The Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global RallyCross Championship will make its Las Vegas debut Saturday evening at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The exciting new motorsport attraction is paired with the annual NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Smith’s 350.
The temporary GRC track will utilize pit road, part of the front straightaway and a portion of the infield Legend Cars track – and will include a hairpin curve, a banked dirt turn, a 70-foot jump and a crossover.
Tanner Foust is one of the GRC’s biggest stars. The Phoenix native is a three-time X Games gold medalist and two-time Formula DRIFT champion. He also competes in rally racing, sports car racing, the famed Pikes Peak Hill Climb and off-road in SCORE Baja events. He also is co-host of the U.S. version of the Top Gear TV show on The History Channel and his stunt driving credits include Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, Dukes of Hazzard, Bourne Ultimatum and Iron Man 2.
He describes GRC as “Racing for people with attention deficit disorder. It’s all of the best, most entertaining parts of racing packed together in a short track. There’s jumping, sliding, door-to-door action in insanely-fast small cars and the stars of the X Games – all packed into one.
“It’s kind of like supercross, where there are qualifying heats – five-six racers together – in short races, in cars though. Small cars like Ford Fiestas, Subarus and Hyundais.
Foust explained his attraction to the wilder, less-conventional side of motorsports.
“Pretty early in my racing career, I worked as an ice driving instructor. I did that for about eight years. I got addicted to car control – the driving you do once you’ve lost grip and you’re sideways. So that really attracted me to rally racing and drifting. I still really like road racing and I am a big fan of NASCAR – I am amazed at what those drivers do. But as a driver, I’ve always found it more fun to battle it out a little sideways. And jumps are fun too.”
Foust compared tracks in Europe to those in the U.S. “Rallycross tracks in Europe have been around since the 1960s and the tracks are purpose-built rallycross tracks. Here in the U.S., introducing this sport to America, tracks are being adapted to the NASCAR tracks. It’s an evolving beast – an ever-changing track. Every single track we’ve built at SMI facilities (including Las Vegas, Charlotte, N.C., and Loudon, N.H.) has been different. They all have some common components. They use the front straightaway so that the fans in the grandstand are right on top of the action. They have a giant, 70-foot ramp-to-ramp jump. The cars are having
to adapt to this type of configuration a little bit.”
The Smith’s 350 is slated to start at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, with Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global RallyCross Championship action on schedule at approximately 8:30 p.m. Spectator gates will open at 3 p.m.
Tickets for the Smith’s 350 and GRC event may be purchased at the LVMS ticket office, online at www.LVMS.com or by calling (702) 644-4444.