With modern day motorsports losing their luster with younger audiences and seemingly becoming more bogged down with politics, one sport seems to be invigorating a new generation more than any other.
Rallycross is an action packed motorsport filled with high speeds, intense overtaking, aggressive contact and nail biting finishes. None of these adrenaline pumping attributes would be possible if it were not for the incredible cars the sport was built around.
Today's modern Rallycross car is what appears to be your average hot hatch. Built around common production vehicles that you and I would gladly own and drive, such as the Ford Fiesta or the Subaru Impreza. However they are far from production spec. In the never ending pursuit to go faster, handle better and out perform, teams have done everything to ensure that nothing is left on the table in terms of performance.
Stripped down and suped up, these average cars have had all comfort and practicality torn away. Everything from door panels and unneeded seats, down to the carpet and non essential wiring has been removed. However that's not where the tear-down ends, with weight reduction a necessity and car on car contact inevitable, the shell of the car itself has been transformed from a shiny glass and metal exterior to a light and easily replaceable combo of composites, polycarbonate and carbon fibre all wrapped in a lavish livery.
With the weight issue handled, the next challenge is to turn an already light machine into a powerhouse that can outperform a modern Formula 1 car in a 0-60 straight line race. To do so, teams have all but remade the engines. From top of the line 45mm turbo’s, SADEV transmissions and carbon clutches, every minor improvement is what makes a Rallycross car incredible. With an average of 600 BHP and in excess of 650 Lb-Ft of torque these asphalt/dirt rockets can snap off the line from 0-60 MPH in just under 2 seconds.
Going fast in a straight line hasn't really been an issue, the problems appear when you want a four wheel land rocket to take sharp turns, hairpins and chicanes on paved track and dirt roads all in the same course. Like every other problem in this sport, it has been solved with dedication and incredible engineering. With improved racing suspension, the corners appear to be little more than on ramps to your average highway. Hydraulic hand brakes allow drivers to drift their joker lap like they thought slicks in winter were a good idea. With a 90 degree turn at the end of a straightaway requiring a little more breaking than your average red light, it doesn't hurt that these teams have endless brake pads.
In the end, all of these tweaks and redesigns culminate in a vehicle that is second to none. With a relatively low cost to be a part of the sport in comparison to other motorsports, both as a driver and a spectator, is what I believe is drawing so many new people to the sport. It’s for this reason that we here at APEX have a strong belief that Rallycross is one of the greatest events you could ever be apart of. The Rallycross Grand Prix in Trois-Rivières was not our first Rallycross event and it definitely won't be our last. If you have the opportunity to be a part of a rally, it's our advice that you take it and tell everyone that APEX sent you. Most importantly do it for the love of speed.