Subaru Rally Team USA announced today the selection of Sverre Isachsen of Norway, the defending FIA European Rallycross Champion, to fill the team's guest driver slot at the 2010 ESPN Summer X Games 16 in Los Angeles, California on July 31st. Isachsen will join Subaru Rally Team USA star drivers Travis Pastrana and Dave Mirra for the debut of SuperRally at the X Games, and each will drive a 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI modified for Rallycross with an over 550 horsepower Boxer engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.
"I'm very excited to come to a huge event like the Summer X Games and to have the opportunity to be teammates to legends like Pastrana and Mirra is very special," said Isachsen. "I think a Rallycross style event will fit perfectly with the X Games because it is a very entertaining motorsport with a lot of action. Rallycross has traditionally been a European motorsport, but I think the concept can be big in the USA and I'm happy to be a part of the very first Rallycross event in America!"
Isachsen was the Norwegian Rallycross Champion in 1999, 2000 and 2004 and debuted in the top level FIA European Rallycross Championship (the ERC) in 2002. After finishing fourth in the ERC standings three years in a row (2006-2008) Isachsen achieved ultimate success last year and was crowned the ERC Champion. His title defense in 2010 has been exceptional so far and Sverre leads the 2010 ERC standings after four of ten rounds, having won two events outright this year already.
"SuperRally will be an exciting addition to the X Games extreme line-up and it is only fitting to have the world's best Rallycross driver be a part of it," said Todd Lawrence, Promotions and Sponsorship Manager, Subaru of America, Inc. "Subaru has been a competitive force at the X Games for four years and we are thrilled to have Isachsen join Subaru Rally Team USA."
Developed from European Rallycross in which Isachsen is a dominant force, SuperRally features direct head-to-head competition with four cars at a time on a tight dirt course within the massive LA Coliseum, in downtown Los Angeles. The new format should prove especially exciting for America fans as the rally cars will bump, jump and slide together in a furious sprint of just a few short laps. Subaru drivers Pastrana and Mirra will compete in both Rally Car Racing and SuperRally and Isachsen will focus exclusively on SuperRally.
Although Isachsen will be the most experienced and accomplished Rallycross driver at X Games 16 he is realistic about the challenge ahead. "The track, the car and the competitors will be new for me, so let's just see how it goes!"
Since 2006 the ESPN X Games has featured the Rally Car Racing event as part of multi-sport lineup that includes action sports such as skateboarding, freestyle motocross and BMX. The inclusion of rallying at the X Games with its live television coverage and a live audience of tens of thousands has helped rallying achieve widespread awareness and popularity in America over the past four years. Subaru has earned nine of the 13 possible medals in the past four X Games Rally Car Racing events. The event features two rally cars at a time running on a stadium based parallel course, which prevents the cars from direct contact. ESPN adds SuperRally for the first time this year modeled after the successful FIA European Rallycross Championship.
Three additional exhibition style events are planned by sanctioning body Rally America later this year at New Jersey Motorsports Park, with plans for multi-venue national series in 2011. Isachsen will play a key role in helping provide Rallycross training and advice to SRTUSA team drivers as well as help introduce his sport to American fans. Subaru Rally Team USA has won the Rally America National Championship title for the past four years (2006 - 2009).