Tag Archives: The Dirt Track at Charlotte

GRC Personalities // Stephan Verdier: My Crazy Weekend at Charlotte

I was fortunate to be offered to run the RMR Hyundai Veloster for the GRC Charlottte round with Rdio and Hyundai as sponsors. I was all excited to be back in that car. I had a good run with it last year but still had some unfinished business.

Rhys told me, “You can run the car but I need you to drive the truck with Bam Bam (one of the team truck drivers) to Charlotte.” I said, “Yeah no problem I can do it, it’ll fun a long road trip.”

So Bam Bam and I left on Monday morning from Huntington Beach planning to be in Charlotte but Wednesday noon, no big deal. That’s what I thought. About 400 miles in our trip in the middle of Arizona on Hwy 40, we blow up the turbo on the truck. We were on the side of the road with almost no cell service unless we stayed by the right front side of the truck and get 1 bar for some reason. I’m just freaking out. How are we gonna get that truck fixed on time? Long, really long, story short, after spending 24 hours on the side of the road waiting for a mechanic to bring us a brand new turbo from Vegas, we got it fix and on our way to Charlotte. Pedal to the metal, which in that truck means 65 mph at best, we get to the track on Thusrday around noon. We meet with the rest of the team, JR and Gav, and start getting the car ready for the afternoon practice.

First look at the track was pretty cool. No way I could see a dirt oval in there. And great dirt too. I took the car out for the first time since SEMA last year. It took me a few laps to get back into it and after that it was a blast. I love that car. We did a few sessions without any problem and worked on a set up.

Friday was off, witch was perfect to give us time to regroup from the crazy travel and Thursday practice. After cleaning the motorhome, just imagine 2 guy stuck in that thing for 48 hours, not pretty. I even had time to play with my new toy, the Quad-copter and took some cool pics of the track.

Saturday was planned as a practice day but unfortunately the rain decided otherwise and we had to cut the practice short. I still was able to go out for a few laps.

Sunday was the big day. But again Mother Nature decided during the night to give us a record downfall and pretty much sunk half of the track. We had a nice lake to go fish, which put the event a few hours behind to drain all that water out.

I drew 15 for the qualifying group. I was pretty happy according to the way the track kept getting faster as more car ran on it during the previous practice.

So when it came to my practice run I felt confident it would be a good one. Well the track actually got worse and really rutted. On top of that I didn’t drive very well and got my butt kicked, and I broke the gearbox. I qualified 12th. I wasn’t happy. So we had 15 min to change the box and my guys JR, Gav and Bam Bam did it. Unbelievable.

First heat, seeding heat, I was with Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan, Sverre Isachsen and Pat Moro. From the second row I got a perfect start and was able to pass Deegan in front of me for 2nd place into the first corner but he decided to t-bone me out of the way and took the spot back. I passed him back in the joker but he T-boned me a second time out of the way half a lap later. I finish 3rd, witch moved me 1 spot head. The left side of my car was destroyed. I know somebody (Rhys) is not gonna be happy.

In heat 2, I was on the 3rd spot of the front row with the same guys. I got a slow start and a lot of wheel spin and was 4th at the first corner, which gave me a front row seat of Tanner going over the K-rail and doing a half flip. I gave him an 8.5 for that trick.

Red flag. Start again. I got a better start but could only manage 3rd In the position. Top 2 advance to the final. That meant LCQ.

In the LCQ, I was in the second row behind Dave Mirra. I got a fantastic start and passed him on the inside, and was first entering turn 1, but he touched my rear left corner putting me side way facing the wrong way for the corner. I had to break and make a sharp turn back to the right witch gave Mirra the chance to try to pass me on the outside. We both entered the big bank next to each other and pushing on each other, that was fun. Because I was on the inside I was able to pass him.

Coming to that infamous right hairpin all hell broke loose. I knew Mirra was gonna try to pass me in the braking on the inside, so I took a defensive line, but got hit by Tanner which pushed me way outside the exit of the corner. I had to cut back to the right to get line up for the next corner and didn’t think Mirra would be there, and I made contact with him. I was fortunate and survived the contact but unfortunately Mirra didn’t. I guess a few corners later 3 cars crashed into each other and they called the LCQ. I was second and advanced to the Final.

When I drove back to the pit I noticed a bang coming from the car. My front left shock blew up. Now the guys had 5 minutes to get the car fixed and ready for the final. And they did it, put on a new coilover, fueled the car and cleaned my windshield.

In Final 1 I was lined up on the last row. I got a good start and went for the outside line in the bank behind Bucky Lasek, but he was shooting buckets of mud at me. I couldn’t see anything but had to stay flat out. Coming into the hairpin, there was a big cloud of dust, I got on the brake as hard as I could, and everybody crashed in front of me. I stalled the car but was able to jump started back without loosing any time and go out of that corner in 4th. The next lap they called red flag because of Travis Pastrana and Sverre being stuck in the middle of the track.

In final 2 I had the same starting position and made the same move on the outside on the bank. I came into the hairpin, passed a few cars under braking, but somebody was park in the middle of the turn and I had to stop mine to avoid a crash and stalled the car again. Because I left foot brake if the car comes to a complete stop I can’t take my foot of the brake to push the clutch and stall. This time I wasn’t able to jump start it back. I was parked, Steve Arpin had to push me out the way. It took me maybe 10 sec to restart the car.

I was dead last. I told myself “Don’t give up, make good laps, and maybe people will break.” I was right.

One by one they keep getting punctures or mechanical problems, I passed Steve first, he had a right front flat, then Bucky with a broken steering rack and finally came onto Ken Block who had a right front flat. I was right in his bumper going into the bank and was expecting him to keep the inside. Since his right front was flat I knew his wheel will dug in the dirt and be pretty efficient.

I placed myself to pass him on the outside but he started to go wide, so I went on the inside and start passing him when he lost control of his car and spun right in front of me. I tried to avoid him but made contact with my front right. I thought my day was over and was expecting to see one of my wheels fly by. But no, that Veloster is a strong car. I was able to finish the race and got 4th. I’ll take it.

The poor car is beat up, and I don’t want to be by Rhys when he sees it. Hopefully I can get to the car and start fixing it before he gets back.

I want to thank everybody at GRC for putting on a great event, RMR for letting me drive the car, Rdio, Hyundai, and my boys Bam Bam, Gav and JR.

Rhys and I will be back with the Velosters at SEMA. Be ready for some good action!!!

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

Recaps-SupersFeatured2

Global Rallycross Race Recap: The Dirt Track at Charlotte

IN BRIEF: Scott Speed won the battle, but Toomas Heikkinen won the war—while Speed took his second win of the year in the Sylvania Silverstar zXe Global Rallycross at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Heikkinen took home the 2013 Global Rallycross Driver’s Championship and $20,000 Sylvania Silverstar zXe Cup bonus.

HEAT RECAPS: Ken Block, once again, asserted his dominance in heat races by winning both 1A and 2A. Block’s nine heat victories are more than any other driver in GRC this year. Meanwhile, four other drivers—Travis Pastrana (1B), Tanner Foust (1C), Scott Speed (2B), and Brian Deegan (2C) also won heat races, though Dave Mirra could have easily won heat 2B if not for a jump start penalty that was later deemed incorrect. The LCQ was canceled after numerous accidents with Steve Arpin, Stephan Verdier, and Toomas Heikkinen in the three transfer spots.

MAIN EVENT RECAP: A major accident in the first pass through the fourth turn led to a red flag situation, as Scott Speed, Bucky Lasek, and Brian Deegan appeared to be the top three drivers in the field. Speed got the holeshot in the second attempted start as well, leading Deegan and Block.

Block’s right front tire came apart early in the event, dropping him down the order as he spun multiple times. Meanwhile, Heikkinen recovered from a series of unlucky breaks in his heat races and the final transfer spot of the LCQ to finish third. Deegan chased down Speed, closing in as the race progressed, but the X Games Brazil gold medalist still took the victory by just over three seconds.

RESULTS: The results from Saturday’s Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global Rallycross at The Dirt Track at Charlotte:

  1. Scott Speed, #77 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
  2. Brian Deegan, #38 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  3. Toomas Heikkinen, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  4. Stephan Verdier, #4 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
  5. Steve Arpin, #32 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
  6. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru PUMA Rallycross WRX STI
  7. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
  8. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross WRX STI
  9. Travis Pastrana, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
  10. Tanner Foust, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  11. Pat Moro, #59 PMR Motorsports Chevrolet Sonic
  12. Dave Mirra, #40 Prodrive MINI Countryman
  13. Patrik Sandell, #18 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  14. Bryce Menzies, #99 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
  15. Nelson Piquet Jr., #12 X Team Racing Mitsubishi Evo

QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Saturday’s Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global Rallycross at The Dirt Track at Charlotte:

Toomas Heikkinen, Driver, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “It’s been a great year. Now we get the championship with the one point that we needed. But I’m still looking forward and want to win the last one. Of course I want to be on the podium still—that’s what I’m looking for, and that is our goal.”

Scott Speed, Driver, #77 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta: “We were pretty solid all day. In these things, you can be fast—we were pretty fast at Bristol but we didn’t even make the final—so you’ve got to be lucky not to get in any crashes. We stayed out of trouble, got lucky, and were able to win again.”

Stephan Verdier, Driver, #4 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster: “I’m ecstatic, especially when I was last after lap one of the final. I stalled the car in the hairpin—I thought I was top three but then I was all the way last by a mile. Good wheels saved us, because everybody else kept getting flat tires, and we kept picking them off one at a time. The car is beat, Rhys is going to be so mad at me, but we got fourth! I think we have one body panel left. But we blew out a shock, and we had a transmission issue too. The boys worked hard today. But fourth place is awesome—and it was fourth place on speed.”

Steve Arpin, Driver, #32 OMSE Ford Fiesta: “I feel like we should have been a lot better! We had such a fast car today. It started out in qualifying—we had the first lap and it was fast, and they told me to cool it down for the rest of it, but I guess they don’t count the first lap. I had a blast on the racetrack. We had so much rain last night, but everyone did such a good job making the race track as good as it was. It was so soft, so easy to run up, but somehow they were able to maintain it and have a good race track. We just kept having flat tires—two of them today took us out of it. But the Royal Purple Ford was so good, I wish we could go out there and do it again. Even if we had another flat tire, it was just so much fun every time around the race track.”

Dave Mirra, Driver, #40 Prodrive MINI Countryman: “First and foremost, I want to thank PUMA, Liam Doran, and Prodrive for the MINI. It was an unbelievable car, super fast. I won practice yesterday, qualified second today, clearly was reeling in some other heat drivers in the other races, but things just didn’t go right. I got called for a jump start—Joey (Mancari) came back and reviewed it and said it wasn’t a jump start. We went to the LCQ and all hell broke loose. I’m pretty bummed about the race. It kind of stinks, because I know I was very fast.”

FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Saturday’s Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global Rallycross at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

DRIVER POINTS:

  1. Toomas Heikkinen, 154
  2. Tanner Foust, 103
  3. Brian Deegan, 101
  4. Ken Block, 93
  5. Scott Speed, 84
  6. Patrik Sandell, 79
  7. Sverre Isachsen, 74
  8. Steve Arpin, 70
  9. Liam Doran, 59
  10. Bucky Lasek, 46
  11. Travis Pastrana, 41
  12. Dave Mirra, 36
  13. Timur Timerzyanov, 34
  14. Mattias Ekstrom, 26
  15. Anton Marklund, 26
  16. Bryce Menzies, 21
  17. Stephan Verdier, 18
  18. Townsend Bell, 16
  19. Guilherme Spinelli, 14
  20. Nelson Piquet Jr., 13
  21. Rhys Millen, 13
  22. Buddy Rice, 7
  23. Henning Solberg, 7
  24. Pat Moro, 6
  25. Mauricio Neves, 5
  26. Edu Marques, 3
  27. David Sterckx, 1

MANUFACTURER POINTS:

  1. Ford, 303
  2. Subaru, 125
  3. Dodge, 109

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

GRC Lites Race Recap: The Dirt Track at Charlotte

IN BRIEF: Joni Wiman remains perfect in GRC Lites competition, winning his fifth consecutive race at The Dirt Track on Charlotte on Sunday. This victory, over Geoff Sykes and Sebastian Eriksson, extended Wiman’s points lead to 29—clinching him the inaugural series title.

HEAT RECAPS: With two sets of heat races and no last chance qualifier, drivers were racing purely for bonus points rather than advancement. Wiman swept heats 1A and 2A, while Kevin Eriksson and Mitchell deJong split 1B and 2B, respectively.

MAIN EVENT RECAP: For the second race in a row, Wiman failed to secure the holeshot in the final, this time falling behind Kevin Eriksson as a rough start dropped deJong through the field. But Eriksson’s good luck faded fairly quickly, as a cut right rear tire dropped him through the field like a stone until he eventually ended up seventh.

Geoff Sykes managed to avoid trouble at the start to coast to an easy second place, while jostling between the rest of the field allowed Sebastian Eriksson, who had missed his second heat race, to climb from ninth to fourth in the first lap. He battled with deJong once again, reminiscent of their duel in Atlanta, but held third place.

RESULTS: The results from GRC Lites at The Dirt Track at Charlotte:

  1. Joni Wiman, #93 Set Promotion GRC Lites
  2. Geoff Sykes, #65 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites
  3. Sebastian Eriksson, #37 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites
  4. Mitchell deJong, #24 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites
  5. Alexander Westlund, #55 Set Promotion GRC Lites
  6. Harry Cheung, #88 Cohesive Front Racing GRC Lites
  7. Kevin Eriksson, #39 Set Promotion GRC Lites
  8. Austin Dyne, #99 AD Racing GRC Lites
  9. Tyler Benson, #60 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites

DRIVER POINTS:

  1. Joni Wiman, 106
  2. Sebastian Eriksson, 77
  3. Mitchell deJong, 69
  4. Kevin Eriksson, 65
  5. Alexander Westlund, 63
  6. Geoff Sykes, 57
  7. Austin Dyne, 53
  8. Harry Cheung, 46
  9. Halid Avdagic, 29
  10. Reinis Nitiss, 23
  11. Tyler Benson, 15

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

Global Rallycross Race Preview: Charlotte Motor Speedway

IN BRIEF: Toomas Heikkinen looks for his unprecedented sixth Global Rallycross victory in a row, while 14 other drivers will attempt to knock him off of the top spot as the sport makes its debut at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

TUNE IN INFORMATION FOR RACE:

SPOTTER GUIDE/DRIVER STATS: CLICK HERE for the full entry list.

LIVE TIMING FOR NHMS: CLICK HERE for Live Timing

LAST RACE: Toomas Heikkinen won an unprecedented fifth consecutive main event in Atlanta, continuing a winning streak that began in the second half of the X Games Munich doubleheader. As in Los Angeles, Tanner Foust and Sverre Isachsen completed the podium, while Dave Mirra and Timur Timerzyanov scored season-best fourth and fifth place finishes, respectively.

DRIVER CHANGES: Charlotte’s entry list features many significant differences from Atlanta:

THE TRACK: Unlike 2012, this year’s Charlotte race will take place on the Dirt Track facility adjacent to the stock car oval. The track, primarily comprised of dirt, will feature multiple obstacles, including sections that will take cars out of, and back into, the facility.

HEIKKINEN HOPING FOR BIG CHARLOTTE WEEKEND: Toomas Heikkinen can clinch the 2013 GRC Drivers’ Championship in Charlotte with relative ease. Owing to his 43-point lead over Tanner Foust, he only needs to score two points over the final two races to win the title; even if Foust wins each of the next two races and all four of his heats, Heikkinen will score two points by simply starting the race. He will also lock up the Sylvania SilverStar zXe Cup by scoring two points; Ken Block, who is 20 points behind Heikkinen, would then have to win both heats and the final to tie Heikkinen on points, but would lose a tiebreaker on victories.

BIG THREE IN GRC: Ford has maintained a presence in Global Rallycross from the series’ inception, while Dodge entered the sport with a Travis Pastrana-led program last season. In Charlotte, a third American brand, Chevrolet, will join the sport for the first time; Pat Moro will enter the PMR Motorsports-prepared #59 Chevrolet Sonic in Sunday’s race. The move makes Global Rallycross one of a select few motorsports organizations to see same-class representation from all three major United States-based automakers: Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors.

MIRRA JOINS PRODRIVE: Dave Mirra has driven Vermont SportsCar-prepared Subarus since the very beginning of his motorsports career, but will trade the keys to his WRX STI for a new ride on Sunday. With Liam Doran otherwise committed, Mirra will step into the Prodrive-prepared MINI Countryman for the first time in Charlotte. The new combination has the power to surprise the field; Mirra scored his best finish of the season with a fourth place in Atlanta, while the MINI won gold and silver in its first two races at X Games Munich.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of Sunday’s Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global Rallycross at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway:

Travis Pastrana, Driver, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart: “(My car) is driving really good. It’s cool because we actually got to come down and use some NASCAR equipment here this week, and just test it, see how the suspension was working and try and get some more grip. I think this Dodge Dart should be pretty good.“

Dave Mirra, Driver, #40 Prodrive MINI Cooper: “I’m having a great time out here. The car is unbelievable, and I feel great in it. I’m so grateful for PUMA, WMG, and Prodrive, everybody here to support me, and I’m here for Papa Coyne and the family to race. I feel like a little kid.”

Stephan Verdier, Driver, #4 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster: “I’m really excited. I definitely have some unfinished business with the Veloster, and we have the car 100%. We did some testing (on Thursday) and the car looks awesome. I think it’s going to be fun!”

Pat Moro, Driver, #59 PMR Motorsports Chevrolet Sonic: “It’s great to be down here in Charlotte. We’ve done so much testing with this car, and I’m just really excited to get it out there against all the other cars. I’m ready to get out here and ready to go racing.”

DRIVER POINTS:

  1. Toomas Heikkinen, 139
  2. Tanner Foust, 96
  3. Brian Deegan, 84
  4. Ken Block, 80
  5. Patrik Sandell, 75

MANUFACTURER POINTS:

  1. Ford, 264
  2. Subaru, 109
  3. Dodge, 94

Drivers Offer Praise to Dirt Track-Based Layout in Charlotte

For the second time in two seasons, Global Rallycross makes a visit to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, with a high-caliber field battling for one of the biggest races for a driver to win on the schedule.

But there are two key differences: the race is in September instead of May this time around, and instead of running on the tri-oval of the stock car track, GRC has taken over The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The facilities are very different, but the change has proven popular so far.

“It was cool to be in there at the same time as the NASCAR guys,” said Travis Pastrana, “but obviously this is a way better environment for us. This is where this stuff needs to be—kind of a short track mentality through the garage. The course is pretty good, and it’s fun to drive.”

“This one is definitely more technical,” added Stephan Verdier, who finished third last season. “There’s a lot of dirt, so the car is going to be sideways a lot. It’s not as high speed as the one was last year, so it might showcase the driver’s skills more because you can’t put the horsepower down with so much dirt.

“I think the times on the cars are going to be much closer, and it should make the competition more exciting to watch.”

Besides the potential for better racing, as Bucky Lasek explains, the teams have had an easier time getting ready with a race track all to themselves.

“Any time that you don’t have to load in and out in 15 minutes, and are granted maybe half an hour of running time—anytime you don’t have to deal with that is definitely a plus,” he said. “We have our own track, we have our own event going on, so we’re not hustling around. We’re just here to put a good race on.

“I would say this year is definitely better. We don’t feel like we’re the sideshow—we feel like we’re the real deal.”

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

Wiman Aims To Lock Up Inaugural GRC Lites Title in Charlotte

While Toomas Heikkinen looks to clinch his first Global Rallycross Supercars championship at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend, Finnish compatriot Joni Wiman looks to do the same in the GRC Lites class.

Heikkinen’s accomplishments have stolen much of the attention, but Wiman has been just as impressive. In nine track appearances (five heat races and four main events) this season, Wiman has crossed the line first eight times, winning all four finals and only losing a single heat race in Bristol.

For his efforts, he leads Sebastian Eriksson by 22 points heading into the penultimate round on the series schedule. If he maintains a lead of that size at Sunday’s end, he will have clinched the first GRC Lites championship.

Eriksson could eat up much of Wiman’s championship lead by driving consistently and catching a lucky break this weekend. If Eriksson scores the maximum 22 points by winning the final and both heat races, and Wiman misses the six-car final, he’ll make up a minimum of 12 points, turning the deficit into something manageable in the Las Vegas season finale.

That being said, he’ll have to catch Wiman first. And after earning top three seeds in each session this year, putting him in place to break out at the start of heats and earn lane choice in the final, that’s no easy task.

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

Global Rallycross Opens Charlotte Weekend With Test Session

Global Rallycross conducted a successful test day at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday, with nearly a dozen drivers and some surprising special guests taking the wheel.

The biggest two names to take part were Kurt Busch, 2004 NASCAR Cup champion, and Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch tested an Olsbergs MSE-prepared Ford Fiesta, while Smith drove the #15 GRC Lites car run by Reinis Nitiss at X Games Los Angeles and Atlanta Motor Speedway last month.

Supercar drivers to take part in today’s test also included Travis Pastrana, Dave Mirra, Steve Arpin, Sverre Isachsen, Bucky Lasek, Nelson Piquet Jr., and Stephan Verdier. Lites drivers to turn laps included Austin Dyne, Kevin Eriksson, Alexander Westlund, Sebastian Eriksson, Mitchell deJong, and Geoff Sykes.

“I’m having a great time out here in practice,” said Mirra, who shook down the LD Motorsports/Prodrive Mini in place of Liam Doran for the first time. “It’s unbelievable practicing on the competition course, and testing a car I’ve never been in. I feel great in it—I have a lot to learn still, I have to clean up my lines, but I feel awesome.”

“The track is good,” added Lasek. “I definitely have some changes to make to the car, and some of the turns that I’m driving, but all in all it feels great.”

Photo credit: Jonathan Coleman/Charlotte Motor Speedway

PR-MirraFeatured

Dave Mirra to Drive Mini RX in Charlotte

LD Motorsport are stoked to announce that Monster Energy athlete and X Games icon Dave Mirra will get behind the wheel of the Mini RX for the GRC in Charlotte this September.

The 39-year-old will make his maiden appearance for the team to deputise for Liam Doran, who heads to Estering in Germany for the final stop of the European Rallycross Championship.

Liam commented: “Despite not being there myself I’m pleased to have my car out there with Dave driving, it’s going to be exciting to see what he can do with the Mini. It’s a shame my schedule clashes and that I can’t be in Charlotte. I think racing on the dirt track out there is going to be awesome but there’s no way I could miss the last round of RallycrossRX.”

Mirra has been a firm fixture in the action sports world for over two decades and has amassed over 20 X Games medals to date.

A legend of the BMX world, the American made his GRC debut in 2011 with the Subaru Puma Rallycross team.

Meanwhile, Liam will be looking to build on his strong performance at last weekend’s Rallycross round in Greinbach, where he dominated the field and was set to take the win until his car caught fire on lap four of the final.

Photo credit: QBA/QNIGAN.com

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Global Rallycross Course at The Dirt Track to Feature High-Flying Jumps, Hairpin Turns and Water Feature on Asphalt and Dirt

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.

General admission tickets are $25, while children 13 and under are admitted for $10. Each ticket is a paddock pass, allowing access to see the teams and drivers work on the cars. The drivers will also participate in autograph sessions throughout the event.

To purchase tickets, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. To stay up to date with everything going on at the Greatest Place to See the Race, log on to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.