What do you get when you cross NASCAR, Dirt Bike racing…and Hockey? (Yes, HOCKEY.)
Red Bull Global Rallycross, of course!
Global Rallycross, or GRC, is the caffeine-fueled US-based race series that made its debut at ESPN’s X Games XVI back in 2010. It features, what you could say are ‘compact cars on steroids’…or on Red Bull and RockStar Energy Drink, actually: highly-modified Ford Fiestas, Honda Civics, Volkswagen Beetles, and, of course the legendary Subaru WRX STi.
With roots that go back to England in the late 1960’s, rallycross began with Mini Coopers, Ford Lotus Cortinas, and even a showroom Porsche 911 hauling ass though the UK countryside. But, leave it to us ‘colonists’ to take an English sport and turn it into something only vaguely resembling what it started out as. (Can you say ‘rugby’?)
So, what exactly did the Americans do to rallycross to make GRC such a hoot to watch? Like everything else in today’s world, you’ve got the Marketing aspect. I’m talking ‘demographics’. Similar to the X Games, themselves, Global Rallycross is geared toward the millennial crowd. You know, the late teen to early thirty-ish bunch who have miniscule attention spans. With race courses that are well under a mile in length and comprised of asphalt, dirt, MUD, and 70-foot jumps, GRC has everything needed to hold your attention for an entire weekend.
Indeed. Each GRC event lasts AN ENTIRE WEEKEND; because that’s how long it takes to hold three rounds of ‘heats’, which are 5 laps each, followed by two 6-lap semifinals, AND a ‘last chance’ qualifier for those drivers who do not make it into the final race via the semifinals.
But, as far as I’m concerned the 10-lap main event / final race is, like, TOTALLY where it’s at. TEN awesome cars screaming around the race course, smacking into each other, spinning each other out, flying over the jump, and ultimately being covered in MUD, with some cars barely even functional at the end. Now, THAT’S racing!
Oh, and I supposed you are wondering where HOCKEY comes into play. The Penalty Box. GRC has a PENALTY BOX. Enough said.