Rally America Announces X Games 15 Rally Car Racing Competitors
The Rally Car Racing segment of the Summer X Games 15 at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, CA is set with 12 invited teams to compete for the coveted X Games gold medal. This will be the fourth year rally will participate at the X Games and is scheduled to be broadcast live on the ABC Network on Sunday, August 2nd at 3:00pm - 6:00pm ET/1:00pm - 3:00pm PT.
The ABC Network will broadcast Rally Car Racing elimination, Skateboard Park Men’s Final, and then the Rally Car Racing Final.
Six top teams accepted early invitations to compete in ESPN’s Summer X Games, the leading action sports event. Four more were selected based on their points standings after five rounds in the 2009 Rally America Championship Series, while two more At-Large drivers are also set to compete in the contest. One additional driver has been selected to serve as an alternate.
X Games favorite and last years gold medal winner, Travis Pastrana, returns alongside Subaru Rally Team USA teammates, Ken Block and Dave Mirra, to compete against other familiar and new rally stars. Those returning to X Games rally competition are:
* Andrew Comrie-Picard, who famously flipped his NOS Energy Drink Mitsubishi Evolution IX rally car over the 70 foot jump end-over-end,
* Matthew Johnson, who just represented Team USA at the Corona Mexico Rally, and
* Tanner Foust, X Games 13 rally car racing gold medal winner and two-time Formula Drift champion
A contingent of Polish rally drivers make up the bulk of the new faces entering X Games rally car racing and will pose a significant challenge to the regular invitees. Andi Mancin comes from the Polish Rally Series and is used to facing international competition and will race against his Rally America Championship Series teammate, Arkadiusz Gruszka. Piotr Wiktorczyk, who currently leads Rally America’s Super Production Class, rounds out the Polish entrants.
Rally America selected Kenny Brack and Brian Deegan for the two At-Large Invitees. Kenny Brack is the 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner, 1998 IndyCar Series champion, and a factory driver for Ford Racing’s Champ Car entry for Rahal Letterman Racing in 2003. Brian Deegan, co-founder of the Metal Mulisha, is the latest “cross-over” motorcross athlete to enter rally car racing following the likes of Travis Pastrana and “Cowboy” Kenny Bartram.
Ford will debut the Ford Fiesta rallycross car, built by Sweden’s Olsbergs Motor Sport Evolution, at the X Games to be driven by Tanner Foust, Kenny Brack, and Brian Deegan. The Ford Fiestas will make their North America introduction at July’s Pikes Peak International Hillclimb in Colorado. This marks the newest manufacturer to compete against the more familiar Subaru and Mitsubishi rally cars.
Rally fans will get closer to the action than ever before at X Games 15 with the exciting new addition of in-car commentators for the Rally Car Racing competition on August 2.
Chrissie Beavis and Jen Horsey, co-drivers who have both competed in previous X Games competitions, will offer viewers a first-hand report of the action inside the car during the contest.
“The unique format of the X Games Rally Car Race gives us the opportunity to do something really special for the broadcast,” said J.B. Niday, Managing Director for Rally America. “This is as close as the audience can get without actually sitting in the cars themselves.”
These commentators will have a direct line to over a million live viewers as 12 of the most skilled rally drivers in the world take on the challenging course.
“It’s a real privilege,” added Horsey. “We look forward to showing viewers what it’s really like to be inside a rally car at top speed.”
Beavis is a longtime co-driver with two X Games Rally Car Racing medals to her credit: she earned a Gold medal with Tanner Foust in 2007 and took Silver in 2008. When she isn’t co-driving, she is also a driver who campaigns a two-wheel drive Volkswagen Jetta in her local series.
Horsey has been both a rally analyst and competitor for the past five years, and was co-driver to Andrew Comrie-Picard during the spectacular front-flip crash during X Games 14. She also competes as a driver in her local series in a two-wheel drive Mitsubishi Lancer.
The field for the 2009 X Games Rally Car Race is as follows:
The alternate is Patrick Moro.