In advance of the first Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Hyundai Motor America announced its continuing motorsports partnership with Rhys Millen Racing (RMR) for the 2012 GRC season. This year, RMR has extensively retuned its Veloster rallycross car, benefitting from last year’s introductory season in the GRC series. Hyundai is the lead sponsor for Rhys Millen’s RMR Veloster rallycross entry, leveraging his diverse racing career with impressive victories in RallyCross, Pikes Peak Hillclimb, Formula Drift, and a wide spectrum of stunt driving.
This summer, the Hyundai Veloster Turbo joins the hot-selling Hyundai Veloster introduced last year with its unique third-door design and efficient direct-injected powertrain. The Turbo model boasts a hefty 63 horsepower advantage over the normally-aspirated model, generating an impressive 201 horsepower from only 1.6 liters of displacement. The fully race-prepared RMR Veloster rallycross turbo engine generates more than 500 peak horsepower from its four-cylinder turbocharged and intercooled powerplant, for explosive acceleration out of tight-radius corners.
“Global rallycross is the perfect competitive motorsports arena for the Veloster. Both naturally appeal to younger enthusiasts. Rallycross offers high-intensity, video-game-like pace with each heat, challenging tight-radius corners, powerful drifts, big-gap jumps, and even the occasional paint-swapping opportunity,” said Steve Shannon, Hyundai’s vice president of marketing. “This fan-immersive, high-intensity racing environment complements the power, agility, and fun-to-drive character of Veloster perfectly. Likewise, Millen’s aggressive racing style coupled with superb precision make the most out of Veloster’s lightweight agility, creating a thrilling and formidable GRC rally car.”
The 2012 Global RallyCross Championship season features seven race events, including two rounds at the ESPN Summer X-Games. The X-Games were one of the first public venues introducing the concept of rallycross to U.S. racing enthusiasts. The GRC circuit at each venue features a series of tight turns and a large big-gap jump where the cars become airborne, often flying over rallycross cars crossing underneath, with the entire circuit visible to GRC fans for the duration of the heat. The GRC season will kick-off at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Saturday, May 26, where fans are invited to get up-close with both technicians and drivers in the GRC paddock area. This season will allow RMR fans to view the rallycross and production versions of the Veloster, pick up a complimentary team gift, and receive an autograph from Millen.
“I’m thrilled to represent Hyundai and the Veloster in the GRC series for a second season,” said Millen. “The RMR Veloster demonstrates just how impressive the production Hyundai Veloster is for everyday enthusiasts. GRC fans get to experience rallycross versions of affordable, fun-to-drive cars exploited to their full race potential. My daily driver is a Veloster in racing white, and I love it. The 6-speed manual is crisp-shifting, the audio system cranks out my favorite tunes, and the hands-free Bluetooth connectivity is perfect for staying in touch with my race team. And while it’s perfect for the daily commute, I can’t wait to compete in our RMR Veloster rallycross car.”
A second Hyundai Veloster also will be competing in the GRC series, driven by Stephan Verdier. Verdier’s Veloster is sponsored by Disney XD. Hyundai also partners with RMR in the Formula Drift series with the drift-prepared Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
2012 GLOBAL RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
May 26: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte, North Carolina
June 9: Texas Motor Speedway, Dallas, Texas
June 30-31: Summer X-Games, Los Angeles, California
July 14: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, New Hampshire
September 1: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Atlanta, Georgia
September 29: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nevada
World Champion driver Rhys “Mad Skills” Millen also pilots the RMR Hyundai Genesis Coupe in the Formula Drift Championship. Millen’s driving credentials include movie and advertising stunts, 2005 USA Drifting Champion, 2008 Formula Drift World Champion, six Pikes Peak world records and his 2008 New Year’s Eve Las Vegas truck flip at Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. Behind Millen’s success in the driver’s seat is an experienced team of engineers and expert fabricators in race preparation.
words & pix: Hyundai