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Moderator/Lead Reporter - Motorsports News Section
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It's been almost a month & a half since Team Pastrana Racing & the Dodge Dart's were on the track back on August 10th in Atlanta but now after extensive testing & preparation, the Dodge Dart's are back ready to take on a new course as Global Rally Cross heads to the famed dirt track in Charlotte, North Carolina!

With this also comes a new competitor for the Dodge Dart's to face as General Motors enters the Chevrolet Sonic with driver Patrick Moro in Global Rally Cross for the 1st time. It will be really interestiing to see how well the Dodge teams fair against this new opponent among the Ford Armada that has totally dominated the season this year. This race could be the indicator of what Team Pastrana Racing & Team Dodge will need to do for next season to improve their results.


Charlotte Re-Visited


GLOBAL RALLYCROSS EXPERIENCES INCREDIBLE GROWTH SINCE LAST CHARLOTTE VISIT

by Chris Leone - Global Rally Cross

In May 2012, Global Rallycross made its inaugural visit to Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Marcus Gronholm kicked off the season right by scoring a victory over OlsbergsMSE teammate Tanner Foust and Stephan Verdier.

Just over a year later, the sport returns to North Carolina, having built successfully upon the foundations laid in that initial event.

Sure, most of the big names remain—Foust, Ken Block, Brian Deegan, and Travis Pastrana among them. But leading them all in the championship is Toomas Heikkinen, whose Charlotte race last year ended in disqualification after an incident with Dave Mirra. An afterthought for much of last season after missing two races due to injury, Heikkinen has won the past five GRC events and hopes to lock up the championship this weekend.

Manufacturers Ford, Subaru, and Dodge have been joined on the big stage by MINI, with a Prodrive-prepared Countryman campaigned by two-time X Games gold medalist Liam Doran. Doran earned his second gold medal in Munich earlier this season in the MINI’s race debut, and followed it up with silver the very next day.


This weekend’s race will also see the long-awaited debut of Chevrolet in GRC, with a Sonic prepared by Pat Moro ready to take the fight to the competition.

Many series newcomers have seen opportunities to shine this season. Scott Speed won his inaugural rallycross event at X Games Brazil in the season opener, while 2006 Junior World Rally champion Patrik Sandell has earned two podium finishes on the way to a top five spot in points. GRC has also added the Supercar Lites class for young drivers, with Joni Wiman having won the inaugural event in New Hampshire in July and each race since.

Even the track itself in Charlotte has changed. Rather than the frontstretch of the 1.5-mile oval, Global Rallycross will utilize the adjacent Dirt Track at Charlotte facility, giving fans a chance to see what these 600 horsepower beasts can do on a loose surface.

Sure, there have been plenty of changes between the past two GRC events at Charlotte. But the most important characteristic still remains: an exciting show.





Driver Entry List will be out by later this week, plus Allpar will have exclusive coverage of the race & behind the scenes look of the preparation leading up to this race.
 

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Track Layout for Charlotte - This looks like this one will be challenging!





CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 16, 2013)

The Dirt Track at Charlotte will look drastically different this weekend when the 600-horsepower, turbo-charged vehicles of Global Rallycross presented by Sylvania SilverStar zXe take to the track.

The Global Rallycross course will be one of the most diverse and challenging courses these cars take on, using portions inside and outside the existing track over a nerve-testing combination of asphalt and dirt. Drivers expected to rise to the challenge in the high-flying, high-impact series include action sports stars Ken Block, Brian Deegan, Dave Mirra, Travis Pastrana and Scott Speed, among others.

The race will start in the center of The Dirt Track on a specially created, newly paved start/finish line. The cars will then fly around existing Turns 1 and 2 of The Dirt Track, through a hairpin turn onto a paved area in the infield, then over a dirt jump and out the backstretch opening and around the asphalt outside Turns 3 and 4 where they will navigate a water feature. The cars will jump over the wall in Turn 4 through a newly created opening in the fence, go around a final turn before returning to the start/finish line.

Drivers can choose to take a short lap once during the race, called the joker lap. The shortcut will be located in Turn 2 of The Dirt Track.

The event action will begin with six-lap heat races, scheduled to start at 1 p.m. The top two finishers transfer into the main event, and all other finishers will move into the four-lap last chance qualifier race to fill the final positions for the main event. Ten cars will start the main event. Each race starts with a standing start and drivers must accelerate in a split second.

The 600-horsepower, all-wheel drive, turbo-charged compact cars go from 0 to 60 in less than two seconds as drivers steer them through hairpin turns, across jumps, over walls and through a series of chicanes and water features designed to test every driver’s focus and control.

This race is also the final race in the the $20,000 battle for the SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Cup. New to the GRC series this season, the SYLVANIA zXe Cup will go to the driver that earns the most championship points in four of the series’ U.S.-based events. The fight for the SYLVANIA zXe Cup started with the July 11 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, included races in Bristol and Atlanta, and wraps up at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sept. 22.

Toomas Heikkinen currently owns the lead by 20 points, but is being followed closely by Ken Block, Brian Deegan and Tanner Foust, who are all neck-and-neck for second place. Every point matters as the drivers prepare to battle in Charlotte for the last and final bout in the SYLVANIA zXe Cup series.




 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess Ford isn't afraid to show off their accomplishment winning the GRC Manufacturer's championship back to back.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HiVLRC8TM20


Also a GRC update - Dave Mirra who usually drivers a Subaru will be subbing in for Liam Doran & driving a Mini this weekend!
 

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Discussion Starter #4

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Some live layout pictures of the track.










Travis Pastrana during testing LIVE (Thursday)

 

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TeamDodge@TeamDodge2m
Driver travispastrana brings his Dodge Dart back to the paddock after making another run here… http://instagram.com/p/ec6VptuPbR/



TeamDodge@TeamDodge30s
travispastrana back in action here @TheDirtTrack @TeamDodge globalrallyx http://instagram.com/p/ec8xN_uPfh/





TeamDodge@TeamDodge6m
No dust, no glory! @TeamDodge travispastrana @TheDirtTrack globalrallyx http://instagram.com/p/ec9t8zOPRE/









TeamDodge@TeamDodge2m
travispastrana hard on the gas around Turn 5 here @TheDirtTrack @TeamDodge globalrallyx

http://instagram.com/p/edB-LIOPYZ/






TeamDodge@TeamDodge
travispastrana enjoying a quick visit between runs this afternoon here @TheDirtTrack @TeamDodge

http://instagram.com/p/edEsGGuPc1/








TeamDodge@TeamDodge

The Pastrana team hard at work in the globalrallyx paddock between runs @TheDirtTrack @TeamDodge

http://instagram.com/p/edFMCtOPdr/







TeamDodge@TeamDodge

With just 90 minutes left in today's session, a groove has been clearly worked in, as shown here in…

http://instagram.com/p/edJ9eruPUa/


 

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Here is the 15 Driver & Team Entry List

7 Fords

2 Subaru

2 Dodge

1 Chevrolet

1 Mini

1 Hyundai

1 Mitsubishi





Uploaded with ImageShack.us
 

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TeamDodge@TeamDodge

Quotes from @TravisPastrana following today's @GlobalRallyX test session:

"I couldn't be more excited. This is definitely the biggest gains that we've made. We make gains in testing and at different times but when you get to the track, it’s always a little different. This is where we’re going to be racing this weekend and to have improved from where we started, I feel it’s going to help us. so for us felt like we made a lot of gains over some testing and over some different times but when you get to the track it's always a little different. We had a lot of power with this Dodge Dart and with the improvements we’ve made, we have a lot of usable power. That’s going to help our qualifying laps and it’s going to help our start which, if they keep the first turn like it is right now, the start will be a huge factor on how well you do in the final."
 

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SRT/Dodge Race Preview

Travis Pastrana and Bryce Menzies will be behind the wheel of the Dodge Darts this weekend as Global Rallycross heads to The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway for a Sunday afternoon tilt.

A completely new racing environment will welcome GRC drivers this year. The 2012 event was held on the frontstretch of the 1.5-mile of Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway will greet competitors with a mix of dirt and pavement along with traditional obstacles and jumps associated with GRC events.

Pastrana finished ninth last year at Charlotte.

“The team has been working on the cars quite a bit looking to make some further improvements,” Johnson said. “The drivers are really anxious to get behind the wheel again and give the fans a good show.”

Menzies says there’s momentum in the camp. “I feel we have some momentum going into Charlotte,” said Menzies, who will make his first GRC start since Summer X Games in Los Angeles last month.

“The team has been working hard to make the cars better. They took them up to Dodge headquarters (Auburn Hills, Mich.) recently and worked with the engineers looking for ways to improve performance. They came up with several changes – cut out some weight, made the car a little more aerodynamic and stuff like that. Travis and I are really looking forward to getting back in the car and checking out the improvements
 

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With all that dirt, you have to wonder if we're even going to be able to see the action. Lol
 

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moparbob said:
SRT/Dodge Race Preview“The team has been working hard to make the cars better. They took them up to Dodge headquarters (Auburn Hills, Mich.) recently and worked with the engineers looking for ways to improve performance. They came up with several changes – cut out some weight, made the car a little more aerodynamic and stuff like that. Travis and I are really looking forward to getting back in the car and checking out the improvements
That's encouraging.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Where do you think or expect the Dart's will finish this week??

Let's start the discussion here!
 

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moparbob said:
Where do you think or expect the Dart's will finish this week??

Let's start the discussion here!
Behind the Fords. :p

Real interested in how those changes affect Dart's performance; lighter weight and better aero definitely can't hurt. Just hope the lighter weight is able to be better distributed in the turns - that's the key.
 

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I'm curious about the aero tweaks. I guess it would make a different on the faster tracks, but their problems have been related to slow speeds and actually getting the power down.

I have high hopes for this race. From the pictures I have seen, the track has lots of room for some good racing.

Side question: what's up with the fan in the trunk?
 

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fenderbass said:
Side question: what's up with the fan in the trunk?
All GRC cars have the radiator in the rear of the car to prevent damage to the engine in case of collision on track.

By removing weight, this should allow the Dart to sail through the corners more easily.
 
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