What's it like to ride inside a Global RallyCross car? Imagine yourself strapped to a rocket that is itself confined in a tight, highly-technical course consisting of dirt, tarmac, water, and the occasional 70-foot jump and you'll have a rough idea of just how intense of an experience it is to sit in the second seat beside the driver of one of these machines.
For those of you unfamiliar with the sport, the Global RallyCross Championship is racing series that just wrapped up its second season in the United States. The Championship is contested on a wide variety of tracks and surfaces around the country, and it includes all of the best elements of rallying - drifting, intense car control, and hopped-up factory-supported cars - with a side-by-side racing format ripped straight out of the X Games.
The chariots used by the stars of the GRC circuit are for the most part based on hatchbacks like the Ford Fiesta, the Hyundai Veloster, and the Subaru WRX STi, although there are a few privateers running cars as diverse as the Saab 9-3. These beasts bear a striking resemblance to their factory counterparts, if you discount all of the aero goodies, but underneath their skin they sport 600 horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engines and all-wheel drive systems that allow them to rocket to 60-mph in less than two seconds. That's faster than a Formula One car.