Dart rally car is custom-built for Global RallyCross racing. Powered by a specially built, 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, 16-valve turbo-charged 600-horsepower engine mated to a Sedav 4-wheel drive gear box that puts out more than 550 lb.-ft. of torque.

David Bailey, Senior Engineering Manager for SRT Motorsports, knows the new Dodge Dart rally car is equipped to handle the intense racing conditions.

“The sport is extremely exciting and the on-track action can be brutal on the drivers and the cars,” said Bailey. “The cars are jumping higher than ever and landing safely. The Dart rally car is lightweight with a very powerful motor. The zero to 60 mile-per-hour times are incredible, as low as 1.9 seconds, so with Travis behind the wheel, we can’t wait for the season opener.”

Now in its second season, Global RallyCross is a spin-off of the X Games rally races. The series consists of seven races events on closed-course rally tracks and incorporates bumper-to-bumper, high-flying extreme competition.

The series begins May 26 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and concludes September 29 in Las Vegas. Also included are races at X Games scheduled for June 30-July 1 in Los Angeles. It’s one of the most anticipated stops on the schedule. The ESPN family of channels will broadcast live coverage of the entire 2012 race series.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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