Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hoon KaboomTX Global Rallycross Championship brings a taste of the X-Games to Texas

1. To travel at speed in a confined area, or do burnouts on a public road in traffic  
2. To show off in a dangerous manner, mostly with a vehicle or engine powered item 
~The Urban Dictionary

Marcus Grönholm and The Beast
Photo by Lisa Janine Cloud/Skirts and Scuffs
Marcus Grönholm of Finland earned his second consecutive victory in the Global Rallycross Series  
Marcus Grönholm
Photo by Lisa Janine Cloud/Skirts and Scuffs
Hoon KaboomTX Global Rallycross Championship event at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday. Despite having to reset the field during the final heat, Grönholm overcame conditions he described as "like a sauna," and an unforgiving 70-foot jump nicknamed "The Beast," to take the checkers and solidify his chances of winning the Discount Tire-America's Tire Cup, and to be one of the 12 drivers to go to the X Games. 

On a course constructed on the the frontstretch and Legends track on The Great American Speedway, drivers negotiated sharp turns and tire barriers in a series of heats, with the top two transferring to the main event, much like any other short-track racing, but with 600hp turbocharged subcompact cars. 

Tanner Foust
Photo by Lisa Janine Cloud
Grönholm's name may not be familiar to Americans, but he won two championships in World Rallycross. Second place finisher Tanner Foust's name probably rings a bell for some people since he's a host of the American version of Top Gear. Foust said that the race was certainly Texas style with that jump, and that he and Grönholm were probably shorter after repeatedly hitting the ramp. 

If you've watched the X Games in the last decade you'll recognize the names Travis Pastrana, Bucky Lasek, Dave Mirra and Brian Deegan (yes, the Metal Mulisha guy.)  They all competed as well, with Deegan finishing third. The other extreme athletes didn't fare so well and didn't make the main race. The event rivaled the Coke 600 for attrition; many drivers either hit barriers or had mechanical failures. Only six drivers completed the main even, with Foust's Ford failing close enough to the end for him to finish the race. 

Pastrana didn't hit the wall in testing Thursday, but he overshot the landing on The Beast and put the status of the jump in jeopardy until just prior to race time. 

Here's the finishing order for the final event. 

Driver No.  Country Team
1 Marcus Grönholm 3 Finland Best Buy Mobile / OMSE
2 Tanner Foust 34 USA Rockstar Energy Etnies Ford / OMSE
3 Brian Deegan 38 USA Rockstar Energy Metal Mulisha Ford / OMSE
4 Rhys Millen 67 New Zealand Hyundai Rallycross / RMR
5 David Binks 17 UK Best Buy Serve / OMSE
6 Stephan Verdier 12 France Motorcity Disney XD / RMR
7 Samuel Hubinette 77 USA Eneos Oil
8 Ken Block 43 USA Monster World Rally Team
9 Andy Scott 26 UK Scott-Eklund Racing
10 Sverre Isachsen 11 Norway Subaru Puma Rallycross / VSC

Next for the GRC championship contenders:

June 30-July 1: X Games
TV: July 1, 6:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

New Hampshire Motor Speedway
TV: July 14, 6 p.m. (ESPN3); 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Las Vegas Motor Speedway
TV: Sept. 29, 11 p.m. ET (ESPN3); Sept. 30, 6 p.m. ET (ESPN2)


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