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Global Rally Cross 2013 X-Games - Brazil (Please see last post)

10881 Views 65 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Mike V.
This post will allow Dodge Race fans & Dodge Dart fans to see what is in store as the new 2013 Global Rally Cross Season is about to begin!

We have received several bits of news & updates here on over the course of the past 120 days & now it's time to let all of you know what is in store.

There will be 2 Dodge Dart's competing this season! Returning drivers to the Dodge/SRT Motorsports effort in Global Rally Cross are # 199 Travis Pastrana and # 99 Bryce Menzies representing Pastrana199 racing.

1st location stop - Foz Do Iguacu - Brazil

This is the 1st time the X -Games & Dodge/SRT Motorsports has visited here as a part of a global effort to expand the world of extreme sports.

The Track:

This is probably the most technical & challenging track developed thus far, but also does have motocross & rally characteristics. very wide open & fast with chicanes, tight corners, & of course the 70 foot jump! The surface is basically made up of compacted gravel & sand to allow the cars to slide around, this will take a toll on the tires & brakes between heats. In all there are 7- 8 turns depending on the layout you look at.

Below are layouts of the track & how it will look - computer images are shown in order of date released:

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SkyBlade said:
Thank you for the info Bob. Where should we go to watch it?
SkyBlade, I beleieve we are still waiting for updates.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
SkyBlade said:
Thank you for the info Bob. Where should we go to watch it?
Sorry but that!

The X-Games Brazil will be on ESPN 3 for LIVE coverage

Replay will be on ESPN 2. The promo for the X-Games Brazil is currently being shown on ESPN & ESPN 2 right now

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

After a debut season that included a victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Pastrana Racing is proud to announce a two-car lineup for the 2013 Global Rallycross Championship season.

Team owner Travis Pastrana will return to the No. 199 Red Bull/Discount Tire Dodge Dart for six of nine races in the GRC season. Pastrana competed in five races in 2012, winning at New Hampshire and finishing ninth in GRC points with a brand new car. Pastrana won medals in the first four rally events in X Games history, including a gold medal in the debut year of 2006, and holds the world record for the longest jump in a rally car (269 feet).

“We had a really great program with the Dodge Dart last year,” said Pastrana. “But I think we’ve got the car a lot better this year. Last year I only finished one race, but we won that one! I feel like we’re a lot more prepared coming into this season.”

Bryce Menzies will join Pastrana in the No. 99 Red Bull/America’s Tire Dodge Dart and compete for the GRC championship in all nine races. Menzies made his GRC debut at last year’s X Games in Los Angeles, and returned to the series in last year’s season finale at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Menzies boasts multiple off-road championships and race wins, as well as an appearance in Red Bull’s Kluge video.

“I’m just really excited to be a part of Pastrana Racing,” said Menzies. “My expectations are pretty high. We have an amazing team—Travis Pastrana is a great guy, he puts a lot of effort into making an awesome team. We have an awesome car. As long as we stay consistent, and we can make the right changes to the car and work together, I think we’re going to be a good contender for the championship this year.”

The cars will be prepared at DirtFish Rally School, a 60-acre, purpose-built training ground in Snoqualmie, Washington.

The team will be led by Ian Davies, a longtime engineer in both rally and rally cross with World Rally Championship and GRC experience.

“We’ve got a great affinity between the technicians, the management, and the athletes themselves,” said Lee Clark, CEO of DirtFish Rally School. “The sport for 2013 and beyond is stepping up a level. The technical sophistication of the whole sport is moved up to the highest level now. And I think that’s the piece that DirtFish sees as most exciting.”

Ian Davies - Team Engineer for Pastrana 199 Racing comments:

“Last year, looking down the pit lane, at the other teams, they seemed to have a very good vibe, and they were well organized,” said Davies. “I thought that this is a team that I feel I could be part of, and we could take further. This year we want to try and be along with the front contenders.”


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
More news from Travis Pastrana - Two part interview with ESPN - Talks about the layout of the team & a possible 3rd driver!!!

Travis Pastrana has to be the hardest working man in show business. His schedule during the past few years became more and more hectic as a freestyle motocross rider, then a rally driver and the owner and performer on the Nitro Circus tour and TV show.

Over the past couple of seasons, Pastrana has also dabbled in the sport of NASCAR, but this year he decided to jump into NASCAR with both feet and became a driver for legendary owner Jack Roush's Roush-Fenway Nationwide team. Even with this frenetic schedule, he has decided to run another year in the Global Rallycross Championship season. I got a few moments between car rides to talk 2013 with No. 199, who revealed a new technical partner for his GRC team.

Pastrana was so informative we've decided to split the interview into two parts. Here's Part 1: (Part 2 to come on Friday) So 2013 looks like another busy year for you. What are you looking forward to in GRC?

Pastrana: Driving GRC with heroes like Petter Solberg! He signed the hood on my first-ever rally car that I raced and I still have that cut-out piece that he signed from my crashed hood hanging on my wall at home. There's just so many of the WRC [World Rallycross Championship] guys coming over and it's an awesome opportunity. And to have X Games doing four stops, to have this opportunity, even though I am definitely full time and racing 34 rounds of NASCAR this year, this is something that, definitely, I can't give up. The cars are awesome, the competition is awesome, and it's a lot of fun.

Dodge race fans, please pay attention to these next set of questions - IMPORTANT sections in BOLD type!

So what's the structure of your GRC team coming into this year?

The structure of the team is Bryce Menzies is our No. 1 driver. He is going to drive every round. I am team owner, which means I get to drive whenever I want [laughs]. So we're running two cars every race and I'm driving as much as I possibly can. There's a couple that we're actually going to be taking flights to and Bryce, he's awesome, and his dad is really helping out to get private jets from here to there. We might even get someone else to qualify the car in a few places that I have two races, but any time that I can physically make it, without a teleport, from where I am to the start of the race: I will be there.

If you are not in that second car do you put someone else in there?

"Yes, there's actually three guys we are talking to right now that are all pretty eager to find out who's in. So it depends on what round and what our sponsors say."

"We've kind of got names and there's guys that I would like to put in. But as a team owner it also comes down to a little bit of business because we are looking for a guy that can either get out there and win or bring some decent exposure and media attention, which is obviously what everyone is looking for, but we're NOT looking for a consistent guy for a championship. " (HUH, WHAT! You kidding me? ????)

"We have that with Bryce, who I think has learned a lot. There's no one that I have ever worked with that is more of a sponge than Bryce Menzies. He listens to everybody, he tries everything and takes what works. He comes in and he's very smooth and very consistent, but with these cars you have to be aggressive, man. You have to stomp straight line braking, pitch the thing in the corner and straight acceleration. He's used to kind of arcing everything in and just having almost like a road car line. So learning from what he has done with the rally car I'm excited to actually race short course racing again and try his technique" [laughs].

So your team has a new technical partner for this year?

"Yes it does. I shouldn't say it held us back last year, but we didn't really get a lot of testing at areas that we thought were good. You know, we had a lot of parking lot stuff -- or what felt like parking lots last year -- and this year the courses should be different and there should be a lot more dirt."

"Some courses might be mostly tarmac and some almost all dirt is what I hear. So with Dirtfish Rally School not only do we have our cars up there [Snoqualmie, Wash.], but any time we want to go drive -- and for me I have not had a lot of time in the last two years on the all-wheel-drive stuff -- it's awesome to go up there and drive."

"They were laughing, but last time I was there I was like "Dude, I want to go through the school. I want to learn" and they were like [laughs], "Why?"

"I can learn anything, and it has been great because you know Bryce went up there for a week and just worked with their instructors. Bryce could probably beat most of their instructors in a head-to-head event, but there was a lot of stuff that he was doing that is, you know, not right for rally and that he could be doing better. I think it has been really great for both of us who are not full-time rally guys."

So somebody could sign up for Dirtfish school and find themselves desk-to-desk with you when they get up there?

[Laughs] "Yeah, it happened all last week and it will happen next week as well."

Back in New Hampshire last year you were talking to me about the challenge of changing from one style to another style of racing. These days you are predominantly a NASCAR driver, but what's it like to have to, on the same weekend, jump out of a car where you are driving that oval and then get into the GRC car?

"It's actually a lot more different than I had thought. Last year the only race we won, I ended crashing out of the NASCAR race [laughs] so it gave me a little more time to compute what I had to do for the rally."

"You know, I always said if you can drive one thing you can drive whatever -- it doesn't matter, but all-wheel-drive is like motocross. It is all about aggression, you are hard into the corner, brake hard, accelerate hard. When in doubt -- throttle out, kind of deal. It's an aggressive form of racing. NASCAR, the speeds are so much higher you're constantly on the edge. Such minimal, minimal input into the wheel. You're just barely sliding all the way and if you ever start sliding too much, with just how the cars are set up, it's really hard to catch. There's no handbrake, you're not usually hard on the brakes."

"Everything is very smooth and very, very subtle. So I had a really hard time last year -- not necessarily going from racing one to racing the other, but the qualifying. Usually you would go practice one and then practice the other, then you would qualify in one and qualify in the other."

"The biggest trouble for me was just to jump in on that first lap of NASCAR and then that first lap of qualifying for GRC, you had to drive completely different and that had to be your fastest lap. It's something that the NASCAR guys had definitely brought to my attention -- just how I qualified when I raced the GRC were all my worst and all my worst NASCAR races."

"Also with the GRC after NASCAR -- like in Vegas -- it sounds stupid, but when you are in the car for that long, mentally you are really exhausted. So I went in and I [took the joker lap twice] pulled a "Dave Mirra" [laughs]. Something that I pride myself on is taking the joker [the one-time-only short- or long-cut lap in GRC racing] when it is going to benefit me most and making those split second decisions and I was just slow mentally. It's a challenge."

Part 2 of this interview to come on Friday!

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Even Team Manager - Blair Stopnik is excited for the season opener: Comment via twitter

XGames Brazil or Bust! Months of prep work coming together. Fingers crossed! #xgames globalrallyx…#PastranaRacing #ontheroadagain

Picture to come shortly!

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you build it... ...they will come! A preview of the actual track layout!

The course will be using dirt & what looks like red clay instead of sand & gravel as we had reported earlier in the CG photos. This will change the characteristics of how the cars grip the track. This track looks like it's going to be very large as well!

Also Blair Stopnik - team manager for Dodge & Pastrana 199 racing, has mentioned that he is ready & has left for Brazil. More photos to follow. This should excite all Dodge & Dart race fans out there!

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How do you pack for race event & a major trip to another country? Look at this below to find out, A very interesting read!

Courtesy: Jen Horsey - (Sorry for the Ford pictures)

How do you pack for a major trip?

My method is to pile everything I might need while I'm away onto my bed until it looks like a deep-discount sales bin of clothes and shoes and toiletries. Then I comb through it and start packing: essentials first, then the nice-to-haves. Inevitably, I unpack and repack my bag several times as I decide I don't really need that extra hoodie, or that I can make do with only one pair of sneakers.

That's what every one of the 15 rallycross teams competing in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, has been up to for the past couple of weeks -- only on a much larger scale.

I dropped by the normally neat-as-a-pin Olsbergs MSE shop in Huntington Beach, Calif., last week to find it in a state of chaos. There were Ford Fiesta body panels, wheels, tires and miscellaneous hardware everywhere. For three days, the team that runs cars for X Games veterans Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan, Toomas "Topi" Heikkinen, and newcomer Patrik Sandell, has been packing the race team equivalent of luggage in preparation for the 5,000-mile plus journey to Brazil for the first X Games RallyCross competition of the 2013 season. It's a massive undertaking.

"We aren't talking about racing just around the corner from the shop," said OMSE mechanic Brad Manka. "I'm not real familiar with Foz, but it's not like we can call the local auto parts store and pick up a spare racecar."

Rallycross is hard on cars. Teams routinely assign five or six technicians to care for each competition vehicle during a race and they're prepared to do everything from add fuel and wipe dust off the windshield, to hammer out dents or weld up a new subframe. Because they don't know before the race what could happen in this full-contact motorsport, they have to be prepared for every eventuality.

"We have spare everything," said Manka, as he combed through a 10-page, single spaced inventory spreadsheet that represents the spare parts and tools for just two of the team's cars. "Seventy-four coil springs, 39 V-band clamps, 24 clutch shims, 82 stainless steel hose clamps …"

A few weeks ago, sport organizers sent teams a scary looking 31-page document outlining the do's and don'ts of packing for the trip. A missed step -- as simple as an uncrossed 't' or undotted 'i' -- could mean rejection by customs officials and a car that arrives too late to the race. Each part had to be itemized as it was packed up into a crate suitable for loading into a shipping container. Parts all assigned a unique number based on globally recognized harmonized shipping codes that identify every type of item -- from applesauce to zippers -- that gets shipped through international borders.

To accompany each rallycross car, teams have been allocated 2.5 tons of spare parts packed into a space that's probably a little smaller than your bedroom -- 10 feet by 8 feet by 9 feet (720 cubic feet).
When it comes to packing for a rallycross event, it's a little more complicated than getting to the airport and discovering you have to check your skateboard because it won't fit into the overhead bin. While you might check your toothpaste label to see if it's under the three ounces that is allowed through a TSA security checkpoint in a plastic baggy, Manka and his crew had to itemize every nut and bolt and double-check that their engines have easily visible serial numbers stamped into the metal so touchy customs agents don't give them any grief.

"We can't even ship high-pressure cylinders, so we're not sure what we're going to do about welding gas," said Manka, as a team member lugged a portable welder into a massive crate.
And while this was going on in the United States, this effort was being duplicated in Europe, where several other teams -- including Liam Doran's -- were also packing up for the long trip to Brazil.
Once a team's 2.5 tons of gear is carefully inventoried and loaded, it is shipped, along with the competition car it is accompanying (which weighs in at another 1.3 tons), to Miami where all the gear was scheduled for load-in earlier this week to a special Boeing 747 cargo transporter -- chartered by X Games for just this purpose.

They don't want to lose that luggage -- depending what's in a crate, each one can contain as much as $100,000 worth of parts. The cars are worth another $500,000. Each.

If you've never seen a cargo plane in action, it's impressive. Imagine the same airplane you travel on when you fly to visit your grandma, but instead of seats, this one hasn't got any creature comforts outside of the cockpit: just a flat floor with rollers on it. Huge doors on the nose, tail, or side, open to reveal an empty cylinder for cargo. To load it, forklifts feed crates and cars and pallets into the maw of the beast. The cars themselves are wrapped in plastic and stacked two high on racks and everything else is neatly loaded in. When all is said and done, a pilot, a co-pilot and many tons of rallycross cars and parts will travel together to Brazil.

With any luck, it'll all sail through customs and the teams will find their gear waiting for them when they get to Foz -- when the unpacking begins. Then, after the race on April 21, the process starts all over again: Destination Round 2 -- Barcelona, Spain.

See the slide show of how the cars & parts for each team are transported on the plane:

I got a lot of respect for those workers & team members who get this massive job done! WOW!

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Driver Entry List (Incomplete - missing Subaru drivers)

# 99 Bryce Menzies - Dodge Dart - USA

# 199 Travis Pastrana - Dodge Dart - USA

#?? Patrick Moro - Chevrolet Sonic - USA

#?? Tanner Foust - Ford Fiesta ST MK7 - USA

#?? Brian Deegan - Ford Fiesta ST MK7 - USA

#?? Scott Speed - Ford Fiesta ST MK7 - USA (Star Car)

#?? Toomas Heikkinen - Ford Fiesta ST MK7

#?? Patrik Sandell - Ford Fiesta ST MK7

#?? Ken Block - Ford Fiesta ST MK7 - USA

#?? Liam Doran - Subaru XTi - England

#?? Sebastian Loeb - Citroen C4 - England

# 92 Anton Marklund - Volkswagen Polo - Sweden

#?? Nelson Piquet Jr. - Mitsubishi Lancer - Brazil

#?? Mauricio Neves - Peugeot 207 - Brazil

#?? Eduardo Marques Jr - Peugeot 207 - Brazil

#?? Buddy Rice - Volkswagen Polo - USA

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Another new feature announced!

Each race venue on the schedule is going to have an additional guest driver to be in the race!

For Brazil, Scott Speed will be behind the wheel of the Star Car which will be a Ford Fiesta ST MK7.

Read more about it here:

The Global Rallycross Star Car will make its much-anticipated debut at Global X Games in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, on April 21. Different drivers will take turns racing in the Star Car throughout the year, competing against the best drivers that GRC has to offer.

The first driver to race the Star Car will be Scott Speed, who has driven across the globe in a lengthy career that has seen him reach the upper echelons of motorsports in both Europe and North America. Speed has been successful in both open wheel racing and stock cars, winning two European Formula Renault championships in 2004 and winning his first NASCAR race in 2008.

Speed continues to race in NASCAR, but will fly to Brazil during an off weekend to make his first Global Rallycross start. In the meantime, he sat down to talk about adapting to another form of motorsports and his anticipation for the weekend:

First things first: tell us a little bit about your racing career, and how Global Rallycross now fits into that?

Currently, I’m running a relatively part-time schedule with LFR Racing in the Sprint Cup Series, and with that schedule, there are options to do certain things as I’m not racing every weekend. I’ve always been up for trying different things in racing. When I left Formula 1, Red Bull gave me the option to do whatever I wanted, and I was drawn to NASCAR because it was something totally different. And I enjoyed that process of switching from open-wheel racing to NASCAR racing so much. I’ve always been open to looking for other things I can try. So when this thing came up, obviously the series has grown, it’s gotten bigger and bigger, and I’ve always had my eye on this series and how it’s coming. And when the first race was on one of the off weekends that we had, I immediately began working on something to be able to try it.

How did the opportunity for you to race in Global Rallycross come about, and why was Brazil the right place for you to make your debut?

The opportunity came about because I’ve been able to find a little bit of help. And Global Rallycross have this Star Car that they’re running, trying to get different athletes from other forms of racing in, and it just worked out where I was able to fit that mold.

What makes Global Rallycross unique among all of the different forms of racing you’ve competed in?

For one, there’s jumps, ha! So right away, that’s the one thing that stands out. I think that from a car standpoint, four-wheel drive, lots of power, really, really quick gearbox—zero to 60 in a really, really fast time. There’s not necessarily a lot of top speed, but there’s a lot of acceleration. So I think the four-wheel drive aspect, and the aspect of running on dirt, asphalt, wet—all different kinds of conditions—certainly is a lot different.

You’ll be driving in the Star Car, something new to the series for this season. What do you like about the concept?

I think it’s great for the people watching, to increase the level of respect that they have for the guys that are doing this full-time. When you have someone in racing like myself, that was racing in Formula 1, and has gone into this different form of racing, I’m assuming that it’s going to validate the abilities of the guys that are doing it, the Ken Blocks and Tanner Fousts, those guys where this is what they’ve done. I’m sure they’re really good at it! And someone like myself, having raced Formula 1, coming over there to try it will be interesting. I’m assuming those guys are really going to show me a lot!

Have you had a chance to drive a rallycross car yet? If so, what do you think of it, and if not, what are your thoughts on getting ready to drive one for the first time?

I have not, yet. I’ve talked to a lot of people who have, a lot of guys have been very helpful in that transition as well. But when I get down there, it’ll be my first time in it. So outside of watching videos and speaking with people who have done it, that can help, there really hasn’t been anything. It’ll be a fresh start, which is exciting for me.

Have you given any thought to your strategy for the Brazil race weekend? Are you going to feel out the car at first or push from the beginning?

I’m going to do me, I’m going to do what I’ve always done. I don’t really have a push really hard or play conservative button, so to speak. I just kind of do my thing—I go fast! So we’ll see. Typically, it’s better to drive too hard and back things off than approach on the conservative side.

If things go well for you in Brazil, is Rallycross something you’d consider doing more of in the future?

Yes, absolutely. There’s definitely an open mind going into this, and certainly some possibilities and options to do some more in the future. Especially with my schedule being the way it is, it’s very conducive to running something like this, at least occasionally, where there are off weekends for me.

Second Article:

GRC Adds Star Car To 2013 Lineup; Scott Speed To Drive In Brazil:

LOS ANGELES, CA. (April 12, 2013) — Global Rallycross is all about introducing new and forward-thinking elements to race competition. In the spirit of that innovation, Global Rallycross is proud to announce the implementation of the Star Car, a competitive twist for Global Rallycross. To debut the Star Car at the X Games in Foz do Iguacu, Global Rallycross brought Scott Speed on board to take the wheel.

“The Star Car idea was sparked initially as means to create an element of surprise and suspense to both fans and drivers for each of the nine Global Rallycross events this season,” said Colin Dyne, Global Rallycross CEO. “But as the idea has become a reality for Global Rallycross, it is an exceptional element that allows for talented drivers like Scott Speed to get a taste of what Global Rallycross really has to offer.”

In each race of the 2013 season, Global Rallycross will select the Star Car driver who will compete against the regular field of Global Rallycross drivers. With that in mind, every Star Car driver is selected specifically, each bringing a different quality to the series.

For Speed, Global Rallycross selected him to debut the Star Car in Brazil because of his personality, driving ability and his overall fit for Global Rallycross. Speed has raced across the globe, winning two European Formula Renault championships before driving 28 races in Formula 1 in 2006 and 2007. Since transitioning to stock car racing, he has won in the Craftsman Truck Series and spent five seasons at the Sprint Cup level.

“I’ve always been open to looking for other racing series I can try,” said Speed. “So when this thing came up, obviously the series has grown, it’s gotten bigger and bigger, and I’ve always had my eye on this series and how it’s coming. And when the first race was on one of the off weekends that I had, I immediately began working on something to be able to try it.”

The Star Car will be run by OMSE2, a satellite operation of defending GRC champions OlsbergsMSE. The Star Car will be the same model of Ford Fiesta that took four race victories and the top two spots in last year’s GRC standings.The Star Car will make its debut at Global X Games in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, on April 21.

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
For those that didn't see the video release that came out this week here is another look!

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I definitely like the Dart's 2013 livery much much more than last year's.

Still wish they'd use the R/T GT's smoked headlamp look, but other than that, at the very least they'll be the best looking cars of the bunch...

Not crazy about Pastrana not running the full schedule, although it was obviously expected with his NASCAR deal being top priority, but still, kinda stinks that the team's namesake, (and Dodge's sole/major reason for even being in the sport) won't be running for the title because he's in a "Mustang" for his day job.

It'll be interesting to see who replaces Pastrana when he has a conflict. I really have no idea. Maybe Hubinette, since he's apparently not racing this year? And he's still a genuine Mopar guy.

As for Menzies, from what I recall of his races last year, he still has some work to do to catch up to top competitors. The DirtFish partnership should go a long way in preparing both drivers as much as possible. I'm excited to see what all the hard work translates to.

Nice to see Piquet Jr. in the race. A bit random, but they can't not have their native son in a major race in the country. I find the "Star" car stunt interesting. A nice way to keep suspense throughout the year and potentially a nice opportunity for certain NASCAR or IndyCar drivers to cross over.

I've always been fascinated by international races and the logistics for transport and management, whether it's F1 or IndyCar or any series in between. Just an amazing set of procedures and organization. Kinda correlates with my career in aviation. That's no coincidence. ;)
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