BFGoodrich tires sets sights on gold at new X Games Rally Car Racing discipline, SuperRally
BFGoodrich Tires has a storied history in X Games Rally Car competition since the first year of the automotive exhibition in 2006, with BFGoodrich-shod race cars winning 11 of the 13 medals awarded, including all four gold medals (Travis Pastrana ‘06/’08, Tanner Foust ‘07, Kenny Brack ‘09). Not only has the tire manufacturer set its sights on winning its fifth gold medal in as many years, it is also preparing for SuperRally, which takes on the ever popular Euro-centric sport of Rallycross in a sprint style form of auto racing that features heats of four drivers racing wheel-to-wheel on a dirt track.
“Just when we thought the X Games couldn’t get any more extreme, now SuperRally has been added to the lineup,” said Roberts Kukainis, BFGoodrich Tires motorsports manager. “This action packed, rallycross-style race will have fans on the edge of their seats. The fast cars, 70-foot jumps and side by side action also gives BFGoodrich Tires another avenue here in the U.S. to showcase our grip, acceleration and toughness.”
The X Games Rally and SuperRally courses will determine which BFGoodrich tires the various teams will choose for the events. A course with more gravel will see teams choosing the aggressive-gripping BFGoodrich g-Force Rally (gravel) tires that cut through loose top surface in search of firmer ground underneath. Less gravel will allow teams to choose a BFGoodrich g-Force Rally (tarmac) tire that hugs the road’s underlying surface. Teams will also consider compound hardness, sizing and groove type, but for any type of surface expected at the 2010 X Games, BFGoodrich Tires has an offering that will meet teams’ expectations of grip, accelerations and toughness.
Confirmed drivers who have chosen to run on BFGoodrich tires at X Games 16 Rally Car and SuperRally Car competitions include Subaru Rally Team USA drivers Travis Pastrana, Dave Mirra and Sverre Isachsen; Ford Fiesta drivers Kenny Brack, Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan; and ACP Racing drivers Andrew Comrie-Picard and Samuel Hübinette. BFGoodrich Tires has partnered with Subaru Rally Team USA and Vermont SportsCar each year since 2006 for each of their nine of their medal performances at X Games 12, 13, 14 and 15.
Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana will be driving a 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI with BFGoodrich g-Force Rally tires. He will look to seek revenge on last year’s X Games Rally gold medalist, Brack, who has returned to defend his title. In 2009, Pastrana’s chances at victory came to a screeching halt after having clipped a wall near the end of the gold medal competition. Isachsen, the 2009 European Rallycross Champion, is the most experienced and accomplished Rallycross driver at X Games 16, but will be driving a rally car unfamiliar to him, a 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, also equipped with BFGoodrich g-Force Rally tires.
Competing at the X Games for the first time is TeamBFG member and two-time Formula Drift champion Samuel Hübinette. While Hübinette is not a regular on the rally scene in the U.S., he began rallying at the age of 16 at a junior Rallycross in his home country of Sweden. Hübinette will pilot a top-spec Mitsubishi Evolution with BFGoodrich g-Force Rally tires built by rally veteran and teammate Andrew Comrie-Picard, himself a four-time X Games competitor and 2009 North American Rally Champion.
“The location of the X Games Rally competition has changed (from Home Depot Center to Los Angeles Coliseum), the track surface has changed and a handful of drivers have changed, but one thing that has remained the same is the team’s choice of tires,” added Kukainis. “The top teams continue to choose BFGoodrich tires for their grip on the tarmac and gravel surfaces.”
The X Games Rally Car Racing and SuperRally will take place at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday, July 31. Both will be aired live on ESPN on Saturday at 4 p.m. Pacific. Please check local listings for repeat airdates and times.