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CONCORD, N.C. - Charlotte Motor Speedway will be driving in the fast lane this weekend as NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series take to the pavement, however, the Global Rallycross Championship will be joining them with a star-studded competition.
Looking to get more enthusiasts behind this growing action sport, GRC partnered with the track owners to have each race, except for X Games, tied to either NASCAR or IndyCar weekends.
“We’re taking this expressive form of motorsports – rallycross – and physically putting our products and technologies in front of 150,000 fans,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “We will have six entries – the most of any automaker – and we have champions, drivers who can win.”
Ford’s GRC drives are Brian Deegan, X Games 17 rallycross champion and motocross legend, Tanner Foust, last year’s GRC winner and X Games XVI gold medalist; Ken Block, gymkhana all-star and winner of Rally America Hundred Acre Woods six times in row; Marcus Grönholm, two-time World Rally Champion and X Games medalist; David Binks, former European rallycross champion; and Toomas Heikkinen, Finnish rallycross champion.
Looking forward to this seasons competition, Deegan is happy to get the sport in front of more eyes.
“We’ve got a lot of big names in the GRC, from Block and Foust to Mirra and Pastrana,” said Deegan. “It’s going to be a big help to get this sport out there in front of more people.”
In preparation for the big weekend, Deegan became the passenger in his own Fiesta as Greg Biffle, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, drove around the track for a change of pace.
One way to help connect the GRC to NASCAR fans was by having own of their own get behind the wheel of a rally car, said Allison. After a few quick lessons with Deegan behind the wheel Biffle took over the reins. While Biffle enjoyed the change, he plans to keep all four wheels on the pavement at all times and leave the rallycross and its jumps to Deegan.
[To see the swap, click here.]
Fine-tuned for performance
In preparation for the upcoming season, Deegan and Foust hit the track to get their vehicles dialed in and better than last year.
“We’ve improved the car a lot compared to last year if you can believe that,” said Deegan.
But not all the improvements come from fine-tuning the car.
“Some of the drivers are really helpful to each other on the team,” said Deegan. “But at the end of the day it’s still a competition and we all want to win. It’d be great to go 1-2-3 again.”
[To see Deegan and Foust, click here.]
As GRC is about to start it second season, it truly is where Ford wants to be.
“It’s all about being there for the big moments, capturing them and sharing them with friends,” said Allison. “We’re committed to excellence on track, and outreach and activation to our fans about our great products and technologies.”
Oh, and while you’re sharing some of the great GRC moments, Deegan asked that you follow him on Twitter @mmgeneral.