BFGoodrich handles the Red Bull Global Rallycross
Noted tire manufacturer BFGoodrich was in Washington, D.C. last weekend as the exclusive tire sponsor for the popular Red Bull Global Rallycross Racing Series. Don’t know about the series? Well does the name Andretti ring a bell? Yes, Team Owner Michael Andretti and his VW Team drivers Scott Speed and Tanner Foust were on hand to battle with the likes of Steve Arpin in his Ford Fiesta ST and Rhys Millen in his Hyundai Veloster, as well as drivers behind the wheels of Subaru’s, Chevrolets, Hondas in the “Supercar” Division, and up and coming stars like Collete Davis and Oliver Eriksson in the GRC “Lites” Division
For its sixth year, the Red Bull Global Rallycross provides thrills and excitement to racing fans with purpose-built racetracks. The series’ tracks feature a mix of dirt and pavement, as well as a signature 70-foot jump. At each round, star drivers in 600-horsepower Supercars battle through multiple heats, semifinals, and a last chance qualifier for a spot in the winner-take-all main event.
The Global Rallycross Series combines the best of off-road and on road racing to provide a thrilling experience for race fans. “I look forward to this event every year, as the race gives us a chance to be so close to the track and see the teams prepare their cars between races,” said Washington, D.C. resident Justin Young.
The Series is a two-day affair, with qualifying on a Friday and the race on Saturday, which was carried live by television network NBC.
As a special treat for select journalists, Roadfly.com was invited by BFGoodrich for a ridealong with a race driver in the actual car that would qualify later that afternoon. Yes, the thought of traveling at high speeds through turns and long hill jump just before the finish line was certainly enticing, but the reality that this writer is 6’9” and weighs 300 plus pounds quickly put to end any fantasies of fitting in a small racecar laden with a roll cage and other safety gear. Fellow journalists who were svelte enough to participate posted on social media the excitement that naturally followed the in-car experience.
On race day, BFGoodrich had their own tire pit crew working on behalf of teams in the various Supercar and Lite races of the day. Each team gets unlimited tires for qualifying and a set number for actual races, so strategy comes into play. If you ruin your tires in one of the race’s heats, you are one set closer to not completing the race.
The race weekend begins with two rounds of heat races, usually consisting of four cars and six laps each, run for up to three points. The field is then combined into two groups of equal size for the semifinals, which are also six laps each. The top three finishers from each semifinal transfer into the main event, giving their teams time to work on their cars while others continue to compete. All drivers who do not make it into the main event via heat races will compete in the four-lap last chance qualifier for the final remaining qualifying spots. Ten cars then compete in the 10-lap main event.
BFGoodrich is synonymous with off road racing with their legendary tires such as the g-Force RC02 Rallycross Rally capturing championships in pretty much every class of racing. But did you know they also manufacture tires for your Honda Accord or Chrysler Pacifica? Radial T/A, Advantage T/A, Comp T/A and Touring T/A are among consumer tires available in scores of sizes and fitments. Visit bfgoodrichtires.com for more details.
Back to the races, Scott Speed was the D.C. winner for VW’s Team Andretti, while in the Lites Cabot Bigham won for Dreyer and Reinbold Racing.