West Hollywood, CA (March 14, 2011 | GLOBAL RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP) - Two-time World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm will travel to the United States to compete in the first round of the Global RallyCross Championship: The Revolution, taking place March 25-26 at Irwindale Speedway on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
Gronholm, who will pilot a 600-hp all-wheel drive Best Buy Ford Fiesta in the contest, joins a list of top-ranked international motorsport and action sport stars racing in the Global RallyCross Championship. Also planning to compete are three-time X Games Rally gold medalist Tanner Foust in his Ford Fiesta, Rhys Millen and five-time British rally champion Marcus Dodd in Hyundai Veloster rallycross cars, and Subaru Rally Team USA's Dave Mirra in a Subaru WRX STI.
"Rallycross is good fun, with a lot of cars running at the same time," said Gronholm. "It's quite different from rally but it's excellent to come to the USA and it feels nice to be involved again with the team."
In addition to two World Rally Championship titles (2000, 2002), the legendary Finnish driver also won the 2002 Race of Champions and earned the Nations' Cup at the contest in 2006. He also took on the 2009 Pike's Peak International Hill Climb in a similarly prepared Ford Fiesta and will be reunited with the Olsbergs MSE team for this event.
"We are thrilled that Best Buy, the world's largest electronics retailer, is working with Marcus Gronholm who has conquered the rally world twice," said Mark Williams, president of Best Buy Financial Services.
Drivers in the Global RallyCross Championship are vying for a chance to win the first-ever series title - and a chance to earn an invitation to X Games 17 Rally competitions held in downtown Los Angeles this July. Two-wheel drive entries also have a shot at a $5,000 prize purse to benefit grassroots competitors at the contest.
The series will benefit from a multi-year programming relationship with ESPN, with Global RallyCross Championship broadcasts slated to follow NASCAR Nationwide and NHRA shows on ESPN and ESPN2 with live event streaming on ESPN3.
"We are involved in rallycross in the UK and this is a great opportunity for Best Buy to be involved in the new Global RallyCross series," said Williams. "Our customers can play the video games featuring the cars and watch the races on their home theater systems - and all purchased from Best Buy!"
Racing this month will take place on an inventive dirt and tarmac track configuration on the speedway oval. The highlight of the course is a huge gap jump that will see competition cars fly 70-feet through the air. This is the first time a gap jump has ever been included in rallycross competition outside the X Games environment.
"We're thrilled that Marcus Gronholm will join us for the first round of Global RallyCross Championship," said series co-founder Chip Pankow. "We are building a truly international series featuring top talent from around the world."
In addition to the fierce door-to-door rallycross competition at Irwindale, drivers will also be available for autograph sessions and a vendor midway will offer further entertainment for fans. Tickets are just $25 for two days of racing, are available at www.global-rallycross.com. Fans can also find the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/GlobalRallyCross) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/GlobalRallyX) to sign up for a chance to win tickets and other prizes.
Competitors will next travel to a rural-industrial complex outside of Seattle, WA, for Round 2: Twin Peaks (April 15-16), and meet again in Colorado at the Pikes Peak International Raceway for Round 3: Last Chance (June 17-18). Invitations for X Games Rally events will be announced soon after the conclusion of the third and final round of the 2011 series.
The RallyCar organization will sanction the Global RallyCross Championship events. Competitors in the Global RallyCross Championship may also elect to score points in U.S. Rallycross Championship events.
About RallyCross Management
West Hollywood, CA based RallyCross Management is the owner and organizer of the three-round Global RallyCross Championship and manages invitations and competition for X Games rally events. Working with ESPN, the company will bring the excitement of rallycross racing to millions of households in over 170 countries.
To find out more, including media credential access, ticket sales, competitor information and registration details, visit www.global-rallycross.com | Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GlobalRallyCross and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlobalRallyX | Image: Marcus Gronholm's Best Buy Ford Fiesta rallycross car.