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Five Reasons Fans Won't Want to Miss the Insane Action Sport of Red Bull Global Rallycross This Weekend at The Dirt Track at Charlotte
With Red Bull Global Rallycross returning to the Dirt Track at Charlotte this weekend, fans can get excited for one of motorsports most thrilling and unique events, as well as up-close and personal interaction with some of the sport's biggest stars. Fresh from the X Games in Austin, these drivers are looking forward to competing on one of the circuit's most challenging courses. Fans won't want to miss the adrenaline-pumping action and here are five reasons why:
1. Every ticket is a pit pass
Red Bull GRC offers up-close access to the drivers often unseen in other forms of motorsports. Fans can get even closer to the action by going into the paddock area, which is free for all ticket holders.
"The best part about Global Rallycross is that your grandstand ticket gets you right into the pits; there are no hot passes, cold passes or anything like that," said Steve Arpin, driver of the No. 00 Ford Fiesta. "You get a ticket to the grandstand and then come right into the pits with us. You can walk right up to the cars; you can get as close as you want."
During the span of the two-day event, fans will have unlimited access to the paddock area. In addition to being the pit area for the teams, it is also the home of the Kids' Zone, complete with games, bounce houses, vendors and more, making it a true family spectacle.
2. Free autograph session
While fans are at the track, they will also have access to autograph sessions with stars of the sport, including Arpin, Ken Block, Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan, Scott Speed and Nelson Piquet Jr. A free autograph session featuring all of the drivers will be held at 3:30 p.m. on the concourse following the final race on Saturday. Teams will also hold their own separate sessions in the paddock area throughout the two days of racing.
"It is not only just sitting in the grandstands and watching a race, you can actually go to all the pit areas and look at all the cars and watch the mechanics work on the cars," said Piquet Jr. "Plus there are autograph sessions, not only the designated ones for the track, but also personal ones in every team."
3. See X Games Gold Medalists
These cars are the same that are fresh off the X Games in Austin, where former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Speed won his second consecutive gold medal. Four-time X Games gold medalist Foust, who has earned more X Games rally medals than any other competitor, will also be competing this weekend. These 600-horsepower, all-wheel drive, turbocharged compact cars go from 0 to 60 in less than two seconds as drivers steer through hairpin turns, across jumps, over walls and through a series of chicanes and other exciting features designed to test every driver's focus and control.
4. One of GRC's most challenging courses
Last year's Red Bull Global Rallycross event proved to be on one of the most diabolical courses on the circuit and this year's race at The Dirt Track at Charlotte will be no different. The challenging track is being modified this year to make the racing more competitive than ever before.
"The track layout last year in Charlotte was awesome, leaving The Dirt Track's original layout and jumping back in from outside the wall was fun as a driver and I could tell the fans loved it as well," said GRC star Patrik Sandell. "Charlotte has such a passion for motorsports, so we are excited to return again this year to show them an exciting time for the fifth round of Red Bull Global Rallycross!"
The drivers will begin the race from a dead stop in the center of The Dirt Track on a paved starting line. The cars will then fly around existing Turns 1 and 2 of The Dirt Track, through a hairpin turn, then over a dirt jump and out the backstretch opening and around the asphalt outside Turns 3 and 4. Cars will jump over the wall in Turn 4 through a newly created opening in the fence and go around a final turn before crossing the finish line. During the race, drivers can choose to take one short lap, called the joker lap, to gain an edge. The shortcut will be located in Turn 4 of The Dirt Track.
5. Not your average racing
For fans new to the sport, Red Bull Global Rallycross is a much different racing style than traditional stock car racing, but is just as thrilling. Instead of one longer race, there are multiple heat races, feature races and constant action available for fans in the pit area.
"It's the future of racing," said last year's Charlotte winner Scott Speed. "It's very exciting and entertaining and doesn't last four hours."
Another fascinating aspect of Red Bull Global Rallycross is that the cars are actually modified commercial vehicles. The advanced technology in these cars enables them to run on multiple surfaces like dirt and asphalt, make lengthy jumps and accelerate at an amazing speed, unlike their stock car counterparts.
"These are actual cars you could buy from a car dealership," said Speed. "Obviously everything inside of the car is changed but it's still based on the same frame so I think that makes a good connection for the manufacturers and fans to say, 'That's our car out there racing!'"
General admission tickets for adults are $25 per day or $40 for a two-day pass. Tickets for children 13 and under are $15 per day or $25 for a two-day pass.
To purchase tickets, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
To stay up to date with everything going on at the Greatest Place to See the Race, log on to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.
About Red Bull Global Rallycross
Designed to produce the fastest and most exciting racing in motorsports, Red Bull Global Rallycross pits small production-based cars against each other in door-to-door racing featuring dirt, asphalt, and table-top jumps. With enhanced engineering and safety features, the cars produce 600 horsepower and can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in less than two seconds, and can also withstand 70-foot jumps and other vehicle contact. For more information, visit www.RedBullGlobalRallycross.com.