RallyCross National Challenge Begins 2016 Season

SCCA RallyCross National Challenge Enters 2016 Season with Major Changes

This weekend’s SCCA West Coast RallyCross National Challenge event April 15-17 at Desert Empire Fairgrounds in Ridgecrest, California, launches the 2016 RallyCross National Challenge season. A number of adjustments have been made to the program for this year’s competition.

In 2016, there will be three RallyCross National Challenge events on the calendar, along with the RallyCross National Championship. The current plan is to rotate National Challenges to different locations each year to keep the competition interesting and fresh for participants. Howard Duncan, SCCA Senior Director of Solo and Rally, said Divisions managed National Challenge dates in the past. But the SCCA RallyCross National Staff is lending a hand this year for multiple reasons.

“We’ll be adding some new technology to RallyCross National Challenge events this year, and managing administration functions such as registration and operation,” Duncan said. “The goal is to mimic the success we’ve developed at the RallyCross National Championship and further fine-tune those procedures. Overall, I believe involvement from the National Staff will bring added value to the program as a whole and enhance the experience for competitors.”

Of particular note will be the addition of live timing at events. Competitors will be able to monitor up-to-the-minute results easily through a smartphone or laptop computer. Additionally, National Staff will utilize a Garmin VIRB XE camera to document course layout and changes that can be viewed by drivers through the SCCA website before runs begin.

This year, Friday will be open “Test & Tune” days followed by competition on Saturday and Sunday. Each weekend there will be three unique course layouts, and drivers will get three shots at each configuration. Runs are timed to 1/1000th of a second with missed “gates” resulting in a 10-second penalty. A DNF is posted if five gates are missed in a single run. Class winners are based on the total time of all runs Saturday and Sunday.

There are nine RallyCross Classes in which drivers can compete, and Classes are categorized according to a vehicle’s driveline configuration, level of modifications and style of tire deployed. Entry is capped at 125 competitors per event.

RallyCross is the SCCA’s most widespread and readily accessible form of extreme dirt motorsport. The activity is a scaled down version of a rally stage laid out on a non-paved plot of land where the course is delineated by traffic cones instead of trees or rocks. Participation requirements are considerably less than those associated with other forms of performance rally, so drivers usually only need a mechanically sound, hardtop vehicle and a helmet to come play in the dirt.

The SCCA RallyCross National Championship will wrap up the season September 30-October 2 at the National Balloon Classic venue in Indianola, Iowa. But there are plenty of opportunities for people to have fun in a field before then at the following events:

- 2016 SCCA West Coast RallyCross National Challenge; April 15 - April 17, Desert Empire Fairgrounds; Ridgecrest, California

- 2016 SCCA East Coast RallyCross National Challenge; July 8 - July 10, Gravel Mountain; Frostburg, Maryland

- 2016 SCCA Central RallyCross National Challenge; August 5 - August 7, Colorado Off Road Extreme; Agate, Colorado

- 2016 SCCA RallyCross National Championship; September 30 - October 2, National Balloon Classic; Indianola, Iowa

For additional information on Tire Rack SCCA Solo, visit http://www.scca.com/pages/rallycross-national-challenge.

Image: The 2016 SCCA RallyCross season begins this weekend in Ridgecrest, California with the West Coast RallyCross National Challenge.

Credit: Rupert Berrington