Hyundai Returns to Rally for First-Ever X Games Rally
Champion Driver Paul Choiniere and Co-Driver Jeff Becker to Battle for Gold
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., July 19 -- Hyundai Motor America and Libra International Racing have joined forces to bring Pro Rally to the first-ever X Games Rally, Aug. 2-5, 2006. The first eight stages of the rally will be held in the Los Angeles area on a natural terrain course, while the "Super Special" will take place at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, Aug. 5.
2006 X Games Rally Schedule
Date Event Location
Aug. 2, 2006 Stages 1-8 Los Angeles, Calif. area
Aug. 3, 2006 Rally Car Racing practice The Home Depot Center,
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. PST Carson, Calif.
Aug. 4, 2006 Rally Car Racing practice The Home Depot Center,
2 p.m. - 4 p.m. PST Carson, Calif.
Aug. 5, 2006 "Super Special" The Home Depot Center,
From inside the cockpit of the Hyundai Tiburon rally car, eight-time U.S. champion driver Paul Choiniere and co-driver Jeffrey Becker will compete against top international rally talent including World Rally Champion veteran Colin McRae, 2005 Rally America champion Pat Richard and motocross superstar turned Pro Rally driver Travis Pastrana.
Broadcast live on ABC Network television, the final round "Super Special" will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, Saturday, Aug. 5, as an expected full house of fans will watch from the stands at The Home Depot Center. For the very first time in the United States, rally fans will be able to watch world-class drivers compete against each other on a closed-course run over twists and jumps on a specially built dirt track in and around The Home Depot Center.
Rallying -- Challenging World's Best Cars and Drivers for More Than a Century
Attracting millions of fans worldwide, and the inspiration for a multitude of video games, rally dates back more than 100 years. Organized in stages, rallies are based on straightforward speed over stretches of road closed to other traffic. From asphalt mountain passes to rough forest tracks, ice and snow or desert sand, rally roads challenge the crew and test the car's performance and reliability. Distinguished by running not in a circuit but on real roads, drivers and co-drivers race between set control points, the challenge being to get from start to finish in the shortest time possible.
The award-winning Hyundai Tiburon has been converted to four-wheel drive and is equipped with a 298-hp, Garrett turbo-charged Hyundai Beta engine, mated to a Gemini close-ratio gearbox with special differential and Tilton carbon clutch. Compomotive wheels and BF Goodrich special rally tires complete the package.
Paul Choiniere and Jeff Becker
Eight-time Sport Car Club of America (SCCA) National Rally Champion Paul Choiniere and co-driver Jeff Becker were two of the first drivers to receive an invitation to participate in the X Games. With an endless list of winning titles dating back nearly 20 years, Choiniere and Becker have been sealing wins for Hyundai and Libra Racing since 1992, with Hyundai as their official sponsor since 1995. Choiniere and Becker will compete against 11 other teams, including Subaru and Mitsubishi, as they try to clinch their 41st victory for Libra Racing and Hyundai -- and make history as the first-ever X Games Rally Car champions.
All members of the media planning to attend the 2006 X Games must apply online at www.espneventmedia.com for credentials.
About Libra International Racing
Owned and operated by 11-time SCCA PRO Rally champion John Buffum, Libra Racing has been building and maintaining race and rally cars since 1972. Libra rally cars have won more than 162 races and 18 of 32 SCCA PRO and Rally America national Championships.
About the Annual X Games
The X Games is the definitive annual action sports competition featuring more than 150 of the world's best athletes competing in: BMX Freestyle, Moto X, Skateboard, Surfing and new to this year's lineup, Rally Car Racing. X Games Los Angeles-based venues include STAPLES Center and The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. All competitions at STAPLES Center and The Home Depot Center are ticketed events, which can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations, Ticketmaster.com and the box offices at STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center and Team LA at Universal CityWalk.
ESPN and ABC will provide 14 hours of original LIVE X Games 12 programming from August 3-6. ESPN will also present four late-night highlight programs starting August 4, resulting in a total of 18 hours of original programming for X Games 12. SportsCenter, ESPN's flagship daily news program, will report LIVE from X Games 12 from August 3-6. Each of those nights, the 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter will contain event coverage from X Games 12.
About Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai Motor America entered U.S. ProRally racing in 1995, lending factory support to Libra Racing. With teamowner and racing legend John Buffum, driver Paul Choiniere and co-driver Jeff Becker, Hyundai quickly emerged as a dominant force in rally competition.
So it looks like, for now at least, Hyundai's not gonna be using the MC Accent as their next WRC car. Kinda disappointing, I guess...the Tiburon doesn't seem like it would be a good Rally car, having such different dimensions from other Rally cars.
I'm also surprised that they're using the Beta engine in the car...not the Delta. Maybe it has to do with class regulations and stuff, I don't know.