New racing series, Global Rallycross Europe, to debut next May

Photo and logo courtesy Global Rallycross Europe/Christian Houdek
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European racing fans will have a new series to cheer for in 2019, as Global Rallycross Europe will soon make its debut.

Riding a slogan of “Be Loud, Be Wild, Be Real,” GRC Europe will feature the new Pantera RX6, a 500-plus horsepower livery for series contestants that was introduced Thursday at the series’ unveiling in Vienna, Austria.

GRC Europe will host races in England, Italy, Hungary, France, Germany and Austria or Slovakia. The 2019 season will run from May to October. The inaugural schedule is still being finalized.

Three-time World Rallycross Championship winner and Austrian native Max J. Pucher is CEO of MJP Promotions and founder of GRC Europe.

Pucher believes the series will be a success, based upon top competition but also with affordable costs for teams and drivers.

“It is a very exciting moment for me and my team,” Pucher said in a media release. “Standing here with the series set up and the new car in front of us, is as breathtaking as standing on the grid, when the lights go green.”

The plan for the new series is to race upon short, mixed-surface tracks.

“Rallycross is explosive, it’s pure emotion,” two-time Le Mans winner and former Formula One driver Alex Wurz said. “While driving, you are so focused, you nearly forget to breathe.”

Wurz’s father, Franz, is a former two-time European Rallycross winner and introduced the sport to his native Austria nearly 50 years ago. The younger Wurz plans to be a competitor in the new GRC Europe series.

“I have grown up with Rallycross,” Alex Wurz said. “Hence, I love the sport and fully support this project.”

Plans are to have a total of 15 Pantera RX6 cars entered in the GRC Europe GRC Titan championship class. A second category, GRC Supercars, will also be part of the series.

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Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
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Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.