Ailsa Harvey


A sprint form of automobile racing, the sport of rallycross is held on a mixed-surface racing circuit. Predominantly popular in countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Great Britain, the sport uses specifically built road cars.

The sport is a combination of rallying and circuit racing, with the short races taking place on mixed surfaces; dirt and asphalt. Races often occur in amphitheatres, and the vehicles used are able to accelerate from 0mph to 60mph in less than two seconds.

Rallycross events consist of an open practice session, four timed qualifying heats, two knock out semi-finals and one final. A maximum of five cars compete in the heats, which involves over four laps.

Originally, this motorsport began in 1967 as a TV show for ITV’s World of Sport, which invited rally drivers on to the programme to race. The producer, and subsequent inventor of rallycross, was Robert Reed. Following the first rallycross event, the sport quickly became popular, with both ITV and BBC broadcasting the action.

Did you know…

– After the sport became popular in Britain, other European countries soon began competing. The first country in mainland Europe to hold an event in rallycross was the Netherlands in 1969.
– Competitive racers compete in global events such as the World Rallycross Championship. The current standings for this year show Johan Kristoffersson from Sweden to be in the lead. The top Brit is Liam Doranwho sits in 16th place.

What do you think of rallycross? Have you ever come across this sport before?