“Who’s dirty?!?” Rallycross comes to East Tennessee.
Last Sunday (1/27) we got messy at Knoxville’s first-ever (that we know of) Rallycross!
Hosted by the Redneck Resort in Sweetwater, TN and put on by Smoky Mountain Rally Car and ETRSCCA, all did a fantastic job in planning and running this event. SMRC and ETRSCCA had been hoping for a great turn out an were pleasantly surprised by 30 driver showing up to play in the dirt on a strangely pleasant January Sunday.
With the days leading up to the event marked by rain, some snow, and even a small ice storm questions hung in the air about the conditions of the field-turned-course at the Resort as things got started.
The first runs were plagued by missed gates and extremely wet conditions, but they laid the groundwork for the course changes and gave an insight into the challenges of driving in a not-so-familiar environment. Many cars were struggling for traction early on, but the sunny weather helped dry things out and as the dirt got packed-down, the runs got much quicker.
Like autocross, rallycross uses a classing system, albeit a much simpler one than it’s tarmac-based cousin.
Basically there are 9 classes: 3 drivetrain classes and then three sub-classes under each drivetrain class based on levels of car modification: So, for each class: FWD, AWD, and RWD you have a sub-category of Stock, Prepared, and Modified. For more information on how the classes operate and where your car may fit in, check here. This past weekend saw several cars in attendance for the different categories
Though many drivers were used to going fast on pavement, driving slow on dirt proved an altogether new experience that caught many off-guard. Braking hard and early, using the throttle to steer, and figuring out how to un-cake the mud from the tires were the tasks of the day, with cars sliding to a stop sometimes on the course, sometimes outside of it.
All in all it was a mud filled adventure and we look forward to the next one. Stay tuned for the announcement of the date, we’ll post it on our calendar of events as soon as it becomes available.
In the mean time here are some highlights of the day, and the final results.