Automotive ADD: Why Red Bull Global Rallycross might save motorsport


Nelson Piquet Jr takes me for a ride in his Global Rallycross Ford Fiesta. (video link)

WASHINGTON, DC—Red Bull Global Rallycross (GRC) paid its annual visit to the nation’s capital this past weekend. As a form of racing, rallycross has been doing something few other series have managed in recent years—it’s growing new fans and appealing to kids who, by and large, are more interested in getting the latest phone than a driver’s license. With that in mind, we spent a couple of days at RFK Stadium watching the action and talking to some of the drivers to find out what makes this flavor of the sport so successful.

A brief primer: the cars all start life as regular production cars—Volkswagen Beetles, Ford Fiestas, and so on. They’re eventually stripped down and highly modified. Highly turbocharged two-liter engines pump out more than 600hp, driving all four wheels. The tracks are a mix of tarmac and gravel and include a dramatic jump over a dirt ramp. And the races are fast and furious, a series of short heats with plenty of opportunity for door-banging and paint-trading.

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