On Monday, Travis Pastrana confirmed his plans to compete in the 2012 Global RallyCross Championship, announcing a new partnership with Dodge and SRT Motorsports and unveiling the 2013 Dodge Dart he'll be piloting in the series. "Can't wait to put it on the podium," said Pastrana, alerting his Facebook fans to the Dodge announcement on Monday morning. The GRC series begins on May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and features six events through September, including the RallyCross events at X Games 2012 in Los Angeles on June 30 and July 1.
The news follows Pastrana's announcement earlier this month that he'll be racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and will also make his long-awaited NASCAR Nationwide Series debut on April 17 at Richmond International Speedway. Pastrana missed his scheduled Nationwide debut in 2011 after sustaining injuries in the Moto X Best Trick contest at X Games 17 and has said he'll be scaling back on freestyle motocross events and some of his other extreme pursuits in 2012 to focus on racing, but he's still apparently fine with balancing a busy schedule.
"When I first heard about GRC I was really interested, and after watching some of the rounds last year and then actually competing at X Games I was hooked," Pastrana said in a statement on Monday. "Now to be able to partner with Dodge to field my own program this year is a dream come true. The new Dodge Dart offers the perfect platform for rally cross, and I look forward to putting it on the podium all season long."
Pastrana, a four-time Rally America champion, helped launch the Global RallyCross Championship Series at X Games 16 in 2010 and managed to compete in the X Games RallyCross event in 2011 with a modified hand paddle system just two days after injuring his leg. Now, back to full strength and in the midst of an intense training regimen, Pastrana's podium-topping boasts for the 2012 season are more than just braggadocio. Still, he'll have his work cut out for him: Other confirmed riders for the 2012 series include 2011 champion and three-time X Games Rally gold medalist Tanner Foust, two-time World Rally champion Marcus Grönholm, 2011 X Games Rally gold medalist Liam Doran, Formula Drift champion Rhys Millen, BMX legend Dave Mirra, and Ken Block, Pastrana's friend, DC Shoe Co. sponsor, and perpetual rally rival.
CourtesyRendering of 2013 Dodge Dart rally car that will be driven by Travis Pastrana in the 2012 Global RallyCross Championship.
"Travis is a living example of what action sports activities are all about, so he fits in perfectly with the youthfulness and passion for performance of the Dodge brand and the SRT Motorsports team," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of the Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, in a statement on Monday. "He's proven that he can handle just about anything with wheels, so it's going to be great to watch him pilot our new Dodge Dart in Global RallyCross.
Pastrana ended his multi-year partnership with Subaru America in 2010 and his lack of a new rally car sponsorship deal left many race fans wondering if was planning a shift in emphasis to focus on his new NASCAR career.
Reid Bigland, President and CEO of Dodge, ended that speculation on Monday in a statement welcoming Pastrana to the fold. "At Dodge, racing is an integral part of our heritage and embodies our competitive spirit, so we're very excited to announce the next chapter in racing for Dodge with our all-new Dodge Dart," Bigland said. "The new Dart Global RallyCross Championship car with 600 horsepower and driver Travis Pastrana takes our passion for performance to all new heights."
According to a news release from Dodge, Pastrana's custom-built car will be powered by a "2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, 16-valve turbo-charged 600-horsepower engine mated to a Sedav 4-wheel drive gear box that puts out more than 550 lb.-ft. of torque" and goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in as little as 1.9 seconds (the production model of the car will feature a 184 horsepower engine with 171 lb.-ft. of torque).