I'll admit that I haven't watched a single F1 race this season. There's something about the sport's glorified drivers that I don't like, plus the fact that the new and incredibly advanced F1 cars sound like (in Sebastian Vettel's own words) "s**t." For me, enjoyable motorsport is about bumper-to-bumper racing, panel damage and getting to know the drivers behind the helmet, not the other way around like in F1. That's why I prefer watching the BTCC series, where real cars get scarred and punted off the track, but keep on driving regardless. It's why I'm a new convert to Rallycross (something I've only really appreciated recently), where you'll find real cars, huge power figures and rough and ready drivers who aren't afraid to break a fingernail mid corner. But these aren't the only reasons why I've become a fan. I also love the fact that FIA World Rallycross cars like the Ford Fiesta produce an enormous 550bhp and 590lb/ft torque from just 2.0 litres. In cars that weigh no more than 1300kg with their driver and thanks to a massive turbocharger, the jacked-up racers hit 60mph in little over two seconds. That's enough to embarrass an Ariel Atom 3.5R if they were to go head to head in a straight line. The same can be said of a current F1 car. Rallycross racing is also far more entertaining to watch than F1. Because Rallycross cars tackle gravel and tarmac in one race, their suspension needs to be up to task - soft enough to hoon on gravel and firm enough to take a bend on the black stuff. To achieve this, cars like the Fiesta come fitted with Öhlins TTX four-way adjustable suspension and Eibach custom springs, which enable these cars to master all terrains at incredible speeds. It also means that they corner on their door handles when the grip is there. Rallycross has also attracted an impressive line-up of world-class drivers. Included on the list are former WRC champion Petter Solberg, former F1 and NASCAR driver Jacques Villeneuve and reigning BTCC champion Andy Jordan who's fighting for this year's Rallycross title at the helm of the Ford Fiesta Supercar. Tanner Foust (the bloke from Top Gear US) is another wild card entry and winner of two Euro RX rounds. If guys like this are behind Rallycross, then count me in too. But don't go thinking that Rallycross is going the same way as F1. Drivers are approachable and real and not too precious to give normal guys like me a passenger ride.
My driver - double European Rallycross event winner, Andreas Bakkerud - who hoons a Fiesta RX for a living might be young, but his huge balls and incredible skill behind the wheel blew me away. That, and the fact that 500+hp in a small car mixed with an ear shattering sequential 'box make your whole body hurt. From the outside, Rallycross cars sound incredible too. They spit flames, they gargle and they pop on the overrun. On loose gravel, the cars powerslide around corners, kicking up stones and damaging body panels. These are seriously cool race cars, which are also driven by seriously cool guys. These are just a few of the reasons why Rallycross gets my thumbs up as a viewer. There's automotive bloodshed, noise, dirt and none of the political BS you get with F1. Sure, the cars are crude in comparison, but they're relatable, achievable and in no way precious. The next FIA Rallycross Championship race takes place at Lydden Hill (1170m long; 10 metres wide; 60 per cent asphalt and 40 per cent dirt) from 24-25 May. If any of this has inspired you to stop by, then I'll see you there.
Recommended car throttle shop Worldwide Shipping In The CT Shop Car Throttle Submit Your Videos To Get Featured On Our Social Channels Blog For Fun Petrol Cars In The 2030s, Look To The Little Guys Blog Why Do We Only Bond With Specific Cars? Motorsport Nascar Got Rid Of Pit Lane Speed Limits During A Qualifying Session And It Was Chaotic Motorsport Alonso Hobbling His McLaren To The Pits Is The Heroic Sight Your Monday Needs Blog The Love We Have For 'Our' 1.4 Skoda SUV Is Massive Motorsport Here's A Cute But Terrifying V6 Toyota MR2 With 680bhp Motorsport Hamilton's Bahrain Three-Car Overtake Is A Thing Of Beauty Motorsport GM Development Chief Crashes Corvette ZR1 Pace Car At IndyCar Race