It gets a bit awkward when off-road folks meet with electric car drivers. The two lifestyles, well, differ.
Off-roaders look forward to getting down, dirty, and sometimes bloody knuckles, tapping into the engine's manifold a 50 shot of nitrous oxide. The other tuner gets joy hacking the vehicle's computer and tricking it into activating an acceleration boost packet garnering the grocery-getter an extra 50 horsepower.
But, while the two auto tuners differ in approach, the desired results of adding 50 horsepower and, ultimately, kicking ass and taking names on the racetrack are the same.
The Nitro Rallycross races that will be held Saturday, November 12, and Sunday, November 13, at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park will meld the off-road and electric car motorsports lifestyles.
Travis Pastrana, one of the founders of the Nitro Rallycross race series.
Thrill One Sports & Entertainment
Imagine a motocross track with some pavement and lots of dirt, leading to long, Dukes of Hazzard
-type gap jumps, high-banked corners, and more steep berm jumps. Cars land back down on the pavement, and then the speed mayhem starts over again. That's how the circa-2018 Nitro Rallycross rolls, but instead of offroad trucks or dirtbikes, Travis Pastrana, one of the founders of the race series, and his competitors ran modified versions of cars you'd see parked in a Fry's grocery store parking lot: Subaru WRX STIs, Ford Focuses, Ford Fiestas, and Honda Civics, to name drop a few. Come November, the races in Chandler will be the first time the racers will run in the novel Group-E series, racing all-electric FC1-X vehicles.
Pastrana is excited to race against Chase Elliott in their new electric cars in Phoenix, he says. "Having a NASCAR Cup Series champion of Chase’s caliber return is so awesome. It reaffirms our goal to challenge the best and most fearless drivers in motorsport while offering fans unparalleled racing excitement. But on race day, it’s absolutely game on for the checkered flag.”
Before discounting the plug-and-play cars built of carbon fiber and fiberglass composite over space-frame chassis, you might want to sit down and buckle up before reading the stats. The FC1-X can produce the electric equivalent of 1,070 peak horsepower (800 kW) and can scoot from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 1.4 seconds. To put things into perspective, the $515,000 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ pulls 2.8 seconds going from 0-62 miles per hour, and the $400,000 Ferrari 812 Superfast times at 2.9 seconds going from 0-62 miles per hour. So the all-wheel drive FC1-X, built by First Corner and QEV Technologies, is about a whole second faster in a sprint than the Italian supercars.
The FC1-X can produce the electric equivalent of 1,070 peak horsepower (800 kW) and can scoot from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 1.4 seconds.
Thrill One Sports & Entertainment
Pastrana and Elliott will race against world-class drivers Andreas Bakkerud of Norway, Robin Larsson of Sweden, F1 world champion Jenson Button from England, Oliver Eriksson from Sweden, Fraser McConnell from Jamaica, and more.
In addition to the Group E racers above, Nitro RX Phoenix will feature the Side-by-Side (SxS) class, with several big-name UTV offroaders running.
In the open paddock section, race fans can get up close and personal with the Nitro RX cars and drivers. In addition, fans can scope out the all-new Nitro RX Fan Experience, featuring an entertainment stage with live performances, a play area, and a concession area with food trucks. There's also a children's electric rallycross experience for future racing enthusiasts.
Elliott says, “I’m so excited to bang doors again with Travis at Nitro Rallycross in Phoenix. Last year was so much fun. I had a blast driving —- the track was unreal. Flying over gap jumps definitely took some getting used to at first. But the thrill of putting your skills to the test on a course like this while competing against the best in rallycross is something I couldn’t get enough of.”
Nitro Rallycross Phoenix. Doors open at noon on Saturday, November 12, and Sunday, November 13. Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, 20000 South Maricopa Road, Chandler. General admission cost is $20 for Saturday and $25 for Sunday. VIP Club Nitro RX passes are $100 for Saturday and $125 for Sunday. Kids under the age of 12 are free. Tickets are available at nitrorallycross.com.