WRC: Not in the US

8 Feb

This weekend is the annual FIA WRC Rally Sweden, a competition that involves small turbocharged cars going very fast on all sorts of road conditions – gravel, dirt, asphalt, and snow/ice. Unlike NASCAR and Indycar, they turn more than just left. Spectators stand right next to the track. It’s insane and death-defying. Of course, it’s not being aired in the US at all. Or in Canada, for that matter. 

This is something that should be remedied. Witness: 

Highlights from the 2012 Rally Sweden: 

Highlights from Monte Carlo 2013: 

The $100,000+ Bentley Continental W12 GT takes to the Welsh WRC rallye track with Top Gear’s James May calling the turns – often poorly. 

Ken Block with Top Gear’s James May at a California airfield. 

Catalunya Spain 2011 WRC: 

Climbing up Pike’s Peak: 

How is this not popular in the US? 


5 Responses to “WRC: Not in the US”

  1. MaxPlanck at 7:45 am #

    Thanks, Alan…that looks like too much fun. Reminds me of an episode of Top Gear, except they used beaters and the drivers were “just folks.”

  2. Jesse Griffis at 8:16 am #

    Not-invented-here syndrome and a bunch of dudes with funny names.

    Shame, really. At least there’s the interwebs….

    (To be fair, Indycar doesn’t always just go on an oval)

    • Sunny Hasija at 9:18 am #

      Actually, it was kinda invented here. 

      Henry Ford was a big backer, and Ford actually sponsors a large chunk of the modern World Rally Championship.

      In fact one of the first rally races in the World Rally Championship was in Michigan. 

  3. Sunny Hasija at 9:11 am #

    >How is this not popular in the US? 

    Well seems like the Finn’s have the market cornered. It takes up to 2 years to get a license there, and you get tested on all sorts of conditions(slippery, snowy, etc) before you get it. And given the remoteness of most areas in finland, there is plenty of practice for those finns. 

    Interestingly though, one of the founding races in the WRC was in Michigan – the Press-On Regardless Rally. Also Ford’s european arm is a big sponsor of the WRC. But the fans still need to park a ways away, and walk and stand by the trailside and wait for cars to pass. Even the checkpoints (which usually have a stand) are temporary, so you could not build an infrastructure for fan engagement. They’d rarther watch “left turns” all day and drink beer. 

  4. Jim Perrin at 11:46 am #

    >How is this not popular in the US?

    Simple:  Americans are lazy and want the action brought to them on a silver platter, all while being served beer in the grand stand seats.

    But that’s ok, because US Rally is alive and well.  See you all at STPR!

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