Like all great racers, Brian Deegan is always looking for his next big challenge. Two years ago, he took a chance by climbing into a Ford Fiesta rally car at X Games with only a handful of four-wheel truck events on his resume. Despite this, he finished fourth in the 2009 X Games when a turbo failure cost him an epic semi-final showdown with arch- rival Travis Pastrana.
A year later, Deegan returned to X Games, beat Pastrana and claimed second place in SuperRally and RallyCross.
In preparation for a third attempt to win the X Games Rally gold medal, the 12-time X Games medalist has decided to make his Global RallyCross Championship debut this weekend in Pikes, Peak, CO in order to tune-up for next month’s X Games 17 in LA.
In a recent interview ‘The General’ and founder of the Metal Mulisha talked about his rally program.
Q: You’ve had this Global RallyCross event on your schedule as a tune-up for X Games but it falls in the middle of the Lucas Oil Off Road Series season in which you’re racing a F-150 Raptor. Do you foresee a conflict?
BD: “I’ve definitely had a busy schedule this year with all the truck racing, riding dirt bikes and stock cars but it’s getting close to X Games and I need to prepare for RallyCross. Last year, I only practiced for a couple hours but had a good race. So this year I want to be more prepared. I’m going to the Global RallyCross at Pikes Peak to get more familiar with the car.
“The Fiesta is a lot different than anything I drive, so I really want to get a lot of seat time and use the event as practice. The plan is to get the car dialed in for X Games. I know there are a lot of guys up there with more time in the car, so I’m going to have to be smart to beat them.”
Q: You had a test in the Fiesta this weekend, how did that go?
BD: “I tested on tarmac but my Rockstar Fiesta is brand new, so we were breaking it in and getting everything adjusted. I think we got it pretty close to where we want it for the weekend. The car is just fun. This is definitely the best rally car I’ve driven.
“It was a good test – I ended up blowing four or five sets of tires off the car. It has so much power I blew one of the tires off the wheel. It was pretty cool.”
Q: Have you had a chance to watch one of the Global RallyCross events this year? Have you talked with Tanner Foust and what do you expect this weekend?
BD: “I talked to Tanner and he’s always a good teammate that helps me out. I’m going to pick his brain at the event. He always helps me to a point, gives me the basics and leaves it at that. It’s up to me to take no prisoners. Teammate or not, I need to win. That’s the plan.”
Q: With more tarmac and you traditionally doing off-road, is this a big adjustment for you?
BD: “I feel at home on the dirt. I was watching one of the rally races in Seattle and it would’ve been perfect for me – real soft, choppy, bumpy and picking lines. Going out on tarmac is a different world to me, but if I drive my race and have a strategy, I think it’ll work. I’ve also been racing stock cars quite a bit on pavement, so I’ve got a good feel for what a tire should do, finding traction and pushing to the limit before it breaks lose. I think I’m more prepared this year than I was last year, for sure.”
Q: You’re debuting a new livery on the Metal Mulisha Rockstar Fiesta this weekend, tell us about it.
BD: "I like to bring in my own style to a sport, just like when I built my first custom dirt bikes with Jesse James for X Games. I've always liked the fighter plane look, so the guys at Metal Mulisha designed it and it looks cool.”