Tag Archives: Buddy Rice

Newcomers Dominate First Day of Global Rallycross Practice at X Games in Brazil

FOZ DO IGUACU, BRAZIL (April 19, 2013) — A quartet of newcomers to Global Rallycross dominated the first day of practice at the 2013 season opener at the X Games in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil.

Former Formula 1 and current NASCAR driver Scott Speed made his Global Rallycross debut in the #77 Ford Fiesta Star Car from Rdio and OMSE and was one of the newcomers to post a top-5 time.

“After my first lap I thought I wouldn’t make it around the track,” Speed said.  “However, by the end of the day, I really started feeling comfortable and had the most fun I’ve ever had on four-wheels.”

Three other Global Rallycross rookies to post impressive laps were Formula 1 and NASCAR competitor Nelson Piquet Jr. in the #12 Mitsubishi of X Team Racing; 2004 Indy 500 and 2009 24 Hours of Daytona winner Buddy Rice in the #29 Volkswagen of Marklund Motorsport; and Steve Arpin in the #32 Royal Purple Ford Fiesta of OMSE.

In addition to newcomers, the field for the Global Rallycross season opener includes two-time defending Global Rallycross champion Tanner Foust; 10-time X Games Gold Medalist and current NASCAR competitor Travis Pastrana; 2011 X Games Rally Car Racing Gold Medalist Liam Doran; World Rally Championship competitor Ken Block; and 2011 X Games Rallycross Gold Medalist Brian Deegan.

“We had a successful, safe, first day and everything went according to plan,” said Colin Dyne, Global Rallycross CEO.  “We look forward to an exciting weekend ahead and ending it with a successful race on Sunday.

Global Rallycross, which debuted at X Games 16 in Los Angeles in 2010, expanded nationally in 2012 and is holding its first international event this weekend. The race is scheduled for this Sunday, April 21, as part of X Games Foz do Iguacu.

Global Rallycross combines the best aspects of circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition to deliver intense action in a fan-friendly environment.  Global Rallycross pits production-based, small cars against each other for door-to-door racing featuring elements such as dirt, asphalt and jumps.  Drivers progress through a series of heat races to advance into a final race, where winner takes all.

Path to Brazil: Getting To Know Buddy Rice, Driver, Marklund Motorsport

For years, Buddy Rice has been a success story in nearly every form of racing he’s touched. From winning the 2000 Indy Lights championship, to taking the checkered flag in the 2004 Indianapolis 500, to a win in the 2009 24 Hours of Daytona, the Arizona native and karting magnate knows what it takes to win wherever he goes.

This weekend, Rice will compete in his first Global Rallycross event at X Games in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, in a Volkswagen Polo prepared by Marklund Motorsport. Before packing his bags and leaving, Rice spent some time allowing us to get to know him better away from the track:

What would be be most likely to find you doing when you’re not racing?
Spending time with my wife and my daughter. We do a lot of stuff together. 

What’s on your iPod right now?
That’s a good question. It’d probably be Pennywise, Social Distortion, (hed) p.e., old school rap, a little bit of Metallica. 

Have you ever played any great pranks at the racetrack?
One time, I showed up a test, and I had a Caprice, which is like an old cop car. I came driving up, and no one knew that I had it, and I had a big wig on and a trenchcoat. I’m so punctual, I’m always early, so I showed up late, came ripping into the paddock and pulled next to the car. I stood up and got out, I had cop glasses on, screwing around like that. 

Do you have a training regimen when you’re preparing to race?
For me, it’s a lot of intervals with some cardio. But a lot of working on the ball, things like that. A lot of the new style of training. You use weights, but you don’t use them nearly as much—it’s a lot more of your body weight, putting yourself in positions that makes it much more difficult. A lot of interval training. 

How do you celebrate a victory?
It depends on the car, really! With some of the sports car stuff, you can’t do any burnouts or anything, the race car’s used up. The best thing is actually to celebrate with the team and everybody who’s involved, (like) the sponsors. It takes a team effort for everybody to make that happen, it’s not just one person. I think that’s the biggest thing. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received from another driver?
I guess one of the best things is just to push and never give up. 

What’s your favorite thing about your fanbase?
The diversity. 

If you could pick one driver from any era of racing to compete against you at X Games, who would you pick?
I guess I’d say A.J. Foyt, just because he won in so many different types of disciplines back in the day. He won in everything. That’d be the kind of guy you want to race against, because he can do it all.

So do you think you could beat him?
I have no idea. That guy was like a pistol!

Path to Brazil: Meet Buddy Rice, Driver, Marklund Motorsport

Buddy Rice is one of only a handful of drivers to have won both the Indianapolis 500 and 24 Hours of Daytona, joining such racing legends as Al Unser, Bobby Rahal, and A.J. Foyt. He’s also a karting magnate, running a successful karting team and race shop in Fontana, California. But at this weekend’s X Games in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, Rice will try something completely different—running the Global Rallycross season opener in a Marklund Motorsport Volkswagen Polo.

Before heading down to Brazil, Rice sat down to talk about his outlook for the race weekend and his approach to driving a rallycross car for the first time:

You’ve had a lot of success elsewhere in motorsports, winning at Indianapolis and Daytona. What inspired you to try rallycross?
For me, I haven’t done rallycross before. I’ve done a little bit of off road racing with the Baja 1000 with Cameron Steele, I’ve tested one of Robby Gordon’s stadium trucks, but the rallycross deal is really exciting. It’s a stadium format, it’s something that’s totally different, and I really have always liked new challenges. I think the more diverse you are, the better driver you become. I haven’t done this before, it’s something totally new to me, but I really look forward to the challenge and seeing what I can do. I know it’s going to be extremely difficult with the driver lineup, the competition, and the factories that are all involved with this, but this is a great platform. And it’s at X Games, so how can you pass up an opportunity to go take part in that?

How did you put together the deal to join Global Rallycross in Brazil?
Everything came together quickly, talking with Colin (Dyne) and VW. It all came together at a quick pace. (They) checked to see if I was available and I was, everything was okay, and they put it together. The next thing you know, I was trying to get a visa in 48 to 72 hours, getting my driving gear put together, packing my bags, and getting ready to leave on Monday for Brazil.

Have you had any test time in the car? If not, how do you prepare to drive a rallycross car for the first time?
No, no test time, no nothing—I’m going at this thing cold turkey. I’ll be real green, but I’m going to be like a sponge. There are going to be lots of guys there with lots of talent, there are going to be some driver coaches on hand, so I’m just going to ask as many questions (as I can). The big thing for me is that first off, I’m going to get in the thing, go drive it, feel it, check it out, and once I have that under control, start asking questions on how I can go faster and what I need to do. I’ve just got to be very adaptable and make some adjustments as I go, and just get comfortable with everything.

How does X Games compare to some of the other major events you’ve competed in?
I’ve been to X Games before in Los Angeles, but I’ve never competed. Also, for me to be in a foreign country—I’ve never been to Brazil—and to go down there is going to be quite exciting. I know what it’s like to race outside the country from when I was racing with IndyCar, A1GP, and some of the other stuff that I’ve done, and I’ve been to Formula 1. It’s unbelievable, the support that comes from those countries, and how they get behind racing. So it’s going to be similar to the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, Charlotte and the Coca-Cola 600—all of that stuff is so big, and the people behind it are going to be in the same kind of atmosphere. It’s the same kind of excitement. It’s going to be great! It’s going to be unbelievable, and I’m looking forward to it.

How do you think you’ll compare to the rest of the Global Rallycross field? Do you have any expectations?
Honestly, I have no idea. I’m just going to go out, I’ll do the best I can, and it’ll be what it’ll be. I always pride myself on being able to adapt and stand up to new challenges. We’ll see how it plays out! I know the field is stacked, these guys are really good, and it’s their arena and their type of environment, and I’m coming as a complete outsider with very little dirt experience. But we’ll see how it goes. I’ll do my best, and we’ll see how far I get. Hopefully it turns out to be a good weekend for myself and VW, and hopefully we put on a show for all the Global Rallycross fans.

Is Global Rallycross something you’d look at doing full-time?
That’s definitely a possibility. We’ll just have to wait and see how the first round goes. Like I said, it’s going to be an extremely steep learning curve with no practice, just having me jump in and go. But it’s not the first time I’ve done that with other cars I’ve driven. Obviously when you’re on pavement it’s a little bit different, but at the end of the day, when you show up to something and you’ve never done it before, it’s the same kind of learning curve. I’ve been able to adapt before, and hopefully I can adapt quickly, and this turns into something that I do more races with VW and carry on.

Indianapolis 500 Winner Buddy Rice To Make Global Rallycross Debut In Brazil

LOS ANGELES, CA. (April 15, 2013) — The Global Rallycross field for X Games Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil features one of the most talented and diverse driver pools ever assembled in motorsports. Today, Global Rallycross has announced that the field will increase by one with the addition of Buddy Rice to the entry list for this week’s event X Games event on April 21, 2013 in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil.

Rice, a highly skilled driver with career accomplishments ranging from winning the historic Indianapolis 500 and two additional IndyCar Series races in 2004, finishing third in the overall Championship points to claiming a victory at the 2009 24 Hours of Daytona. In addition, Rice also runs Buddy Rice Karting, a leading importer of Energy Karts and successful young driver development program.

“With the addition of Rice to the Global Rallycross, we are taking the series to the next level,” said Colin Dyne, Global Rallycross CEO. “He has won two of the most prestigious and well known races in motorsports and will build on the already diverse background of competitors.”

Rice will drive a brand-new Volkswagen Polo prepared by Marklund Motorsport. Though he has competed in off-road events before, including the 2005 Baja 1000, X Games will mark his professional rallycross debut.

“The rallycross deal is really exciting,” said Rice. “It’s a stadium format, it’s something that’s totally different, and I really have always liked new challenges. I think the more diverse you are, the better driver you become. I haven’t done this before, it’s something totally new to me, but I look forward to the challenge and seeing what I can do.”

With the addition of Rice, the Global Rallycross field now boasts experience in nearly every major form of motorsports across the world. Current Global Rallycross drivers have seen success in NASCAR, Formula 1, IndyCar, WRC, drifting and sports car racing. Global Rallycross drivers have also claimed over four dozen X Games medals, many of which were won in action sports other than rallycross.