First off, I want to apologize to Rally OBXT, I was being a bit of a dink. Sorry
First off, I want to apologize to Rally OBXT, I was being a bit of a dink. Sorry
Has the curb weight of all the cars been listed somewhere? Last year it just seemed like that Skoda was so much smaller/lighter than both the Fiesta and subarus (but especially the subarus) that is just took off so much faster from the start....equal power or not, that thing was just so nimble.
this year will definitely be interesting for the SRTUSA rallycross cars....I got to tour VTSC this winter with the Sr. Tech that I know over there....I got the full tour EXCEPT for the one room where they were building/testing engines.....secret stuff, no tours, no public allowed
I absolutely do agree though, shorter wheelbase = better. Probably a big reason for the shift from the Focus to the Fiesta, not only because of the WRC but it "appears" the rallycross Fiesta is significantly shorter than the Focus.
I'm just extremely pumped to see this taking off, hopefully it's not a one hit wonder. Too bad the first event happens same weekend as Rocky or I'd fly out
At the level Pastrana is entering these sports though, he needs to be fully commited to get a result. Flitting between stuff may be satisfying to him but, to me, its unlikely to yield consistently good results.
The gearbox issue just means they weren't talking to the right people. None of the works cars in the ERC use factory developed gearboxes. They are either developed in conjunction with a specialist or just bought directly in from an outside source. The gearboxes in the OMSE Fiestas for example is a Maktrak item. The WRC teams are exactly the same, some components on the car may carry the manufacturers name, but they will have been developed by an external source.
This is the advantage the Fords have in the US at the moment: they have a history in rallycross and know what is needed and where to get it from. Dodge clearly aren'st stupid and they have figured this out, hence why they went to OMSE for the build of the Dart.
The problem is, is that there is no works backed Subaru effort in the ERC. There is a huge amount of knowledge with regards to Ford, Saab, VAG etc. engine tuning and car development in Europe, plus the Ford and Citroen efforts have extensive WRC development to draw from as well. I think its worth pointing out that the first couple of years the Mk.6 Fiestas were run in the ERC the results were patchy, but they improved over time and, once Ford themselves endorsed the OMSE team, the cars have improved immensely.
If Subaru were to back (and obviously fund) an ERC effort, then I'm sure the Impreza would be capable of becoming a winning car. But for those non-works drivers in the European Championship who are looking at cars, its makes more financial sense to pick one of those manufacturers with an known history than it does to pour money into the development of a completely new car.
As was mentioned earlier in the thread I think the difference is clear to see already. Watch the coverage from X-Games 16, then the same again from X-Games 17 and the Imprezas, although cosmetically similar, are like two different cars (which, under the skin, they no doubt are). Higgins and Mirra both got good results and, although not officially part of the works effort, Pastrana was fast in his Scoob as well (and that was with the hand control issue).
Notable the winner of the ERC for the last three years has been a longer wheelbase car (Focus). (After yesterdays season opener though I think there is a very good chance it could be won by a short wheelbase car driven by a certain American this year... )
MSE started off, basically, as one guy (Andreas Eriksson) with a passion for (and motorsport history with) Fords who wanting to build himself a Mk.6 Fiesta for rallycross. He partnered with Olsberg for the engine and that was the foundation for OMSE. Results came slowly and, when Eriksson opted to switch to the Mk.7 Fiesta the reputation he had, coupled with Fords desire to make a move on America with the Fiesta (via Pikes Peak and X-Games), meant they they enlisted MSE to run the programme. The "official" Ford sponsorship happened then and they have been seen as the "works" Ford team since. The number of cars they have produced has ramped up quite a bit since as they seem to be fielding more and more cars globally. I personally think the cars have made a huge leap in performance in the last 18 months as well. MSE have only ever dealt with rallycross Fiestas though.
Kenneth Hansen Racing is seen as the other "works" team (with Citroen backing), though I note that Mtechnolgies also have Citroen Racing backing as well.
To expand on my earlier point there are a number of specialist rallycross cars builders in Europe and it is from these that the bulk of the front running ERC machinery come from. So although they are "privateer" machines, they are produced by specialist rallycross car builders - often with extensive manufacturer history - and not just built as odd one offs. Although technologies have moved on there is a lot of dependance on tried-and-tested parts in rallycross, engines being a prime example. As long as there are engine builders producing competitive, reliable, powerplants, no one is really interested in going out an spending money (especially in the current financial climate) on something new as it will no doubt cost time and money (and Championship hopes) to do the job of whats already available. Often when a "new" car debuts in the ERC if you look closely you'll see its underpinnings will be related to another proven ERC machine.
One of the big risks MSE took was to opt for a Duratec engine in the Mk.6 Fiesta, using the knowledge of Olsberg to overcome its weaknesses. Initially there were issues, but after perseverence, they've turned it into a very competitive engine. (I'm a little confused with regards to the engine situation with MSE now though, as I know at least some of their cars now use Mountune engines. I'm not sure if this means the Olsberg produced engines have now been dropped or if they are using a mixture of both).
So, to clarify my earlier remark, given the situation in Europe, the only way I could see an Impreza making a big impact on a series like the ERC is if someone made a big, heavily funded, attack on it. For that you'd need an experienced rallycross car builder, an experienced Subaru engine tuner and someone to throw a lot of money their way (which, I think, could only really come from a manufacturer), hence why you'd need a "works" supported effort to really make an impact.
With the current financial situation in I think its unlikely that any of the experienced rallycross builders will make a sudden deviation in the direction of Subaru but, a thought that has crossed my mind, is if SRTUSA manage to produce a competitive Impreza rallycross car in the US whether a European driver might be interested in bringing one over. If one comes over and starts to do well, it won't take long before more will follow...
(Sorry, didn't mean to harp on so much, just wanted to clarify what I was trying to say )
Makes much more sense!
A lot of good info to read here lately. This is great and actually very helpful guys.
"You're here for a good time.. Not a long time." -Colin Mcrae
Well just a few weeks until this kicks off. Will be interesting to see how it goes but, at this stage, there are still a lot of unknowns with regards to the 2012 GRC season.
Looking beyond this year I see that the dates for the 2013 Global X-Games have been annouced:
January 24 - 27: Aspen, Colo.
March 20 - 22: Tignes, France.
April 18 - 21: Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil.
May 9 - 12: Barcelona, Spain.
June 27 - 30: Munich, Germany.
August 1 - 4: Los Angeles, Calif.
Its unconfirmed at present if the GRC will go Global at these venues, or if it will follow its own path.
Excuse the double post, but I bring more news: and I reckon you could even call it rather good news!
Looks like Subaru have themselves a new rallycross team and a couple of new drivers...
...I wonder if this means no Higgins in the GRC in in 2012, or if he will be fielded by the SRTUSA team? (Who I imagine are running the Subaru Puma team anyway).
Great to see Isachsen will be back in action in 2012 though, the GR Impreza should hopefully be a much more reliable platform for him this time around!
Having said that Higgins may still drive the GRC (or at least X-Games) under the SRT USA banner (I know its basically the same team behind it all), but the main focus seems to be on him winning the RA title again. They say Mirra is "leading" the rallycross team, but it was Higgins who was most responsible for setup and development of the rallycross car last year. I can't imagine they'll turn that responsibility over to the still relatively inexperienced Mirra.
Its going to be interesting to see what results Sverre can get out of the Impreza.