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GRC Insider: Projecting The 2013 Schedule, Part 1

Image via Ford Racing Facebook

While the newly reimagined European Rallycross Championship has gone on to release its 10-race schedule for the 2013 season, Global Rallycross Championship organizers have not yet produced a set schedule for next year. Though about half of the dates and locations have been announced thus far, the other half—namely, the events that take place on American soil without the involvement of X Games—have not yet been clarified.

This post, and its second part tomorrow, aims to clarify the scheduling situation based on information already present. Our insider confirmed yesterday that the 2013 schedule will feature nine dates, and noted that the series was once again talking to NASCAR and IndyCar tracks about hosting GRC events. It appears that, once again, the majority of the non-X Games schedule will thus be run in this manner.

To recap, we already know five dates for sure:

  • April 18-21: Foz de Iguaçu, Brazil
  • May 9-12: Barcelona, Spain
  • June 27-30: Munich, Germany
  • August 1-4: Los Angeles, California
  • November 5-8: Las Vegas Convention Center

Photo credit: Alex Wong

The first four listed dates are part of ESPN’s Global X Games schedule, while the fifth coincides with the dates of next year’s SEMA show.

In the first part of our schedule projections, we analyze the potential race dates and locations that the GRC can work with if it wants to run alongside NASCAR events once again. Please keep in mind that, while the dates are likely accurate to within 24 hours of when the event would actually be run, all of the information presented is speculation based on previously established facts and trends, does not reflect a “leak” of information, and assumes a best-case scenario on the part of the series:

  • March 9: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

    Theoretically speaking, if the GRC wanted to run at both LVMS and SEMA next year, it might make more sense to bookend the season with the two Vegas events.  The primary concern with choosing the Sprint Cup date, however, is the major gaps it would leave in the schedule later in the season. Theoretically, SEMA could take place more than two months after the previous race, a major gap like this season that the series would like to avoid experiencing once again. The track did host an Olsbergs MSE test session just two days after this year’s season finale, meaning it’s probably going to come back in some form, but this may not be the weekend to do it.

    Chances of appearing on 2013 schedule: Unlikely

    Conflicts with European Rallycross Championship: None

  • Image via Scott-Eklund Racing PR

    May 25: Charlotte Motor Speedway

    Charlotte served as the guinea pig for rallycross taking place on NASCAR tracks in 2012. Most things went wrong: the gap jump was not ready in time for the event, GRC drivers ground up pavement after overshooting the small tabletop, and high-profile drivers were knocked out early and often. The race was little more than a glorified autocross event and was probably the least successful of the season.

    Chances of appearing on 2013 schedule: Unlikely

    Conflicts with European Rallycross Championship: Nyirád, Hungary (May 25-26)

  • July 13: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

    New Hampshire represented the first flawless round of the 2012 GRC schedule; though a combination of accident delays and a lack of lighting cut Friday’s qualifying short, Saturday’s race event went off without a hitch and produced some of the most exciting racing of the year between Travis Pastrana and Samuel Hubinette. New Hampshire also drew a crowd estimated to be larger than the previous season’s IndyCar race.

    Chances of appearing on 2013 schedule: Very likely

    Conflicts with European Rallycross Championship: None

  • Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

    August 24: Bristol Motor Speedway

    Here’s a wild one: the thought of rallycross cars running through the compact bullring at Bristol two nights before its fabled night race. Thursday would likely be the night for it, as the Camping World Truck Series usually competes on Wednesday and the Nationwide Series does so on Friday. However, with long pit walls on the straightaways and high banked corners, it would be a challenge to prove the feasibility of a rallycross event here.

    Chances of appearing on 2013 schedule: Very unlikely

    Conflicts with European Rallycross Championship: None

  • August 31: Atlanta Motor Speedway

    Atlanta had been a rumored destination for the GRC in 2012, as track owner Speedway Motorsports Inc. had scheduled an event date for its Sprint Cup weekend. That never came to fruition, perhaps because of the struggles at the Charlotte round in May and the similarity in layout to both Charlotte and Texas.

    Chances of appearing on 2013 schedule: Unlikely

    Conflicts with European Rallycross Championship: None

  • Image via Ford Racing Facebook

    September 27: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

    Assuming that this is indeed the weekend that the Camping World Truck Series returns to Las Vegas in 2013, the GRC would slot in just fine as a support event once again. The biggest concern about bringing back the Las Vegas race would be running two races in the same city once again; although both races produced exciting action, SEMA gets the edge as a more high-profile event with a purpose-built rallycross track in a parking lot.

    Chances of appearing on 2013 schedule: Possible

    Conflicts with European Rallycross Championship: Buxtehude, Germany (September 28-29)

In tomorrow’s post, we break down the potential IndyCar tandem dates and offer our projected nine-race schedule.

—Chris Leone

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