We’re in a weird place right now. After years of build up, Nitro Rallycross’s first global (and electric) series has finally arrived. The talk of what’s to come is now a thing of the past.
Or is it? The Nitro Circus family rarely stands still, and its ringleader Travis Pastrana has a few ideas of what can come next.
Getting the series to Lydden Hill was a massive step for a number of reasons. It’s the furthest afield Nitro Rallycross has ever gone; it’s its first event at an established rallycross venue; and, perhaps most importantly, acceptance from the Lydden Hill crowd would equate to a job well done all round.
Looking forward though, while Pastrana was happy with how the weekend in the UK went, he is eyeing a few improvements on the event side. Things that should be easily doable at the other nine rounds in Sweden, Finland, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Canada, but might be a little trickier at the notoriously strict Lydden Hill.
“There’s a lot we can do on the show aspect,” Pastrana told DirtFish.
“Lydden Hill is a place that we really wanted to go, we were excited that we were able to make some adjustments on the track that we thought were more Nitro style – the big Talladega banked first turn, the jump.
“This was stuff like ‘this is the Mona Lisa’ and we’re trying to add improvements to something that a lot say can’t be improved so that was a huge step.
“The fans love to see racing back at Lydden Hill at this level, but it would be really great to have the noise ordinance which is tough here,” he added, alluding to the strict noise limits imposed on the track by local regulations.
“The electric cars work nice for that, but we still want to have the Supercars, we want to have everything else.
“We want to have freestyle motocross, we want to have AC/DC blaring as loud as it possibly can be and be able to turn the speakers up to where we put the atmosphere up to where we need it.
“So there’s a lot that we can improve, but to get here, to get a race of Nitro Rallycross at Lydden Hill, this is a dream come true.”
The track changes that were made ahead of the weekend – doing away with the old Chessons Drift in favor of the new Talladega banked turn, adding a jump on the Dover Slope, and moving the joker to the end of the lap – were a big commitment to make, and while they could be further refined for future events, Pastrana was pleased with the outcome.
“Heck, we were four-wide going into the first turn. Unfortunately, I was on the outside and overestimated my driving abilities.
“But at the end of the day, the fact that we could go four-wide into the first turn, and then all of us all thought we were going to come out in front, that’s a pretty good start.
“There was a big pinch off after the Talladega berm, it got really narrow over the jump and then we were dragging some mud and water onto the track which proved to be pretty tough for some of the Lites cars.
“But at the end of the day, you learn from every time and Nitro Rallycross isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s not supposed to be perfect.
“It’s supposed to be about being smart where you can be smart, taking chances where you can take chances, and having the opportunity for the drivers to shine, and that is what the electric has given every driver a chance to really prove what they’re made of, and I think that’s pretty cool.
“I’m looking forward to a year where we have more suspension than we’ve ever driven, more power than we’ve ever driven, and I think the races are going to be that much better.”