American rallycross is set to resume after a year-long hiatus with Nitro Rallycross’ first full season. The series will finally branch into a full-fledged championship for the 2021 season featuring five tracks and seven teams to compete for gold. New faces and old return as the series kicks off this Friday at the Utah Motorsport Campus in Salt Lake City.
Some familiar faces return from past iterations of American rallycross such as Tanner Foust, Travis Pastrana, and Steve Arpin but without some new competition. A total of 14 drivers are competing in the top level of Nitro Rallycross, while five will participate in the lower tier support class NRX NEXT. Those top-tier drivers include some of the fastest Swedes in Timmy Hansen and Robin Larsson, but also the likes of British natives Liam Doran and Oliver Bennett.
With a large accumulation of drivers, Nitro Rallycross sees a total of seven teams enter competition with some familiar names. The privateer teams of Loenbro Motorsports and Xite Energy Racing plan to make their mark on the series featuring a new Hyundai i20 for Arpin and the Mini for Bennett.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will reserve two Audi S1 for Americans Tanner Foust and Cabot Bigham. However, the Audi S1’s are not limited strictly to DRR as Monster Energy RX Cartel will also drive them in supporting Liam Doran and Robin Larsson.
Meanwhile, Red Bull Hansen make their highly anticipated return after winning the last race in 2019 with Kevin Hansen and Former World Rallycross Champion, Timmy Hansen piloting a pair of Peugeot 208’s.
Swedish-based team OMSE makes a return to the states with three drivers and two different cars. Jamaican superstar Fraser McConnell joins the team in the Ford Fiesta with teammate Oliver Eriksson. Meanwhile, his Oliver’s brother, Kevin Eriksson, will drive the upgraded Honda Civic.
Lastly, the works team of Subaru Motorsport enters competition this season with the mastermind himself Travis Pastrana and Scott Speed for full-time drivers while Andreas Bakkerud will compete in only the first two rounds of the championship. Each will pilot their own Subaru WRX STi built by Vermont Sportscar.
Supporting the top-level series is the NRX NEXT division for competitors to drive in a fixed class each with identical cars. America’s Rallycross RX2 returnees Lane Vacala and Sage Karam return to the scene driving for DRR while Simon Olofsson becomes a new member of the team. George Megennis will support Yellow Squad while Martin Enlund and Casper Jansson will run for Enlund Motorsport respectively. A solo entry in Erik Gordon sees him join the class for Bak 40 Motorsports to round out the class.
Four new tracks at ERX in Minneapolis, Wild Horse Pass Motorsport Park, Glen Helen Raceway, and The FIRM all host brand new facilities for the drivers to jump and slide their way across over the next four months. With only a few days to go before the season starts, each team looks to prepare for a heated championship as the series looks to get bigger and bolder.