Millville, NJ (February 23, 2010) - New Jersey Motorsports Park officials unveiled three Rally America sanctioned European-style rally cross races this year on Lightning Raceway. Rally America, Inc. is the premier sanctioning body for performance rallying in North America and is bringing this wildly popular racing to the United States for the first time.
"We are very excited about promoting this fiercely competitive form of racing to this beautiful circuit", said J.B. Niday, managing director of Rally America, Inc. "Nestled in the heart of New Jersey's pristine forests and rivers, with the excitement of nearby Atlantic City casinos, the beautiful New Jersey beaches and scenic fishing villages of Delaware Bay we have found a wonderful venue and perfect destination for our dedicated fan base".
"Many of our top Rally America National Rally Championship campaigners plan to participate in these groundbreaking events", added Niday. "They include Travis Pastrana, four time Rally America National Champion, and red hot Ken Block, perennial Rally Championship contender, the star of the amazing Ken Block Gymkhana You Tube videos. We certainly anticipate a tremendous turnout of established teams with many new racers coming aboard."
NJMP Director of Membership and Business Development, Steve Stander said, "This is truly the motor racing version of rugby, combining elements from road racing, short-course off-road racing and X Games-style rally car racing. From green flag to checkered, it's intense, non-stop action!" All three Rally America events will use parts of the Lightning Raceway in combination with gravel sections totaling about one mile in length. The course will include jumps, un-banked corners, hills and very challenging transitions between tarmac and gravel. The highlight of each race is the "JOKER LAP." A special, longer gravel section of the racetrack is built, which each driver must maneuver through once per heat. The Joker Lap duration is at least two seconds longer than a normal lap time. Drivers decide for themselves when they take the Joker Lap. If they fail to take the Joker Lap, or take it twice, they'll receive a time penalty. It introduces a very strategic component into an already madcap event.
The rally cross format is very popular in Europe with huge spectatorturnouts. Six cars start side by side in each of the numerous three lap qualifying races leading up to the main event finale. "This is no holds barred racing with lots of pushing, rubbing and broadsliding through the corners", said NJMP Track Official Donald Fauerbach. If you like short track stock car racing, you're going to love this action!"
Two classes of cars will compete in this inaugural year of competition. The faster, all-wheel-drive cars resemble those running in current Rally America competitions; the Subaru Impreza has been the dominant marque. The second category of rally cross cars will be two-wheel drive including many highly modified, 450+horsepower Ford, Mitsubishi, Dodge and Honda speedsters on rally-style suspensions.
"This very exciting form of racing," Fauerbach continued, "will add a fascinating new dimension to the broad tapestry of Motorsport entertainment available at NJMP."
Races are scheduled for three weekends; August 28-29, October 2-3, and November 6-7. For Ticket and Camping Information: visit www.njmp.com