Glen Helen saw a rework to the Nitro Rallycross festival. The beginnings of a blueprint to forge a one of a kind event that satiates the appetite of motorsport fans. The NITRO brand made their name off the Nitro Circus series where Travis Pastrana and his very talented friends would take extreme sports and, somehow, make them more extreme. Sky diving without a parachute and jumping a BMX bike from one building top to another are just small examples how it became so popular.
That being said, when Travis Pastrana unveiled a bespoke Rallycross series, people knew it wasn't going to be stale. Normal Rallycross is exciting as it is but given his history, there had to be something...More. I believe he has successfully delivered the "more" factor. Tailor-made electric supercars race door-to-door and jump 100+ feet over other portions of the track. The FC1-X has over 1000 horsepower and an all wheel drive system that can put all that power down. The support series, NRX Next, features custom cars with the body of a Ford Fiesta. They're not as capable as the FC1-X (they're not built to take on the gap jumps) but still powerful little machines. Contact seems to be encouraged and the skill level of the drivers is incredibly high.
The festival grounds are filled with vendors and food trucks. In the middle is a Nitro Circus display with world class motocross athletes performing massive jumps. Open paddocks allow you to walk right up to drivers or technicians and get autographs and photos. The smell of food and high octane fuel fills the air and you find yourself lost in the moment. With the next season rapidly approaching there is only one question that I have.
How will they top the previous season?
Previous North American Rallycross series have ended in a fireball of controversy. ARX and GRC were good series but management issues brought them crashing down. How can Nitro stay away from this trend and continue to grow? After covering 3 of these races, its obvious that everyone involved with Nitro Rallycross is there out of passion. The team that runs the operation are amazing people who love the sport and as busy as he is, Travis Pastrana takes the time to be at the events and put real effort into racing. With the upcoming season starting in June, I'm excited to see how they grow. I truly believe it has the potential to be a massive series.
I'm definitely rooting for them.
Check out coverage of the Glen Helen race here.