Last weekend, I went into Munich with Jenny and her boyfriend Robert, to see a portion of the X-Games. Specifically, we went to see the Ford RallyCross races.
The race itself was really interesting. The cars were small and fast: Ford Fiestas, some sort of Subaru, some Volkswagens, and one Mini Cooper. The cars were kept under tents for the mechanics to work on them between races. Each tent had the driver’s picture on a banner next to it.
Most of the races we saw were qualifying heats, like this one with seven cars starting out.
I mentioned the Mini Cooper. Here it is, number 33 with the Monster logo on the side. The Mini actually won this heat; it was a really fast car.
Here’s some other cars from various races. Part of the track was dirt and gravel, and it really kicked up a lot. On several of the races, the cars had their windshield wipers on despite it being a perfectly clear day.
I kept thinking this driver was Italian for some reason, but he was actually from Brazil.
A lot of these cars were fast enough to do a little jump on one of the gravel sections. I took a lot of pictures of cars in mid-air, but none of them were sharp enough to be worth posting here. Here, pretend this car is flying through the air.
The gravel section had some sharp turns, and the cars kicked up a LOT of stuff. This car is in the middle of a turn. Also, this car kept stalling later in the day, so I suspect that he’s getting a lot of stuff in his air intake. Not that I’m a mechanic or anything.
One of the best parts of watching this event was actually the wrecks. Some of them were pretty subtle, like this one. I didn’t see him go into the wall, I was looking at a different part of the track. Note all the spectators on the hill.
Here’s what that car looked like when they pulled it out. I suspect the hole in the side behind the door is from whatever impact shoved him into the wall in the first place.
After every wreck like that, they had to stop to pull the disabled car out, and then crew members would clean up the track from debris. Here they are, cleaning the track. We were hoping they would do a dance number with their brooms, but it never happened.
One of the qualifying heats started with nine cars. Once they cleared the wrecks, they restarted it with seven cars. They cleared the wrecks again and restarted it with four cars. Two cars actually finished that qualifying heat. Very entertaining.
They did a lot of car-on-car violence, like this bumper kiss.
In the final race, there were ten cars at the start. They did the entire thing without having to stop, reset, and restart the race. There was plenty of damage and mayhem, though.
Early in the final race, this happened. That blue and green car was run into the water barrels. It went up on two wheels, as you can see here, and the crowd did a “whooooo” sound.
Amazingly, the car came back down onto all four wheels and kept going.
He did suffer some damage from the two-wheeler moment. He went a good long distance dragging his bumper behind him. There were plenty of other bumpers on the track, and yellow flags were used to warn the drivers of debris.
At the end of each run, a white flag would indicate the last lap, and a checkered flag would indicate the race is over.
This is the third place winner. He left his rear bumper back in the gravel. The second place winner was the guy in the Mini Cooper.
The winner of all of this was Toomas Heikkinen, a 22-year-old from Finland. Follow that link to see video from ESPN during the race. This was his car. It flew over this track.
Have you ever seen a RallyCross event? Did it make you want to drive faster?