The X Games is an annual sporting event put together by sports broadcaster ESPN, and it focuses on extreme, adrenaline-fueled, action sports. The inaugural games were held back in the summer of 1995 in Rode Island. Seems like only yesterday when we watched Tony Hawk pull off the first 900 (two and a half revolutions) on his skateboard in competition.
Despite having 200 less horsepower than his competitors, ACP stayed focused on precision driving to get it done.
K&N sponsored North American Rally Champion Andrew "ACP" Comrie-Picard took third place overall, and the Bronze Medal at this year's unusually challenging X-Games.
One of the most visceral events at the games each year is Rally Car Racing, which involves highly customized cars on a dirt and paved track, and combines skill elements from off and on road racing, and drifting. Spectators go nuts for the deafening roar of horsepower, the brain rattling vibration, and the grit that collects between their teeth.
This year at the Los Angeles Coliseum, K&N sponsored North American Rally Champion Andrew "ACP" Comrie-Picard took third place overall, and the Bronze Medal, in a usually eventful event.
Along with a difficult course which featured extremely tight turns, steep hills, and the fact that no drivers were able to practice the course, ESPN's decision to replace the traditional navigator in the passenger seat, with an ESPN commentator, became a point of aggravation for some drivers. Many of the twelve best drivers and teams in the country were disqualified after becoming disoriented on the course. Make no mistake about it, the X-Games are as much about spectacle, as they are about competitive sporting. And that's exactly as it was intended and should be.
Adding to the challenges all of the drivers already faced, ACP and his team members had one more hurdle to overcome. A day before they were set to compete in the X-Games they blew their high-spec turbo, and they were forced to compete with a 40mm intake restrictor and a stock Mitsubishi turbo, amongst the rival teams who were competing with 45mm intake restrictors and 200 horsepower more.
"For any racer, as soon as you line up on the starting grid, everything else falls away," said Comrie-Picard.
"Whatever car you're in, however much power it has, whatever problems it may be having, you focus on getting everything out of it and using all your talents to do it. Problems with the car, or weaknesses in the setup, are just things that you integrate into your strategy."
Did the large horsepower discrepancy affect the way Comrie-Picard approached the race this year?
"Having less power makes you focus on the precision and maintaining momentum through the corners, rather than relying on the big horsepower to hurl you to the next corner," explained the Toronto, Ontario driver.
"It's more technical and precise, perhaps. The good thing is that when you do get more power, you are still a driver who can use momentum to the max, and you'll be faster than the guy relying on the power. But even head-to-head, it's fun to be the giant-killer, such as the Mini Cooper winning the Monte Carlo Rally for example."
Up next for the Rally Champion is the RallyCar RallyCross Series in New Jersey, starting August 28th. The event is the first in a series of three RallyCross events to take place at the New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) this year, and will be broadcast on ESPN2.
"I'm really looking forward to this and the 2011 series, as I think we'll be very competitive, and I think the series will be huge. Also, of course, I'm drifting the Dodge Motorsports-SHRacing Viper in Las Vegas on August 21."
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