The name “Team Red Bull” may be sort of an anomaly here, as one of these three cars will be prepared independently from the others. Travis Pastrana’s Pastrana199 Racing will maintain cars for Pastrana and newcomer Bryce Menzies, but X Games debutant and stage rally legend Sebastien Loeb will be attempting to conquer yet another form of racing when he and his Citroen World Rally Team debut a purpose-built DS3 in Sunday’s event.
Here’s what to expect from the three Red Bull-backed vehicles this weekend:
#199 Travis Pastrana (11th in points, 12; best finish 8th, 1 heat win): Two accidents at Charlotte plus two accidents at Texas led to Pastrana earning a guaranteed berth at X Games by the skin of his teeth. It seems like a lot of things this year simply haven’t been destined to go the way of the four-time Rally America champion and two-time X Games head-to-head gold medalist. Pastrana is happy with his Dodge Dart and confident in his own abilities, but luck is an equally important part of the game, and he hasn’t had it yet this year. But a shot of extra mojo, in the competition where Pastrana made himself a household name, could change all that.
#1 Sebastien Loeb (making series debut): When Travis Pastrana initially called out fellow Red Bull driver Loeb to compete at X Games, it was merely a publicity stunt. But Loeb, winner of the past eight World Rally Championships, isn’t one to back down from a challenge, and his factory Citroen team will be equipping him with a new car for the event. As with two-time WRC winner Marcus Gronholm, Loeb’s professionalism in a rally car is bound to make him one of the event’s top drivers, if not Citroen’s second consecutive gold medal in America (remember, Liam Doran took top honors last year).
#99 Bryce Menzies (making series debut): Pastrana entered a second Dodge Dart for Felipe Albuquerque at Texas with disappointing results, but off-road truck driver Menzies will make his rallycross debut in the car in Los Angeles. Coming off of his second Baja 500 victory earlier this month, Menzies was the 2011 Dirt Sports Driver of the Year and just came off of a visit to DirtFish Rally School in Snoqualmie, Washington.
- Chris Leone