Looking Back Nitro Rallycross 2018
Nitrocross (formerly Nitro Rallycross) returns to the place where it all started this weekend, Salt Lake City Utah. Let’s take a look back to the first ever NRX event back in 2018.
What Was Nitro Rallycross?
Nitro Rallycross is the brainchild of Travis Pastrana. If you don’t know who Travis Pastrana is the best way to describe him is somebody who consistently pushes the limits of what should be achievable by a human and a person who has probably broken every bone in their body. If that doesn’t give you an idea of the tracks he’s built then I don’t know what will. Anyways, getting back on track. Nitro Rallycross became known for their over-the-top Rallycross tracks. That are a mix between a regular RX track and a Motocross track. The track in Utah which was used in 2018,2019,2021 and 2023 features a 100 ft gap jump. The gap jump goes over a tabletop jump which goes over the tunnel for the joker lap. Before the start of the 2023-24 season, Nitro Rallycross rebranded to Nitrocross.
The 2018 Event
In 2018 Travis Pastrana and Nitro Circus debuted Nitro Rallycross. A one-off event that saw the top RX drivers from all over the world compete. The 2018 event saw names such as Timmy Hansen, Mattias Ekstrom, Tanner Foust, Ken Block, Travis Pastrana and Scott Speed. Subaru Motorsports USA showed up with 3 cars. With Chris Atkinson, Patrik Sandell and Travis Pastrana each behind the wheel of one. Ken Block and Steve Arpin drove Ford Focus’s. Ekstrom in his Audi S1. Speed and Foust in Volkswagen Beetle’s, and finally Timmy Hansen in a Peugeot 208.
Nitro Rallycross 2018 Results
Timmy Hansen topped the day of racing, allowing him to skip the heat rounds and advance directly to the semi-finals. Scott Speed and Chris Atkinson also advance straight to the semi-finals. Atkinson set the fastest time during Qualifying but would retire before the day’s end due to his suspension breaking. He returned for the second day of the event. Pastrana, Sandell, Foust, Arpin and Ekstrom battled through heat rounds. Ken Block’s status was unknown heading into the second day after he retired during the first day of competition.
Timmy Hansen, Tanner Foust, Chris Atkinson and Steve Arpin battled in the first Semi-final. Timmy Hansen won the first heat, setting the fastest overall time of both heats. Scott Speed, Travis Pastrana, Patrik Sandell and Mattias Ekstrom battled in the second semi-final. Scott Speed set the fastest time in that heat but was still slower than Hansen. Meaning he started in second for the final.
Timmy Hansen started the final in pole position, with Scott Speed to his right on the start line. Ekstrom, Atkinson, and Foust filled row two. Pastrana, Arpin and Sandell filled the third and final row. Ken Block was supposed to fill the final spot in the final but was unable to start the race. Turning a 9-car final into an 8-car final as a result. Pastrana and Speed crashed out within the first 5 corners due to a pile-up. Ekstrom and Timmy Hansen battled for most of the race. Timmy Hansen ultimately came out on top. Taking home the inaugural Nitro Rallycross win. Ekstrom finished second and Tanner Foust finished third.