Rallycross: It’s fast, it’s gritty and it would leave Jeremy Clarkson dazed and confused questioning everything he ever thought was correct about power.
From humble beginnings back at the brilliantly patriotic Lydden Circuit, rallycross has exported itself relentlessly across the channel throughout mainland Europe since its 1967 inception. The pace at which the sport’s popularity increased was staggering; rallycross possesses all the hallmarks of an crowd-enticing form of sprint style auto racing, all except the glitz, glamour and celebrity-drizzled aesthetics of Formula 1 and the World Touring Car Championship. But that precisely pinpoints the main appeal of rallycross: it eradicates the diva-tantrums, alpha-egos and bulging wage packets of the aforementioned competitions and in their place it injects passion, humility and composure.
Before I’d even seen what rallycross was all about, I happened to stumble across the UK’s official website for the sport and, like many of us, I have a natural penchant for all things driving-related, so I thought I’d take a look. The website’s homepage described it as “a mixture of touring cars, F1 and world rallying…”, so naturally – as a complete and utter novice to the sport – I was champing at the bit to find any footage of what the sport’s premier competitors had to offer.
Bumper to Bumper
5 hours, 4 cups of coffee and 3 cans of Monster later and I was exhausted. Ironically, I think I’d exhausted pretty much every video on YouTube in search of a flagship representation of the excitement of rally cross. I have never in my life been physically exhausted from watching a sport to the extent that I did with rallycross that day, but I loved every second of it. The true source of rallycross’s energy-sapping ability stems from the fact that it’s far too enthralling for you to take your eyes off of it. From the beginning of every single race, 8 cars magnetically drift into adopting a bumper-to-bumper position that’s more awkward for the front-running driver than walking into a male toilet with three urinals only to see the two that are furthest apart being occupied by blokes who are almost inviting you to use the middle one. That bumper-to-bumper position soon breaks out into a mixture of metal-meshed chaos and some extremely slick driving of a superlative standard
All in all, my newfound hobby of rallycross is definitely one that I will pursue with even greater interest over the coming months, and I thoroughly recommend it. As far as I’m concerned, you can keep your Lewis Hamiltons, Felipe Massas and Fernando Alonsos, I’m more than happy to stick with the like Marcus Gronholm and co. who make rallycross the alluring proposition it is
Adam DeVit works for a business car leasing firm and loves his track-days.