Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rally Cars at X Games 17

We parked south of Staples Center yesterday at the X-Games. If you check the venue layout at the link, there's a pedestrian walkway from Pico Boulevard back up toward Flower Street. Walking up to the entrance, we watched the rally cars coming out of the turn running along Pico (at about 18 seconds at the clip below). My youngest boy had to cover his ears. He wasn't used to anything like that. I was mostly surprised. I didn't even realize they'd added rally car racing to the program this year. Pretty cool, in any event. Here's this from this morning's LAT, "X Games takes it to the streets":

Imagine eight 550-horsepower noisy breadboxes that in one instant can be still but two seconds later can reach 60 miles an hour.

Imagine them side-by-side, blitzing down Figueroa Street outside L.A. Live, topping 100 mph while the Los Angeles Police Department sits idly by, radar guns holstered.

That's the image that danced in X Games officials' heads when they introduced rally car racing to the action sports event in 2006. And it's finally coming true this year.

The Rally Car Racing event Saturday marked the first such race on downtown Los Angeles streets — three streets, to be exact.

But Saturday was an undercard for Sunday, when the RallyCross event, similar to the Eurocentric style of rally car racing, lights up the 3,100-foot, six-turn course.

"It will be much more difficult," said two-time world rally champion Marcus Gronholm. "More cars lined up…. If you're are into traffic …oy, oy, oy,"