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Gap Jump Adjusted For GRC at New Hampshire

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

Much of the drama in this Global Rallycross Championship season has been the result of the gap jump, which has destroyed plenty of cars and unsettled many drivers over the course of the season.

After a series of meetings at this weekend’s event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, however, drivers have much more of a reason to feel secure with the jump. In response to Toomas Heikkinen’s incident at X Games, the series has added eight feet of padding before the landing zone, stacked all the way up from the racing surface.

Drivers have been appreciative of the GRC’s quick response. “The gap jump has always been a concern to the drivers, because you don’t have cars flying through the air over a gap without some risk attached to it,” admits Andy Scott of Scott-Eklund Racing. “So that’s always been there. But I would say that the GRC have addressed some of the concerns that were aired very strongly at X Games.

“As you know at X Games they filled the gap in, but at Loudon they have some impact material on the edge of the landing ramp. So it’s back to being an open jump, but there is some shock absorbing material that they’ve put on the front edge of the ramp. That is something that all the teams had requested after X Games, and the GRC have followed through with that.”

“I always have respect for the gap jump, and I was concerned about the way it was set up at X Games because of the track set up,” adds teammate Samuel Hubinette. “(You have to) make sure (the car) has the right speed and such. Because I don’t have the speedometer in my car, and it’s hard to see RPMs when driving, you’re looking at other stuff. So it’s tricky, but I think GRC is stepping up now and really trying hard to make it safe as possible.”

In qualifying, the return of the gap jump went off without a major accident. Multiple cars, as often happens, took the jump with a little bit of extra speed and landed on the front wheels. Scott’s team confirmed that he broke a wheel, while Travis Pastrana reportedly limped home with a suspension issue at the end of the session, but none of the drivers were any worse for wear.

– Chris Leone

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