- Jen Horsey, Action Sports
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Double the dirt, jumps and door-to-door racing will greet top action sports stars Travis Pastrana, Dave Mirra and Tanner Foust -- among others -- when they return to New Jersey Motorsports Park Nov. 6 and 7 for an exciting double-rallycross weekend.
The new-to-the-US sport of Rallycross made its American debut at X Games this summer, where it was called SuperRally. The format sees multiple cars line up to the start together and race door-to-door through a multi-lap course featuring dirt, jumps and pavement. The racing is aggressive and exciting, featuring nimble, powerful racing machines and plenty of car-to-car contact.
This fall, organizers have been running a series of introductory events in New Jersey in anticipation of a full 2011 season. This weekend will see the final events of the year and feature a new, shorter course with more dirt, closer racing and twice the competition, with two events in two days.
Pastrana, the Nitro Circus star, and Mirra, the most-medaled X Games athlete in history, will be back for Subaru Rally Team USA -- and both will be gunning for Foust, who won both of the first two U.S. Rallycross events in the Ford Fiesta he drove to double gold medals at X Games in August.
International competitors are also getting their feet wet in the new U.S. series, with Norwegian driver Sverre Isachsen, who made his X Games debut this summer in SuperRally, expected to take on the action in a Ford Focus. 2009 X Games Rally driver Andi Mancin will return to the U.S. in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX to take on this new competition format.
Finnish driver Toomas Heikkinen is also expected to make his U.S. debut in a factory-backed 2010 SAAB 93 Aero Sport Sedan, while Brit Liam Doran -- who suffered a host of troubles with his 2009 Citroen C4 at the most recent round but still finished on the podium -- is also slated to return. Fin Jussi Pinomäki, a former two-wheel drive Rallycross champion in Europe, will return in an all-wheel drive Ford Focus.
Also among the entries is former X Games racer Rhys Millen, who has a 2002 Hyundai Accent, originally prepared to do battle on World Rally Championship stages. Perennial X Games competitor Andrew Comrie-Picard will also show in his trusty Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.
In addition to these powerful all-wheel-drive racers, there will be plenty of two-wheel-drive action in New Jersey with former X Games racer Matthew Johnson expected to return in his 1978 Ford Fairmont, and Josh Wimpey in his 1987 Volkswagen GTI. Also in the mix are a couple of Mazda Miatas driven by local road racers.
U.S. Rallycross draws international field for final rounds of 2011