Circuit of the Americas will sign a five-year deal to bring World Rallycross to Austin starting in 2018, track officials confirmed Monday. The FIA World RX event is tentatively scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 29-30.
“It will be the first-ever U.S. stop for these guys, and we think it adds a nice variety to our racing menu,” COTA chairman Bobby Epstein said.
World Rallycross visited Canada this season, but most of its dozen race weekends are in Europe. The 2017 season is scheduled to conclude Nov. 10 in South Africa.
Epstein said a stadium will be built between turns 12 and 15 to accommodate fans who want to get close to the action. Only a portion of COTA’s 3.4-mile layout will be needed for World Rallycross, and a mixed-surface layout will be installed in the stadium area.
World RX, divided into four classes, consists of a series of short races — four to six laps — in souped-up sports cars with high horsepower and torque. There is a playoff-style format.
“World RX is such a favorite with the younger audience,” Epstein said. “It’s also great for people with a short attention span like me. Lots of short, quick races.”
COTA has held Rallycross events in the past on a temporary circuit at the 2014 and 2015 X Games Austin.
“The United States has been on our radar since we began in 2014, and we’ve been in contact with a number of cities,” World RX managing director Paul Bellamy told autosport.com. “COTA shared our vision and can deliver a key objective of building a first-class rallycross facility.”
Two other motorsports series — IMSA WeatherTech and WEC Lone Star Le Mans — previously dropped off the 2018 COTA calendar.