At high noon Sunday, teams sidled up to the starting line on South Figueroa Street for the X Games 18 RallyCross heat races. Groups of four cars comprised each of the four heats in which order and starting positions were based on Saturday's seeding times. The fastest two cars in each heat automatically advanced to the final race. In contrast to the rapid scheduling of previous years, the heats were punctuated by TV coverage of the Men's Skateboard Street event. The last-minute addition of SRT USA's David Higgins to the roster meant Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team USA was represented by a driver in each heat.
The biggest event highlight for the team came in Sverre Isachsen's heat. Placed in the outside spot, Isachsen was furthest from the preferred line through the first turn. When the light went green, Sverre's #11 Subaru WRX STI rocketed off the start, nailing the hole shot and securing the inside line through turn one. The Viking Warrior proceeded to drive an absolutely flawless four laps of the 0.7-mile RallyCross course and bagged first place in his heat. David Higgins also advanced directly to the final after running a clean race with a second-place finish in his heat. Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team USA's Dave Mirra and Bucky Lasek were seated in the Last Chance Qualifier where they were edged out of placement for the main race.
A staccato chorus of anti-lag and screeching tires echoed through downtown Los Angeles Sunday afternoon as ten vicious RallyCross cars tore from the starting grid of the final race. The pack of cars gunned for the first turn with a collective strength in excess of five thousand horsepower. Again placed in the far outside of the first row, Sverre Isachsen made contact with another vehicle as he battled for a safe line through the bottleneck of turn one. Four turns later, the impact of the jump landing exacerbated the effects of the earlier impact and Sverre retired from the event. David Higgins suffered a mechanical issue which prevented him issuing the same caliber of attack he had demonstrated in the heat races.
RallyCross at the X Games has grown to an incredibly competitive level. Though not on the podium at this event, Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team USA has continued to evolve in pace with the sport and has demonstrated that they are a competitive force. The Global RallyCross series continues in two weeks with a race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14th coinciding with a NASCAR Nationwide Series race.