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X Games 13 Rally Preview

  Photos: Lars Gange,

 Travis Pastrana, Colin McRae, and Ken Block proceeded from the desert stages to finish X Games Rally 12 with gold, silver, and
 bronze in 2006.



The X Games Rally competition will be unique, even for the teams invited to participate. Everything is to take place in and around The Home Depot Center in Los Angeles on the 5th of August.




Last year’s X Games Rally introduced the sport of rally racing to enumerable spectators and television viewers who previously had little exposure to it. On site, the Friday and Saturday practice sessions gave the stadium’s announcer Bill Wood the opportunity to explain who the drivers and co-drivers were, what they did, and what was unique about the rally cars.


Subaru Rally Team USA (SRT USA) driver Travis Pastrana excited many attendees simply by the history of his presence at the Games. His legendary motorcycle jumps and tricks have fascinated millions, and he has set the undisputed benchmark in that arena.


Travis Pastrana, Colin McRae, and Ken Block proceeded
from the desert stages to finish X Games Rally 12 with
gold, silver, and bronze in 2006.


Now Pastrana was doing something different – driving a rally car – and fans wanted to see what rally is all about.


X Games and rally were a perfect match.


The competing teams were chosen by virtue of their performances in the Rally America National Championship. In addition, World Rally Championship (WRC) fans were excited by the special appearance of Colin McRae and co-driver Nicky Grist in one of four cars officially supported by Subaru of America (SOA) and prepared by Vermont SportsCar (SOA’s partner in SRT USA).


In traditional rally fashion, eight stages were run in the California desert in the middle of the week. Times were close between the leading cars of Travis Pastrana/Christian Edstrom and Colin McRae/Nicky Grist at the end of those stages, and the competition promised to be intense heading into Saturday’s special stage. The teams ran in order from slowest to quickest times, and the crowd witnessed shorter and shorter times from the teams. Pastrana/Edstrom, who were behind the leading team of McRae/Grist by only a second – electrified the audience with its time, throwing down the gauntlet to the top team. McRae/Grist set an even faster pace in sections around the course, then went into the stadium’s largest jump for the second and final time. That led to the famous X Games roll.


“We just tried to turn too sharply in the air,” said Nicky Grist afterwards. “This was definitely the fast way around the track, and we had tried it before in practice. In fact, it would have worked this time except the tire rolled off the wheel and caused us to flip.” Rolling back onto four wheels, McRae/Grist took off and won silver – only 0.52 seconds behind Pastrana/Edstrom. SRT USA teammates Ken Block/Alex Gelsomino secured the bronze.


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