By Patrick Rall
SRT Motorsports has just announced that there will be two Dodge Dart rally cars competing in the 2013 Global RallyCross season on a full time basis with Travis Pastrana being joined by Bryce Menzies for all of the events this season. Pastrana will be back in his familiar #199 Red Bull Racing/Discount Tire Dodge Dart while Bryce Menzies will be driving the #99 Red Bull/America’s Tire entry.
“At Dodge, racing is an integral part of our heritage and embodies our competitive spirit, so we’re very excited to have Travis Pastrana back in the Dodge Dart for the 2013 season,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand. “With a 0-60 time of less than 2-seconds, the Global Rallycross series is the perfect platform to showcase the Dart and the Dodge brand’s passion for performance on and off the track.”
The odds are good that if you follow the world of Mopar racing, Bryce Menzies is a name that you will recognize. In addition to being a championship TORC off road truck driver, Menzies also ran twice in the 2012 Global RallyCross schedule in Pastrana’s backup car. He first ran at the 2012 X Games in Los Angeles, finishing a disappointing 14th along with filling in for Travis after his shoulder surgery at the 2012 GRC final where he finished 8th. Those are particularly impressive outings but considering how little experience he had last season in both the Dart and the GRC format, we couldn’t very well expect him to climb into the car and win.
On the other hand, Travis Pastrana was regularly one of the faster drivers in the 2012 GRC season but due to mechanical gremlins, a separated shoulder and some cheap driving maneuvers by Toomas Heikenen and Andy Scott, Pastrana failed to finish on the podium more than once last season. However, when things went well for Travis and his team at the New Hampshire event in 2012, he won the race handily. Provided that he can avoid any injuries or mechanical problems, Pastrana should be among the front runners all season.
“Travis Pastrana exemplifies what action sports activities are all about and he fits perfectly with the Dodge brand and the SRT Motorsports team,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports. “There is no doubt that Travis’ personality and driving skills will continue to bring energy and excitement to this season.”
The 2013 Global RallyCross season kicks off later this month when the teams had to Foz do Iguaçu for X Games Brazil. The first 2013 GRC race on US soil will take place at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as part of the NASCAR weekend on July 13th. While having two teams in the lineup for each event should improve the SRT Motorsports teams chances of success, they will not come easy. In addition to last year’s top drivers including Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan, Ken Block and Marcus Gronholm, the GRC expects to see more European rally champs trying their hand at the US-based events in the 2013 season. Driver’s like Euro rally superstar Sébastien Loeb could make their presence more well known for 2013 and Loeb’s runaway win at the 2012 X Games in LA could be a sign of what is coming for the American rally drivers in the 2013 season.
Along with the announcement of two full time teams for the 2013 Global RallyCross season, Pastrana Racing put together the short video below showcasing the new Dodge Dart rally car that includes some awesome Days of Thunder lines and a whole lot of Dart rally car hoonage. Enjoy!