About Events

Action sports — with a roll cage

The Global Rallycross Championship combines the best aspects of circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition to deliver intense action in a fan-friendly environment. Action sport stars including Travis Pastrana and Brian Deegan have described the sport as “motocross – with a roll cage.”

This made-in-the USA take on the established European sport of rallycross pits production-based, small cars against each other for door-to-door racing featuring dirt, asphalt, and a 70′ gap jump. Drivers progress through a series of heats race to advance into a final race, where winner takes all.

Rallycross heats are short, multi-lap races over a course that includes a diversion known as the “joker lap,” that typically adds time to the regular lap. The Global Rallycross Championship is the only race series in the world featuring a 70′ gap jump on the joker lap, adding a component of excitement and risk to a key strategic racing element. All drivers must take the joker at least once during a heat race at the driver’s option, and similar to a NASCAR pit stop, the question becomes when to do so to reap a competitive advantage.

The Drivers

Global Rallycross Championship drivers come from a diverse motor and action sports background. Travis Pastrana and Brian Deegan made their mark in Freestyle Motocross, Rhys Millen and Tanner Foust in drifting and stunt driving, Dave Mirra swapped winning X Games Gold Medals on a BMX bike for a rallycross car, while Marcus Gronholm took a more “traditional route” having twice won the World Rally Championship.

Top drivers in the 2012 Global Rallycross Championship include:

  • Tanner Foust (Dana Point, CA) – 2011 Global Rallycross Champion, three-time X Games Rally gold medalist, two-time Formula Drift Champion
  • Dave Mirra (Greenville, NC) – Professional BMX rider and the most medaled X Games athlete of all-time
  • Rhys Millen (Huntington Beach, CA)- Formula Drift champion, Red Bull New Year No Limits truck flip attempt
  • Marcus Grönholm (Finland) – Two-time World Rally Champion
  • Ken Block (Long Beach, CA): -Internet sensation, Gymkhana pioneer, World Rally Cahmpionship competitor, six-time winner of the 100-Acre Wood Rally
  • Travis Pastrana (Annapolis, MD) – Freestyle Motocross pioneer, 10-time X Games Gold Medalist, 4-time Rally America Champion, 6th place 2011 NASCAR All-Star Showdown.
  • Liam Doran (Lonodn, U.K.) – 2011 X Games Rally Racing Gold Medalist, 3rd place 2010 European Rallycross Championship

*The 2012 Global Rallycross Championship schedule:

Date Venue

  • May 26 Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • June 9 Texas Motor Speedway
  • June 30-July 1 X Games Los Angeles
  • July 14 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • Sept 29 Las Vegas Motor Speedway

*Tentative and subject to change


Global Rallycross Championship events are unique in that the short, compact courses can be configured in a range of environments, including street courses, within NASCAR Superspeedways, and non-traditional venues. In the relationship with Speedway Motorsports Incorporated (SMI), key Global Rallycross Championship events will be held at SMI venues in 2012 as companion events to their NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and IZOD IndyCar Series races.

The cars

Rallycross race cars are production-based, and derived from street legal cars anyone can buy for their daily commute. These modified, 600 hp, all-wheel-drive turbocharged monsters go 0-60 mph in less than two seconds. Drivers describe the experience of piloting these vehicles as trying to rein in an angry bull. They are loud, aggressive and exciting to watch – especially when they take flight over the course’s unique 70′ gap jump.

Sport history

2012 marks the third year of professional rallycross competition in the United States. The championship expands nationwide, with key races held as companion events with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and IZOD IndyCar Series, exposing the series to more than 500,000 live fans over the season.

Rallycross officially debuted in the US at X Games 16 in Los Angeles in 2010, to great success. Three demonstration events were held in late 2010, and Global Rallycross Management organized a first championship season of five events in 2011. Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust won the inaugural championship title in 2011.

Originally a made-for-TV sport with its roots in rally (off-road car racing), the first-ever rallycross was held in 1967 at England’s Lydden Circuit. Early competitors included 1968 Rally Monte Carlo winner Vic Elford in a showroom Porsche 911, Brian Melia in his Ford Lotus Cortina and Tony Fall in a BMC Mini Cooper S.