SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has long enjoyed an impressive relationship with the action sports community.
The next chapter in that story was recently announced as Travis Pastrana, Nitro Circus and the Utah Sports Commission will combine again to bring the Nitro World Games to Utah for a two-day event, set for Aug. 16-17 at the Utah Motorsports Campus in Erda, Tooele County. The Aug. 17 events are open to the public.
Returning to the competition lineup are the freestyle motocross best trick and moto quarterpipe events, but many think the addition of Nitro Rallycross in 2018 might take the spot of crowd favorite and become the highlight of the weekend. Following its 2018 debut, the track created by Pastrana, a first-of-its-kind rally track, has been a fixture at the Utah Motorsports Campus, allowing for Pastrana to create new track features ahead of the event.
“Last year we proved that race cars could fly and this year we have redesigned the track to be even crazier.” Pastrana said. “All of the athletes couldn’t be more excited that we are heading back to the UMC with Nitro World Games and Nitro Rallycross. Utah has been Nitro’s home since the beginning, and we are excited to continue pushing the limits of action sports right here where it started.”
For those not familiar with rallycross, Pastrana was all smiles talking about it but said it’s best seen.
“Rallycross is motocross with a roll cage,” said Pastrana. “Taking the most exciting elements from different rally formats we are bringing it into an exciting head-to-head race environment where the fans can see everything in one location rather than a spread out course. And, in typical Nitro World Games fashion, we progress the industry by building the biggest jumps ever seen on a rallycross course to date.”
Fans won’t want to miss the jam-packed finals featuring unrivaled action, intense competition, and triumphant celebrations. After Nitro Rallycross’s 2018 debut, drivers are impatiently waiting to get back on the track that was dubbed, “the most unique, exciting, fun, amazing Rallycross track ever built” by champion driver Tanner Foust.
“The track is exactly what you would imagine it would be from the mind of Travis Pastrana,” said Foust. “Big banked turns and massive jumps creates a spectacle that from a fans standpoint has to be stunning, but from a driver standpoint, it’s eye-opening. Honestly, driving this course feels like you are in a video game.”
The multiple lines and features, including a 120-foot jump of the Nitro Rallycross track make for intense racing. Fans can expect to see the biggest names in the sport, including Pastrana, 2018 champion Timmy Hansen and Ken Block, contend for a prize purse and bragging rights.
Hansen is a FIA World Rallycross driver and son of 14-time European Rallycross champion Kenneth Hansen.
“First of all, to take this idea from a vision to reality is an incredible achievement,” Hansen said. “In testing of the track, it feels like nothing I have ever raced before. Transitioning from massive jumps to banked turns is an incredible feeling. There are so many possibilities created within this track. Most often in rally racing, there is one line and as a driver you have to find a way to optimize that one line to win the race. With this track for the Nitro World Games, it breeds creativity in driving and that is rare and unique. You have to drive by feeling and that is what makes it so incredible.”
Hansen said the track changes rally racing.
“Rally race cars are capable of so many extreme things, but the courses that we race on, do not showcase what the car can do,” said Hansen. “This track challenges the car and driver to their full potential. Car and driver have to work together beautifully to achieve the win. This is the direction we need to be moving as an industry.”
Pastrana praised the move to the Utah Motorsports Campus in 2018.Comment on this story
“We needed a permanent track with the proper resources to move huge amounts of dirt,” Pastrana said. “We needed a location with a top-level pit area and amenities for the teams. We needed a place that had entertainment for the entire family (like go-karting) that already had restaurants and locations for food trucks and playgrounds set up. We found all of that and much more at the Utah Motorsports Campus. And keeping to our roots in Utah, “The State of Sport,” was the cherry on top. Truly a no-brainer for Nitro Circus.”
Tickets go on sale June 1 at NitroWorldGames.com. A limited number of VIP tickets will be available for $79 which includes access to a premium elevated viewing deck. General admission tickets are available at $39 while kids tickets (12 and under) are available at $25.