Rallycross took to the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, for Round 2 of the Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) season. The events have been moved to larger venues, featuring the full course on pavement, ramped jumps, and a tight, condensed course.
Sverre Isachsen #11 of the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team spoke about his thoughts of the rallycross set up this year. He had the chance to run the course at New Jersey Motorsports Park two years ago when this series was newly formed, but that track had some off-track sections and dirt jumps. He said this new setup was good for the discipline and good for the fans. It allowed for more viewing opportunities and being a smaller course allowed the spectators to see all the action.
The Texas venue featured a "car wash" (water source sprinkled water over cars on a section of the course), a small jump, a chicane section, large jump, and a hairpin turn, all contained within the track's front straightaway and pit road.
For this event, pit road was the starting line for GRC and was the perfect place to feel the rush of the cars zooming by was exhilarating. There's nothing better than the feeling of 550 hp of a Subaru WRX STI whizzing by.
It wouldn't be rallycross without some spectacular action: spinouts, crashes, and up to three cars nose to tail cars going over the gap jump. That jump proved to be troublesome for most of the cars at some point during the day.
Prior to the heat races, many of the drivers discussed how to take the jump: on the brake, on the gas, and nothing at all. Isachsen revealed that he would rather have more smaller jumps over which the cars could go two wide versus the larger gap jump.
Dave Mirra started his day with his #40 Subaru WRX STI in the garage following practice on the gap jump. He was unable to get his car to the line for his heat run, but was able to fight for his chance to advance through the last chance qualifier (LCQ). He battled hard to the end and finished only 4 seconds behind the winner, which kept him from the final round.
The jump ended Bucky Lasek's LCQ efforts as he took #81 WRX STI sideways off the upward section of the ramp. A slow competitor caused him to check up and lose momentum. Lasek was uninjured, but his Subaru did not fare as well, as the left side landed on the plastic barriers; however, it was drivable.
Isachsen ran a smooth heat race, and with his 2nd-place finish advanced to the final round. With 10 cars in the final, it was packed with action and incidents. Drivers were allowed to take the shorter joker lap on the first lap (which would’ve disqualified them in the previous heat races). About half of the cars took the joker that first opportunity, separating the pack in two, but still leaving groups of cars fighting for the top spot. Being so bunched up caused Isachsen to have to brake coming out of the chicane, and he stopped on the ramp thinking he did not have enough speed to make the jump. As he slid back down the ramp and stopped at the base, he brought out the red flag. Being disqualified for bringing out the red ended Isachsen's run.
This jump, which caused so many issues, is scheduled to be a part of two more rounds.
Follow the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team at www.subaru.com/rally and through this journal to see how the season progresses. The team is scheduled to compete in X Games in Los Angeles at the end of June.
Team Press Release
SUBARU PUMA RallyCross Team USA Ramped Up Competiton at Inaugural Hoon Kaboom Texas RallyCross Race.
Watch Bucky Lasek rail slide his STI:
Fort Worth, Tx., June 12, 2012 - There was certainly no shortage of excitement during race day at round two of the 2012 Global RallyCross in Fort Worth, Texas. While SUBARU PUMA RallyCross Team USA was kept off the podium, they were front and center for much of the drama throughout the day's racing.
In the first heat, Sverre Isachsen led the pack off the line and drove his #11 Subaru WRX STI with vigor to secure a spot in the Main event with a second place finish in his heat. SUBARU PUMA RallyCross Team USA's Bucky Lasek finished fourth in the same heat and was seated in one of the two Last Chance Qualifiers (LCQ). Dave Mirra in the #40 WRX STI was also placed in an LCQ, where he put up a tough fight and finished in second position, just a few seconds short of advancing to the final.
Bucky Lasek provided the greatest spectacle of the heat races, and possibly the event, during the running of the LCQ B. After a tight start, Lasek was chasing Liam Doran whose ailing car was leaking fluids and slowing. After Lasek chased Doran through the chicane, Doran ducked to the left as though he was pulling off, Lasek went for the pass only to have Doran pull back in during the lead-up to the narrow steel jump. Having braked hard to avoid the car in front him, Lasek felt he had scrubbed too much speed to clear the jump and made the split decision to abort the jump and drive off the side of it. In an amazing maneuver more suited to a skateboard than his #80 Subaru WRX STI, Lasek rode the water barrier beside the jump on two wheels and stuck the landing!
Sverre Isachsen entered the 10-car Main event with the podium in his sights. Starting in the 2nd row, the Viking Warrior muscled his way forward through the pack off the start and got alongside Marcus Grönholm. The two collided when Grönholm tried to duck into the Shortcut through Isachsen. The impact forced Isachsen unwillingly into the Shortcut and then sent him sideways into the grass, but he stayed on the throttle and continued, losing several positions in the process. Things really got tricky on the next lap when Isachsen was slowed by another competitor as they approached the jump. "We were heading towards the big jump, when the car in front of me suddenly braked. I had two choices; I could hit him and crash both cars, or I could brake! I braked and stopped just before the end of the jump as I would not have cleared the gap,” explained Isachsen. The race was red flagged and Global RallyCross Officials would restart the Main but denied Isachsen the opportunity to continue in the event due to stopping on the jump. Isachsen pleaded with the Officials to no avail. Sverre remained confident in his decision and his future campaign in the #11 Subaru WRX STI as he stated, "I don’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to start again. All I did was try to avoid a big crash. But on the positive side the car was awesome today, and I’m really looking forward to the next race which is a part of X Games."
X Games 18 kicks off in Los Angeles on June 28 and runs through July 1. Similar to last year, the RallyCross course will run on the streets of downtown L.A. in the vicinity of the Staples Center. Summer X Games broadcast information can be found here.
Images of the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team can be found here.
For more information on GRC visit: http://www.global-rallycross.com/
Sean Maynard, Subaru Press Information
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Dominick Infante, Subaru of America, Inc.
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About Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team USA
Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team USA is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Subaru Tecnica International (STI), Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT), PUMA, BFGoodrich Tires, RECARO, Motul, Exedy, and Vermont SportsCar. For more information on the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team, as well as exclusive photo and video galleries, visit subaru.com/rally. For the latest news follow the team on Twitter: twitter.com/srtusa.
About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.
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