Hooning with Ken Block and Steve Arpin
Rallycross is not a cheap sport, especially when you’re out there learning and beating on cars. And while there are different levels like crosskarts and RX2 cars to get you leveling up, there’s still not much in terms of true grassroots level rallycross competition in the states. Until now! Grab a couple of $500 Crown Vics, some buddies, and have at it. Special thanks to our buddy Cole Powelson for providing these Crown Vic Rallycross beaters and some time in his SIERRA Cars!
So I’m out here in the Salt Lake City desert Ken has brought me out here and we’re just in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of freaking taxis at a tank testing facility
[KenBlock] We got Nitro World Games this weekend, where I’m racing with this dude Steve Arpin so, in preparation to race those lovely fiestas we’re gonna race these crown vics!
So this place is owned by our buddy Cole with LYFE Motorsports, he’s actually out there somewhere to come shred with us…
[Cole burns donuts into view with the SIERRA RX3]
[Ken & Arpin] “Now thats a good intro! That’s impressive!
[Cole Powelson] “It’s the car man, it just makes it too easy!”
[Cole Powelson] It’s good to have some real rallycrossers out here!
So tell us a little bit about all this, cuz this is hilarious, it’s rad!
I just wanted to have fun on a budget and I got online and I could find that you get a rear-wheel drive car with a v8 for 500 bucks and so that’s where it all kind of started
The Crown Vic are used for police taxi duty so they hold up to a lot of abuse!
So in America there isn’t a real grassroots level rallycross available so we kind of had to start on our own. I reached out to people to buy cars and they weren’t willing too and so I went out and bought the first fleet of cars and I just started the process and then everybody came to the party.
[Ken Block] I actually had the conversation about Norwegian folk race, we talked about the fact of how they operate over there with very cheap cars and that they have the system where if someone builds too good of a car and wins with it that the competitors can actually buy that car and they have to sell it, so it’s a it’s a very good way to keep the competition very even and keep the price down.
So then I had that discussion with you, like how do we make this happen in America because we need grassroots rallycross.
[Ken Block] Here in America it doesn’t exist and you are doing something here to help that but I think people need to understand what grassroots is.
Steve Arpin can explain, Supercross for kids start when they’re like 5, the path I took started with go-karts and really there’s so many different disciplines that are all funneling into the same direction right it’s like you got the NASCAR CupSeries which is the tip of the pyramid and all this different type of racing underneath it funneling up to that and it’s so affordable
I used to dirt race there’d be ten tracks to the 300 mile radius that we could go racing that was a dirt vulval there’s dirt oval so it’s it’s obviously you’re learning that from a very young age and all sorts of different forms all racing to build your way up to NASCAR but with rallycross here in America it’s a first step towards that direction
With NASCAR we have that system and we don’t have that here in America for rallycross
In Europe there’s all these different forms you know like a Norwegian championship crosskart racing which is rallycross but in something built like this.
Right now the SIERRA car is… [Cole] it’s the SIERRA RX3, so being part of the Americas rallycross class, we’re the entry-level class to be at the same track on the same week as top pro teams. So this is as entry-level as you can get and still run with the pros. You get to learn the tracks, learn the facility learn the people and figure it out, this is the first taste of the sweet nectar that is Pro rallycross so we just need to fill in that gap.
We know what the tip of the iceberg looks like, but we need more of this stuff going on to get people enthusiastic and excited about it.
[Ken Block] and just explain to us a RX3 is this car right here.
[Cole Powelson] this is the SIERRA RX3 car
[Ken Block] yeah and then ARX2 right now is basically the Ford Fiesta, that’s a spec series all the cars are exactly the same, it’s tube frame with the Fiesta body on it, all the engines are the same so they’re about two seconds of lap time.
Then the top class obviously being Super Cars such as like what Steve and I drive. As far as going to that series if you want to go and try it out, [SIERRA Car] this is the best option basically as grassroots.
The only thing that we really have to compare against a real rallycross is this, since we know the time of this car, so this we need you to hop in this car set some lap times for us. Then we can judge the Crown Vics versus this actual real ARX3 grassroots car.