The Dodge Darts are back & so is Team Pastrana Racing ready to improve their results from a few weeks ago in Brazil & take on the competition. Another challenging track awaits our Dodge drivers Bryce Menzies & Travis Pastrana at the famous Olympic Stadium.
Driver & Manufacturer Entry List - X Games Barcelona, Spain
Travis Pastrana - Dodge
Bryce Menzies - Dodge
Ken Block - Ford
Brian Deegan - Ford
Liam Doran - Citroen
Toomas Heikkinen - Ford
Sverre Isachsen - Subaru
Buddy Lasek - Subaru
Anton Marklund - Volkswagen
Nani Roma - BMW/Mini Cooper
Scott Speed - Ford
Guiga Spenelli - Mitsubishi
Patrik Sandell - Ford
Tanner Foust - Ford
Liam Doran - BMW/Mini Cooper
Steve Arpin - Ford
Dave Mirra - Subaru
Carlos Sainz - Volkswagen
The track is being built in a stadium with a 6 turn course with the Joker in turn 2. Racing will be in a counter clockwise direction.
More news to follow in the coming days leading you up to the race!
In the Olympic Stadium competitions are held most spectacular motorsport. Rally, Enduro X Moto X Freestyle, the best athletes in the world will offer a unique and unprecedented circuits which will change daily to the needs of the competition. Come and enjoy the largest global sports racing action in the most historic stadium in Barcelona on 18 and 19 May.
Two landmarks of Barcelona will host the two motorsports these X Games Barcelona 2013. The Olympic Stadium receive RallyCross The other test engine will roar to the hearts of those attending the Olympic Stadium is the RallyCross. Wheelies, overtaking and cars flying above others in a six-lap race. aggressive driving is only available to a select few. ?
BMX Street Final, Men's Skateboard Park Final, Ford RallyCross Final, Moto X Best Whip, Moto X Step Up Final, GoPro BMX Big Air Final
In Brazil, some of the big names in RallyCross -- Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust and Ken Block -- were eliminated in a crash early in the race. Former Formula One driver Scott Speed, who'd never before jumped his car or raced on dirt, took home the gold. In Barcelona, this question remains: Is Speed, as his name suggests, really a natural for RallyCross or did he just get lucky in Brazil? He'll go head-to-head against Pastrana, Foust and Block as well as Subaru drivers Bucky Lasek (yes, the skateboarder), Sverre Isachsen and Dave Mirra, who are back after skipping X Games Foz do Iguaçu. Spaniard Nani Roma, a late addition to the athlete roster, is the hometown favorite.
Travis Pastrana looks to bounce back from a crash that eliminated him from the RallyCross race in Foz.
Dodge/SRT® Motorsports – Global RallyCross Championship Race Advance – Round 2 – Barcelona
“The Dodge Dart is the American muscle car of the GRC. It’s bigger, so it handles the bumps and jumps better. It’s also more stable than our opponents in most situations. Our size is an advantage when we can put the power to the ground but we struggled at the first event because the tire they chose for everyone to run did not provide much grip. Every track is different in the GRC series. I look forward to the tracks with a lot of diversity.
No. 199 Red Bull / Discount Tire Dodge Dart
“The Dodge Dart is as fast as or faster than any car out there. I just need to focus on qualifying well and getting good starts. That seems to be the key to winning these races. My strategy for Barcelona is to be more aggressive on the starts, try to get out front quick.”
No. 99 Red Bull / Discount Tire Dodge Dart
Gary Johnson – Racing Manager, SRT Motorsports
“The team has made a lot of progress over the winter with many improvements to the car. The performance level of the car was evident in Brazil. We’re hopeful that this weekend we’ll have a little better luck on the track. The two cars used last year were updated over the winter and some of the shortcomings were corrected. Therefore, we hope to be very competitive this year.”
Dodge/SRT® Motorsports – Global RallyCross Championship – Pre-Race Quotes – Round 2 – Barcelona
Gary Johnson (SRT® Motorsports Racing Manager)
“The team has made a lot of progress over the winter with many improvements to the car. The performance level of the car was evident in Brazil. We’re hopeful that this weekend we’ll have a little better luck on the track.”
ARE THESE THE SAME CARS THAT WERE USED LAST YEAR WITH UPDATES DURING THE WINTER?
“Yes, the two cars used last year were updated over the winter and some of the shortcomings of the car were corrected. Therefore, we hope to be very competitive this year.”
MORE COURSES THIS SEASON IN GLOBAL RALLYCROSS FEATURE DIRT AND WATER HAZARDS, A STEP TOWARDS MORE TRADITIONAL RALLYCROSS RACING. DOES THAT POSE MORE CHALLENGES FROM AN ENGINEERING STANDPOINT?
“It does take additional engineering and tuning on the car based on the types of surfaces that you’re competing on. We’ve made some improvements knowing that the tracks were going to be different this year. I think we’re seeing the results of that effort on the track.”
WITH ALL THE JUMPING AND FLYING THROUGH THE AIR, IT APPEARS THE SUSPENSION ON THE CARS TAKE A BEATING. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SUSPENSION CHALLENGES?
“The landing from the jumps is very hard on the car. We’ve addressed that with improvements to the suspension durability. The biggest issue now is mostly on-track incidents, not necessarily failures of the car.”
YOU HAD A GREAT STRATEGY FOR THE FEATURE EVENT IN BRAZIL. HOW CLOSE WERE YOU TO PULLING IT OFF (GOING OUTSIDE WHEN THE REST OF THE FIELD WENT OT THE INSIDE AT THE START OF THE FEATURE EVENT)?
“It was difficult to pass on the course in Brazil. Everyone knew the start was going to be very important. Being on the outside of the second row (for the start), my only chance at coming out close enough to the front to have a chance at winning was to try and drive around the carnage that was sure to pile up on the inside. I charged past the leaders on the outside but got into the outside dirt berm and it slowed my momentum. I came back onto the racing line next to Tanner Foust who was in 3rd and tried to fit into the queue (line) but made contact. It damaged the suspension and punctured the left front tire. I was third when the driveshaft finally gave way and sent me spinning down the straightaway.”
IS THE WAY THE TRACKS ARE DESIGNED THIS YEAR AN ADVANTAGE OR DISADVANTAGE FOR TH DODGE DART?
“The Dodge Dart is the American muscle car of the GRC. It’s bigger so it handles the bumps and jumps better. It’s also more stable in most situations. The size is an advantage when we can put the power to the ground. We struggled at the first event because the tire they chose for everyone to run did not provide sufficient grip. Every track is different in the GRC series. I look forward to the tracks with a lot of diversity.”
IN BRAZIL, IT APPEARED THE KEY WAS GETTING THROUGH TURN ONE FIRST. IS THAT GOING TO BE THE CASE THIS YEAR, THE RACE IS WON IN TURN ONE?
“It was really tough in Brazil because a blue groove (rubber put down from the tires) provided extra traction in that small area of the track that everyone preferred (inside line). It was very difficult to pass because anyone that got out of the main line would slip and slide and lose time.”
HOW IMPORTANT ARE THE HEAT RACES?
“Winning your heat race and getting first choice for a starting position on the first row is very important. In Brazil and tracks that are tough to pass on, starting position is even more crucial.”
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO THE DODGE DARTS SINCE BRAZIL IN PREPARATION FOR BARCELONA?
“Every race is a test and we continue to improve the car and our strategy as the year progresses.”
THE FORMAT FOR GRC EVENTS LEAVE LITTLE ROOM FOR ERROR. A PROBLEM AT THE START OF A HEAT RACE OR THE MAIN EVENT CAN BE CRITICAL. WAS THAT BASICALLY THE ISSUE FOR YOU IN BRAZIL?
“In GRC, it is critical to get a good start and that comes from qualifying well. I felt like we had a good shot in the (Last Chance Qualifier) LCQ but something so little as the car in front of you missing a shift can take you out of the race. We have a strong team and cars; we just need to put it all together now.”
WHAT IS YOUR ANALYSIS OF THE FIRST EVENT IN BRAZIL?
“In the first round, it did not go as expected. It was good to get back behind the wheel and see where the competition is at. The course in Brazil was awesome. It was just hard to get ahold of the slippery dirt.”
YOUR DODGE DART APPEARS TO BE AS FAST AS ANY ON THE TRACK. IT IS JUST A CASE OF KEEPING THE CAR CLEAN?
“The Dodge Dart is as fast as or faster than any car out there. I just need to focus on qualifying well and getting good starts. That seems to be the key to winning these races.”
FROM WHAT YOU LEARNED IN BRAZIL, DOES YOUR RACE STRATEGY CHANGE FOR BARCELONA?
“My strategy for Barcelona is to be more aggressive on the starts, try to get out front quick.”
DOES YOUR PREVIOUS RACING EXPERIENCE TRANSFER TO GRC RACING?
“My previous experience with racing has been in off-road trucks. There are some things that transfer over in driving technics but it’s mostly all new trying to learn the all-wheel drive Dart. It’s taking some time but I’m feeling more comfortable every time I get in it.”
In the fast-paced chaos that is a rallycross race, it's hard to imagine how many things are going on for the driver. In each split second, countless decisions are made that affect the outcome of the race. But the drivers aren't going it alone: they've got eyes in the sky that are helping guide them every step of the way.
On race day, team spotters are identified by their serious expressions, their team gear and the radios they're wearing. These team members are every bit as present in the racing as the drivers themselves, helping to guide their designated driver through the race. Every spotter has a different style and, depending on the driver's preference, they could be saying just a few words from time to time or they could be in their driver's ear at every turn of the wheel.
As Ken Block's navigator in rally races, spotter Alex Gelsomino is accustomed to guiding the driver through trouble spots.
Alex Gelsomino is the man on Ken Block's radio. Day-to-day, Gelsomino works with Block as the general manager for Hoonigan Racing in Park City, Utah. He's known to fans of longer-form rally competition as Block's co-driver, navigating the team from the passenger's seat through the hazards of Rally America and World Rally Championship competition. In rallycross, he co-drives by remote control.
"The main thing you're doing is watching the driver's back," Gelsomino said. "Things can happen so quickly in the sport."
It can be hard for the driver to know the position of all the other cars on the course -- especially when everybody's making quick moves to jostle for position. The spotter, usually stationed in a specially designated area with a bird's-eye view, has a better vantage point. Gelsomino said he tells Block if there's been a wreck in front of him and warns him to steer clear of any debris that might be on the course. And he helps him to remember to take the Joker lap.
The Joker is an important strategic component of every rallycross race. Sometimes called the "alternate," it's a mandatory detour to the main lap. Under the rules, drivers must take it once -- and only once -- per race, and it's often one of the best places to make a pass and take the lead. In Brazil, Scott Speed used it to his advantage on the last corner of the final race to pull into first place ahead of Toomas "Topi" Heikkinen and take the gold medal.
Speed admits he actually ignored his spotter Brad Manka's advice to take the Joker earlier than he did, but definitely counts on his extra set of eyes for other things -- especially in the frantic seconds before the light goes green and everybody dives into the dusty first corner.
The start sequence in a rallycross car is complex. After rolling up to the start, a driver in a top-spec car has to watch for the red light to go on, signaling a few (random) seconds before green. He puts the car in gear, flips a switch to activate the turbo antilag to maximize boost on launch, holds down a launch control button to manage revs on the start, holds the handbrake and starts slipping the clutch a little so the car squats down -- but not so much that it inches forward into a false start. When the light goes green, the driver dumps the clutch, releases the handbrake and starts grabbing gears as the car accelerates from zero to 60 mph in less than two seconds.
In Brazil, deeply ingrained Formula One training was pushing Speed to move before the green light activated and he credits his spotter with keeping him in line. In Formula One, the race starts when the light goes out and waiting for the green light was tough. "You're trying to do five things at once and it's hard," Speed said. "He was telling me: 'Wait for green.'"
Rival Nelson Piquet Jr., also a Formula One veteran, wasn't so lucky and he took a trip to the penalty box for false starting in his heat race. "Doing what Nelson did and messing up is definitely a possibility because it's such a habit that's ingrained in us," he said.
Dave Mirra, who drives for the Subaru rallycross team, counted on rally pro David Higgins to talk him through his races last season. He says Higgins, who competes behind the wheel for Subaru in the team's Rally America championship races, is invaluable because he's also a driver. "He's not just a guy giving me tips or racecraft that he wouldn't do himself and I think that's huge," said Mirra, who missed the first round in Brazil and will compete for the first time in 2013 in Barcelona.
He agrees with many other drivers who say making a move into the Joker is a split-second decision he prefers to make himself, but he says his spotter isn't shy about reminding him whether he's taken it or not -- especially after he accidentally took the alternate lap twice in one heat during a race last year.
"If I haven't done the Joker, he reminds me. Or, if I've done it, he reminds me not to do it again," Mirra said. "I've definitely done that."