Featuring the biggest and brightest stars in rally cross racing, SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe is beaming with anticipation as the first primary advertising partner for the Global RallyCross Championship, which makes its New Hampshire Motor Speedway debut on July 14.
Travis Pastrana, Ken Block and Dave Mirra will be in the field for the SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Global RallyCross, the fourth race in a five-event schedule that has already seen races at Speedway Motorsports, Inc., sister tracks in Charlotte and Texas, and the X Games in Los Angeles this past weekend.
“We have had a terrific relationship with SYLVANIA over the years, so to expand our association with OSRAM SYLVANIA’s Automotive Lighting team for GRC is tremendous,” says Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of NHMS. “Rally Cross is an electrifying form of racing that we anticipate will shed light on a new group of race fans to make the largest sporting event weekend in New England even larger.”
GRC blends the most entertaining facets of off-road racing, circuit racing and rally competition to provide an intense experience in a fan-friendly environment. Pastrana and Brian Deegan have described the sport as “motocross, with a roll cage.”
“SYLVANIA Automotive and Global RallyCross are a natural fit given the recent launch of our new high-performance product, SilverStar zXe headlights. This new, advanced technology hits the styling and appearance needs of Global RallyCross fans,” says Joe Verbanic, marketing manager for SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting. “In addition, supporting this first-time event offers an outstanding opportunity to further our motorsports commitment and give back to the fans by bringing a new and exciting type of racing to a national stage.”
The SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Global RallyCross is slated for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 14 and will be shown live on ESPN. It will be the third and final featured event, following the NASCAR Whelen Modifield Tour’s Town Fair Tire 100 at 1:00 p.m. and the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ F.W. Webb 200 at 3:30 p.m.
The SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Global RallyCross at “The Magic Mile” is anticipated to feature door-to-door racing on dirt, asphalt, moguls, a gap jump and even a car wash. Drivers progress through a series of timed heats to a final race, where winner takes all. Multiple cars line up to start at once and jostle for the win over a four-lap race (the final is a five-lap race).
In the heat races, drivers run three laps of one course configuration and must take a longer diversion known as the joker lap once, at their discretion. The strategy for the joker lap is a critical element to the sport, similar to a pit stop in NASCAR: every competitor has to take it – the question is when.
Marcus Gronholm leads the GRC standings, having won the first two races in Charlotte and Texas. But Gronholm’s participation at New Hampshire is still up in the air as he was injured in a crash during practice at the X Games last Saturday. If Gronholm is unable to participate, that should open the door for Tanner Foust, Stephan Verdier, Rhys Millen and Samuel Hubinette, who sit second, third, fourth and fifth in points, respectively.
To see Pastrana, Foust and the rest of the GRC stars in action, purchase tickets to the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR weekend by stopping by our Ticket Office, visiting the speedway website at www.nhms.com, or calling our Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931. Tickets are also available for the SYLVANIA 300 NASCAR weekend in September.