The big Formula One track down in Austin that wants to snatch up every series it can for a race weekend just added another to its 2018 schedule. The FIA World Rallycross Championship will race in the U.S. for the first time ever next year, at Circuit of The Americas, of course.
World RX and its dirt-slinging rally cars will be part of a “festival weekend” at COTA next September, just a few weeks before F1, with a track constructed using the grandstand seating and part of the big track at turns 12 through 15. That’s the same general area where COTA has run rallycross courses before, since the track had asphalt/dirt circuits set up for Red Bull Global Rallycross and Stadium Super Trucks during X Games Austin for a few years.
The United States race will be the 10th round of the World RX season next year, but it won’t be some kind of trial run with the track—the series already signed a five-year contract with COTA. World RX also published its 2018 schedule around the time it announced the COTA race, with nine European events, a race in Canada, an event in South Africa and the trip to the U.S. for the first time ever.
For a series like World RX, “first time ever” isn’t as significant as it sounds. The championship has only been around since 2014, meaning that it only took four years to get to America. And by the time these next five years are up—so long as the COTA contract holds—we’ll be able to say that World RX has had a U.S race date for the majority of its years in existence.
But that’s five years away. For now, let’s all be thrilled that rallycross is back at COTA—and that COTA got dibs first, because at least that gives other tracks within a 1,000-mile radius hope that they may one day get a race themselves.