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GRC Holiday Shopping Guide

Image via HPI Racing

Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means only one thing: it’s time for a month’s worth of Christmas shopping. While Global Rallycross Championship fans won’t find a centralized online store with which to make their Christmas lists, it’s not too difficult to find merchandise for most of your favorite teams and drivers. Allow us to be your guide:

  • You shouldn’t have any problem at all finding a good assortment of Ken Block gear, whether in the DC Shoes store or the Hoonigan online shop. DC offers a strong assortment of Block-themed shoes, while Hoonigan’s go-to product, the “Ain’t Care” shirt, showcases Block driving in the GRC finale at SEMA with the inside of his car on fire.
  • The folks at Puma have greatly expanded their line of Zombie Cat merchandise, celebrating the Subaru Puma Rallycross Team. Fans of Sverre Isachsen will be happy to notice a lot more blue in the mix, as there are now T-shirts available in all three drivers’ colorways, while fans can still pick up the Halloween-themed shoe.
  • Olsbergs MSE gear is available to fans in Europe, but the cost of both the hats and shirts themselves and shipping to America may be a bit prohibitive. OMSE drivers Tanner Foust (through Etnies) and Brian Deegan (through Metal Mulisha) have their own online stores as well. Deegan also lends his name to a line of shoes through DVS.
  • Rhys Millen Racing has plenty of options to choose from, including T-shirts, hats, hoodies, and more. Of course, if you’ve got enough money lying around, you can also buy yourself a Formula Cross ATV to joyride around in.
  • Travis Pastrana’s online store, also through DC, features tons of Boost Mobile-themed gear from his foray into NASCAR. Interestingly enough, though, there aren’t any Red Bull or Dodge-themed products available; there is, however, some Rockstar-themed gear. Speculate at will.
  • Finally, if you’d like to indulge your inner rallycross superstar and have some money to burn, you can buy remote-controlled versions of two of the top cars in the series. Atomik RC manufactures Brian Deegan’s Ford Fiesta in 1/18th scale, as well as his trophy truck and dirtbike. HPI Racing makes a 1/8th scale version of Ken Block’s Ford Fiesta HFHV in its Gymkhana Five livery, while Hot Wheels makes a scaled-down version of its own featuring a fantasy livery inspired by the Gymkhana Four car. Traxxas, meanwhile, manufactures its own rally vehicle in both 1/10th and 1/16th scales; more creative fans can repaint the body to better reflect their favorite driver’s car.

—Chris Leone

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Formula Cross Honors Foust, Shows Off Subaru At SEMA

Image via Rhys Millen Facebook

During the Global Rallycross Championship season finale at the SEMA Show this week, the folks at Rhys Millen Racing brought two brand-new versions of their Formula Cross bodies to display in the paddock.

The first, a repaint of the Ford Fiesta-based 450YFC that has been demonstrated to rave reviews from drivers and fans alike, featured the paint scheme of Tanner Foust’s championship-winning GRC entry. Foust, a two-time champion in both Formula Drift and the GRC, has competed against Millen in both disciplines, and both finished on the podium in Tuesday night’s finale. Alongside the Ford Focus ST, this was the second vehicle painted in Foust’s honor on display at SEMA.

The second body kit was not actually mounted on the kart, but remained on display in the paddock nonetheless alongside the Foust edition. This kit is based on the Subaru WRX STi that Sverre Isachsen, Dave Mirra, and Bucky Lasek use in the GRC, and was selected over a number of other possibilities, from current GRC models to old Group B styles.

Millen took the Formula Cross kart out for some laps on Monday. Expect a video recap from the folks at FC very soon.

– Chris Leone

GRC Drivers’ SEMA Commitments Extend Beyond Race

Image via Tanner Foust Facebook

If you’re looking for some of the other appearances that Global Rallycross Championship drivers and teams will be making at SEMA, here’s a quick guide. All times listed are local, and this list will be updated as we come across:

  • Samuel Hubinette will be signing autographs at the Eneos Oil booth Tuesday at 12 PM. He’ll also be at the Magnaflow booth on Wednesday at 2:30 PM.
  • Travis Pastrana is signing autographs at the Discount Tire location at 475 W. Centennial Boulevard on Tuesday from 11 AM to 1 PM.
  • Ford will showcase a special edition Tanner Foust-inspired Focus ST all week. Foust has also spoken
  • Speaking of Foust, Formula Cross, the new ATV-based rallycross formula engineered by Rhys Millen Racing, has unveiled a special-edition Foust-themed model of their YFC450 car that will be on site for the GRC race. After the event, RMR and the Hoonigan folks will demonstrate the car.
  • Brian Deegan will make an appearance at the Pro Comp booth on behalf of Metal Mulisha on Wednesday at 2:30 PM.

– Chris Leone

Formula Cross Pre-Orders Gain Momentum, RMR To Show Off At SEMA

Image via Formula Cross

While Rhys Millen competes in the Global Rallycross Championship season finale at this year’s SEMA Show, his Rhys Millen Racing employees will also be there promoting a different project: the brand-new Formula Cross kart.

Just as RMR announced that it is accepting pre-orders for the new 700YFC Yamaha-based model, the team revealed that they would be taking a special edition of the original kart plus the new Subaru WRX STi-based body shell to the world-famous trade show.

Pre-order spots for both the 450YFC and 700YFC models cost $50 and come with a welcome kit that features a hat and t-shirt in white or black and set of stickers. According to the Formula Cross website, pre-orders for the 660YFC should be available late this year, and 450HFC and 700HFC Honda-based models should be available sometime next year.

– Chris Leone

 

Olsbergs MSE Unveils “Supercar Light” Model

Video capture via Olsbergs MSE

Global Rallycross Championship team Olsbergs MSE is the class of this year’s field, taking three of five race wins and fielding cars for the current top two drivers in the championship. Led by accomplished racer Andreas Eriksson, Olsbergs’ Ford Fiestas have been the most technically sound cars on track all season.

Now, the team plans to take its technical skills to a smaller specification, producing a new vehicle called the Supercar Light. This weekend, the team released the first video of the car in testing, with Eriksson himself shaking down the new car.

Unlike Formula Cross, Rhys Millen Racing’s new entry-level rallycross vehicle that is built from an ATV base, the Supercar Light appears at first glance simply to be a smaller version of the Fiestas that Olsbergs is known for campaigning so well. Not much other information is known about the vehicle specs, although a profile of Eriksson on Gymkhana.com suggests that the team will formally announce details during the GRC season finale.

It’s also unknown whether or not the Supercar Light will race in North America in 2013, though the car will comprise part of the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship next year. The STCC will add two classes of rallycross to its normal touring car fare, with Supercar Light comprising the second, lower class. Both classes may also compete in the Stockholm Motor Weekend at Tele2 Arena in November 2013 in conjunction with the existing Swedish Rallycross Championship.

– Chris Leone

Millen, Tracy, Tutt Test Formula Cross Car At Pikes Peak

Video capture via Formula Cross

As part of its inaugural newsletter released yesterday, the folks at Rhys Millen Racing have released the video of off-road racers Rod Millen, Greg Tracy, and Steve Tutt shaking down the Formula Cross prototype before competing in this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Multiple cameras show the YFC450 taking various dirt corners at speed, as well as in-car shots of different drivers handling the car. At one point, picture-in-picture shows what it’s like behind the wheel as the vehicle handles a series of corners. At the end, Tracy laughs about the experience, joking that he “wasn’t sure about wearing a white T-shirt.”

The test was somewhat of a good luck charm for both Tracy and Tutt, both of whom posted exceptional runs at PPIHC. Tutt took his fourth career Quad class win, this time in the Modified class, with a time of 11:40.521. Meanwhile, Tracy finished second in the 1205cc motorcycle class, but was one of only four people to crack the 10 minute barrier, posting a time of 9:58.262. As for proprietor Rhys Millen, he set a world record in his Time Attack Hyundai Genesis, reaching the summit in 9:46.164.

– Chris Leone

Formula Cross Adds Subaru-Inspired Body Type To Pre-Orders

Image via Formula Cross Facebook

While the folks at Rhys Millen Racing have been hard at work on getting their new Formula Cross project off the ground, one of the aspects of the car that many had been hoping for was the option to change body styles. In fact, the official Facebook page asked fans on August 21 what they would like to see as a second body style, after the current Hyundai Veloster-inspired vehicle.

Yesterday, RMR came through with a second body design, as shown in the photo. This design is based on the current Subaru WRX STis campaigned in the Global Rallycross Championship, and can be chosen to ship with pre-orders. The goal is to make fully interchangeable bodies available for all models. The series page boasts that teams can change out these bodies in about two minutes.

Formula Cross is also still accepting designs for its paint scheme contest, which runs through October 31. Participants can still download the car template from the official website and post their designs on Facebook. Winners will receive official Formula Cross gear.

– Chris Leone

Formula Cross Reveals New Logo, Announces Livery Design Contest

In anticipation of shipping out their first models in the coming months, Formula Cross has updated their website and Facebook page with a new logo, while also announcing a paint scheme design contest that runs from now until October 31.

Entrants can download the template here from the Formula Cross website, create their design on the YFC450 template, and upload the finished product to Facebook for a chance to win a Formula Cross T-shirt or hat.

Image via Dallas Sadler/Formula Cross Facebook

So far, the contest has received one entry, this design from Dallas Sadler. With a month to go before prizes are awarded, and more pre-orders sure to come in, expect to see more liveries on the page in the coming weeks.

– Chris Leone

Formula Cross Releases How-To Guide on Finding Sponsors

Image via Formula Cross website

The folks at Rhys Millen Racing may not be ready to announce details on a racing series for their Formula Cross project until next year, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to help independent competitors along in the process of attracting sponsorship.

RMR/Formula Cross marketing director A.J. Grasso has released a comprehensive guide, “Getting Sponsored – A Realistic Approach,” as a way to help prospective teams attract sponsorship dollars. While RMR is not accepting sponsorship applications itself, the goal is to help Formula Cross owners figure out how to bring in support on their own so they’ll be ready for a 2013 season.

Most of the principles presented in the guide are simply common sense—use strong photography, track down the right people, offer multiple proposals—but many are important in helping young teams and drivers keep their composure and set themselves apart in the sponsorship hunt. “Don’t get overaggressive requesting a response,” the guide suggests, while offering a full list of social media channels that any team should utilize.

By now, it looks like that guide is going to get plenty of use. Grasso confirmed via email that RMR have received “overwhelming” interest in the formula, have put a significant number of units in production, and have received enough pre-orders from across the United States and the globe to demonstrate strong international interest. While orders have been coming in, the key to establishing a feeder series in 2013 is to have enough chassis running nationwide to facilitate respectable car counts. If so, RMR has spoken to the proper people to help get a championship series up and running.

– Chris Leone

Exclusive: Millen Talks About Creation, Development of Formula Cross

Image via Formula Cross Facebook

“With countless feeder series already in place to support the likes of Indy Car, Formula 1 and NASCAR,” the Formula Cross website reads, “it only made sense that Formula Cross fill in the missing gaps in the world of rally and rallycross.” That’s true, but there’s much more to the project than that—Rhys Millen Racing’s ambitious conversion project turns any ATV into a fully functional car that both corresponds to the driving experience of larger vehicles and allows riders to continue enjoying their ATVs with additional safety benefits, all at a reasonably inexpensive price point.

We talked to Rhys Millen at length about the inspiration behind the Formula Cross project, as well as the results of testing and some of the details about the conversion process. Thus far, he suggests, the project has been overwhelmingly positive, and those interested in the vehicle can expect multiple models, and perhaps a racing series, very soon:

Where did the inspiration behind the Formula Cross concept come from?

(laughs) The inspiration came from about six or seven years ago, breaking my back on a quad, parking it in my garage since then, and multiple years walking past it not really wanting to sell it. And then a few years ago, probably three plus years ago, looking at the quad in a different light, that perhaps this can be stretched and changed into a driving experience. Taking into consideration the safety element of incorporating a cage and seat and so forth as an extension of the driving experience, but with safety.

Image via Formula Cross Facebook

After kind of mentioning the idea to a couple of people, I heard very similar stories—riders had become a little older, they’d been hurt on them, their wives wouldn’t go near them, or their kids were becoming teenagers and wanted to ride quads and the parents didn’t want them anywhere near them. So in hearing all of that, I kind of started to commit to the thought, and this year in January we decided to develop this vehicle. And I think it was a shock to us on how well balanced, how amazing the driving experience was, and how much car control you could pick up, both from throttle control and steering, that would translate to a full-sized vehicle.

When did work on the project start? How far into the development process was the vehicle when you unveiled it to the world last month?

We started the project January 1 after laying out multiple sorts of designs, but the fabrication started then. It went into a four to six month sort of test phase once it was produced, while the body and everything was being developed as well in our composite shop. And we were going out doing multiple setups, balancing the chassis and drivability and so fort for handling until we started production on the vehicles which will be available here shortly. And it’s been received very, very well.

We’ve had multiple people drive it, from top ATV riders in the US to friends of mine that run the Ducati 1205 bikes up Pikes Peak and NASCAR drivers and rally guys, and some of my good stunt friends as well. Even my father’s been in it, and he loves it. And the feedback has all been positive. Over that testing period of some 400-plus miles, we never had one mechanical, and the whole package has proven to be very capable as a driving tool and a very exciting experience behind the wheel.

Image via Formula Cross Facebook

For those who are looking to buy the kit and install it themselves, how long does the process take, and how complex is the conversion?

It’s offered in several manners. The first would be, if you are a current ATV owner of the Yamaha models, which we’re starting with first—the 2004 and up 450, 660, and 750 Raptor—the retail on our kit is $7500, and it will take you about 20 hours to flip everything over. So (it’s) a two, two and a half day thing, comfortably, and utilizing about 90 percent of the production vehicle. If you’re not mechanically inclined, not a do-it-yourself kind of person, we also offer a service in house to make you a turn-key model that can either be based off a vehicle you own, a used vehicle that can be found on Craigslist or eBay or wherever, or the third option is to go to a local distributor/dealer and purchase a new vehicle that can be brought to us and we can do that transformation as well.

You’ve done plenty of demo days at tracks like Adams Motorsports Park and Pikes Peak. When are you planning for the next one, and will it be open to the public?

Image via DirtFish Rally School Facebook

We’ve fit one more day in there as well—we took it up to DirtFish Rally School in the Seattle area and had their instructors run it over there as consideration as a stepping stone into a full-size rally car. There was a lot of interest expressed up there as well. But now we’re very happy with what we’ve been out to achieve. Our testing phase is done, and now we’re really focused into production over the next couple of months.

We will release some more videos, and the main focus next is going to be showing the diversity of the vehicle. We can put paddle tires on this vehicle and take it out to Pismo Beach or up to Glamis; you can put full dirt tires on it and go romping through the desert. So that’s kind of going to be the focus, showing the diversity of the chassis, with its built-in different ride heights to be able to allow the driver not only a fixed experience like a go-kart does on a smooth surface on a specific track, (but) a diversity to take this in different locations with different surfaces and enjoy the vehicle in that manner.

You’re planning on creating a series for the Formula Cross kart—when can we expect to hear details on that?

You know, there’s been more developments than we’ve kind of given credit for on the platform. The interest level has definitely surpassed the timeframes that we thought would come about. Probably the most exciting this is that everyone wants one to race one, or a good 90-plus percent of the people. With that in mind, we’ve been approached by some already existing sanctioning bodies that run karting national series and so forth that look to add this as a class, and then some others that are based around the ATV world. So the interest level is there, even without ourselves forming a sanctioning body or sanctioning series. So we are focusing on specific designs that are safe for the chassis construction, and also considering a set of rules to allow these sanctioning bodies to implement the vehicles into their current setups.

– Chris Leone