Posts Tagged ‘XGames’

I love how Travis is still around rocking his Subie even though many have shunned his circle track duties as of late. If you’re a true Travis Pastrana fan, you know that he hasn’t forgotten his Subie roots.

In this video that was just uploaded, Travis calls out Ken Block on his marketing campaign etc. It’s all good though and no one should take this all to seriously. After all, DC does cut Travis a paycheck from time to time. It’s like a friend calling you out during a game of ping pong… or fooseball… or maybe something a little more competitive.

Anyways, enjoy this video, I know I did (The car, not the women…. err, ladies… err… Grandmas?)

Well, the Formula Drift season has now finished and our favorite Subie Driver in the Formula Drift field has called it a season. We contacted our friend, Stephan Verdier driver of the Crawford Performance STi. We got a chance to talk to him about his season in Formula Drift, Rally Cross, XGames Rally, and the future.


 

Q: Stephan, thanks for joining back with us at Subie-Life.com! The Formula Drift season just ended for you and it’s been quite a busy one for you. What were the highlights of the season for you?

A: Thank you for having me back. To answer your question, unfortunately I don’t have any highlights in drifting this season. I had my worst season in 5 years. I made a lot of driving errors and mechanical failures. I’m kind of glad that the season is over so I can regroup and get ready for next season.

Q: Your car debuted at Long Beach Round 1 as an Iron Man 2 car, then made a few changes to a multi-color rally car, then back to a drift car. What was that experience like, having to change your Subaru so many times this season?

A: Yes, I was fortunate to get a sponsorship with Royal Purple for the movie Iron Man 2. It only was a deal for the first 2 races (in Formula Drift). Then I got invited to compete at the X-games in the Rallycross event. Since my deal with Iron Man2 was finished I decided to redo the scheme on my car, and keep it for the rest of the FD season. It was really fun to transform the car back and forth between drifting and rally. It’s much easier than people think, I only changed the suspension, transmission, turbo and brakes. The rest of the car was the same as drifting. Here’s a breakdown on what I did:
  • The suspension we went from Stance to Tein because Tein has been in rally for a long time and has a fantastic rally gravel suspension, then went back to the Stance for drifting
  • Gear box, Crawford performance landed me a  AWD Kaps sequential gearbox for the x-games. Sequential is a must in rally cross. I normally use a stock Sti box in drifting
  • Turbo, Garrett gave me a twin scroll that with the help of Crawford we install to replace the Garrett GT30 that use in drifting.
  • Brake, because we use 15 inch tire for gravel, I need smaller brake than the stock STI to fit the wheel, I used with the help of Subaru of Ontario stock wrx brakes.
  • To finish Crawford did a remap of the stock Ecu for the new turbo and GTI made some bumper and skid plates.

Q: I think everyone (including myself) was cheering for you to win at XGames in the Super Rally. What was that experience like for you to compete against factory supported vehicles? How did it feel to be door to door in a Rally Cross setting?
A: X-Games was my highlight of the season. It was unbelievable!!!. It was a surprise that we were that competitive. I knew driving wise I was as fast as the factory driver. Where I was the most worried, was about my car. Like I said that car was made for drifting and I had no experience in Rallycross. All the Euro-rally cross cars  made around 650hp on a 2L engine with a 45mm restrictor. I was using a 2.5L engine with a 45mm restrictor and was hopping to be around 500hp. I was confident with Crawford being involve since they’ve been making massive power on there 2.7L with the Time attack car however they never played with a restrictor, so I was a bit nervous. Crawford was able to make over 500 hp and be reliable.I was still under power over the other rallycross cars but because of the 10 inches tire rule, I knew that the Ford or Factory Suby wouldn’t be able to use their full power on gravel.
Everybody had anti-lag and launch control but I didn’t since I was still on my stock ecu. I knew the event was going to be tough.
It was a huge surprise when we qualified 2nd overall. The only guy that beat me was Travis (Pastrana) which has a purposely build Subaru XGames car.
Racing door to door in a stadium with cars screaming was amazing, I’m hooked on rallycross.
Q: What was the highlight for XGames for you?
A: The whole XGames was the highlight! Qualifying 2nd, winning my heat against (Ken) Block and (Dave) Mirra, bouncing off (Brian) Deagan on my first lap, and Catching Tanner (Foust) in our heat! Everything.
Q: As one of the few privateers in Formula Drift, how hard (or easy) is it for you to have to try and conserve funds for each event?
A: It’s really hard to compete in FD (Formula Drift) as a privateer, if you want to be competitive. Fortunately with the sponsorship of Subaru and Royal Purple I was able to do it, but it still cost me a lot of money. That’s the problem with FD now, it’s too expensive to have a competitive car and impossible to do it as a privateer. You might be able to get 1 decent result in the season but won’t be able to be competitive at every event. Cars now are really light and really powerful. The top cars are around 2500 pounds with 650 hp. Only a couple years back you just needed 400hp with a 2700 pounds car to win.
Q: In Vegas you experienced a pretty intense crash but we saw your car again recently at Sonoma and then Irwindale and it looks fine! How were you able to pull that off?
A: Las Vegas was an expensive weekend. I made a big mistake and destroyed the rear end of my car. I was able to buy a rear clip for $500 and take it to my body shops M.O.B.S in Anaheim, CA. They cut my car in half and welded the rear clip on. The car was fixed a week after the crash. 

Q: What new things did you learn from this Season of Formula Drift?

A: That I need a v8 and a light car. The level of driving is way higher than in 2009, same for the cars. I can’t do it as a privateer again. I will need to be part of a team to make it.
Q: Everyone wants to know, will you keep your current STi or go with the new Sedan?
A: In drifting I really doubt that I’ll be in a Subaru for next season. It’s not really the right type of racing for Subaru, as their “thing” is AWD. So, I don’t think I’ll be able to get any support from them (for next season). Also the Subaru platform is not ideal for drifting. You need a real RWD car to be competitive or spend a fortune to make the Suby work. I was able to get away with mine because the other cars were not as developed as they are now. But if Subaru want me to, I would love to do a new STI. I tried last year but couldn’t get the funding for it.
Q: Formula Drift for 2011? What about the new Rally Car series which is rumored to come around the West Coast next year?
A: 2011 Formula Drift, as right now, I don’t have any plan for it. I really want to be in it for 2011 but need to find a team. I can’t afford to do it as a privateer again. Rallycross, I want to be part of it too. My first plan is to drive for a team, I’m talking to 3 teams right now, hopefully I can make it happen. At worst I can use my car for selected West Coast Events. I think by SEMA will know the exact schedule and tv package. 

Q: Who would like to thank that helped you out?
A: There is lot of people that helped me this season: Subaru, Cooper Tires, Crawford Performance, Royal Purple, GTI, Stance, Tein, Garrett, RMR, Enkei, Ignite Fuel, Seibon, APR, I-Speed, and Subaru of Ontario.

Thank you Stephan for your time. Hopefully we can do a feature on your Subie!

 


Well, for some of you that went to XGames or watched XGames on TV, had a sample (a huge one) of what Rally Cross is all about. It’s huge in Europe and other parts of the globe but it seems that the US has had only bits of it. I’m glad that Rally America has seen that an arena style venue is where its at especially the “instant gratification” US population. Enough jibber-jabber from me, read on!

America’s first Rallycross to make history

Top racers set to attend August’s New Jersey race

GOLDEN VALLEY, MN (August 11, 2010) – In a game-changer for American motorsport, RallyCar is set to bring the excitement of door-to-door rallycross racing to the New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) on August 28-29th, 2010.

The event is the first in a series of three rallycross events to take place at NJMP this year, and will be broadcast on ESPN2. The events will provide an exciting preview of a full, national season set for 2011. The sport debuted in America to huge raves at the 2010 X Games in Los Angeles, where it was carried live on ESPN.

Rallycross is a blend of circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition. The sport promises intense crowd-pleasing action in a fan-friendly track environment. Five drivers line up to start at once, piloting high-horsepower compact cars through race traffic over a challenging short course that features jumps, unbanked turns, hills and transitions between pavement and gravel.

Each car must also take a “Joker” lap at some point during their heat. A Joker Lap is a small detour – often over a jump – that adds a level of unpredictability to the heat’s outcome by changing a driver’s strategy in an instant.

Rallycross at NJMP will be the ultimate display of driving talent with a slew of high profile personalities scheduled to attend:

• Subaru Rally Team’s Travis Pastrana and Dave Mirra are scheduled to arrive with newly built rallycross cars. Both are perennial X Games megastars having just competed at X Games 16.

• Newly crowned X Games 16 gold medal winner Tanner Foust is also starting his first Rallycross event in New Jersey. Foust has been gaining valuable seat time as the first American to compete in the European Rallycross Series and looks to use his experience against his U.S. rivals.

• Monster World Rally Team’s Ken Block is expected to arrive in his 2010 Ford Fiesta. Block built a name for himself as the co-founder of DC Shoes before entering rally racing. He popularized himself even further with a series of “Gymkhana” videos that has garnered over 22 million views!

• Pro drifters Rhys Millen and Stephan Verdier both had a rally competition background before moving into the judged sport of drifting and both will no doubt be favorites in competition against the clock.

• Another pro drifter, Sam Hübinette, will again team up with teammate Andrew “ACP” Comrie-Picard. Both competed at X Games 16 and each earned a bronze medal in their respective races.

Although a new racing format in America, the sport draws capacity crowds and a diverse and loyal fan base in Europe. Fans get close to the action with trackside viewing of aggressive door-to-door action and the sliding and jumping that makes rally car events unique among motorsport.

There will be two classes of cars in this initial year of Rallycross competition. The faster, all-wheel-drive cars will resemble those used in current, Open class rally competition. The other category will be two-wheel-drive and include various body styles from manufacturers such as Dodge and Honda boasting 450+ horsepower, highly modified engines and rally-style suspension.

More information, including competition format, can be found at http://rally-america.com/rallycross.php.

Rallycross tickets are on sale at www.NJMP.com.

About RallyCar, Inc.

RallyCar, Inc. (formerly known as Rally America) is based in Golden Valley, Minn., and sanctions the premier performance rally series in the United States, the Rally America National Championship Series. Additionally, through a partnership with ESPN, qualifying RallyCar drivers are invited to compete in ESPN’s Summer X Games, the annual leading action-sports event that’s broadcast live on ESPN. New for 2010, RallyCar is sanctioning the three Rallycross events at NJMP (August 27-29, October 1-3, and November 5). A new 2011 Rallycross Championship will see a full series of events in the eastern and western regions of the United States. For more information, visit http://www.rally-america.com.

RallyCar is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., BFGoodrich Tires, the Team O’Neil Rally School, Able Planet, Hawk Performance Brakes, Rally-Tire.com, RaceWatches.com, Exedy Racing Clutches, RECARO, Mazda and the Danza del Sol Winery.

About New Jersey Motorsports Park

Sitting on more than 500 acres in Millville, N.J., New Jersey Motorsports Park is nestled snugly in a beautifully forested region surrounded by scenic rivers and nearby Delaware Bay. Directly adjacent to Millville Municipal Airport, NJMP is conveniently located close to Philadelphia, the Jersey Shore, New York and Baltimore, offering diverse and dynamic motorsports attractions.

The 2010 spectator schedule includes return visits by the AMA Superbike Championship, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX, SCCA Pro Racing with the return of the Trans-Am series, and the Ferrari Challenge, plus RallyCar’s three inaugural Rallycross events.

It seems like gunshot like blasts coming from the USC area in Downtown LA wasn’t the usual culprit but in actuality, it was the anti-lag systems that were emitted from the rally cars practicing in the unconventional rally course set up at XGames 16.

Our sources told us that this course was different from what we and the TV Audience saw on Saturday. Reason being is that the incline heading out of the stadium and into the stadium was too steep causing almost all the drivers to lose their front or rear bumpers.

As our Subie-Life.com friend, Stephan Verdier demonstrated to us in this picture in his new competition livery. He also lost a few parts in the first round of the Super Rally which made for an interesting obstacle.

Here’s Dave Mirra in his new 2011 Subaru STi Rally car.

There were a handful of privateers in attendance to compete against the large budget teams. We love seeing these scrappy guys getting the job done on their limited budgets! The White STi damaged their radiator and Subie-Life.com and AQ Motorsports stepped in by letting the team borrow their AQ Motorsports STi Race Car’s radiator! The White STi suffered a hard hit when it rolled over coming back into the stadium during the Rally ending its journey. You can check out the rest of the images HERE.

Not sure who this is or why this Subaru has a “Tron” theme to it but it’s a pretty cool looking Subie!

Seems like a lot of the sponsors on the car are shared with the other Subaru Rally Team America cars. Anyone have more info on this car?