Sunday, July 1, 2012


As rescue workers use the jaws of life to cut the cage and roof from Marcus Gronholm's Best Buy Ford Fiesta, Andreas Eriksson, team principal of Olsbergs MSE, tries desperately to get a response from his driver and friend. Photo Neil McDaid /RALLY WORLD NEWS
Los Angeles,California. July 1, 2012. Marcus Gronholm was injured yesterday during qualifying for the 2012 X Games RallyCross. This is the second accident in as many days to strike the Olsberg MSE/Ford racing team. As Marcus improved his speed on each lap during qualifying, he seemed to cut a straighter line on each pass as one would normally do to improve their time.

On this particular lap, just after Marcus had successfully cleared the large metal jump, he seemed to cut just a little too close to a concrete pillar along side the course. The impact tore the left front wheel from the car then turned it violently around sending it backwards into some jersey barriers. There have been some unconfirmed reports that the car sustained some front suspension damage as it landed after taking the jump. 
His concerned crew looked on as the advanced rescue team used the jaws of life to remove the top section of the roll cage and roof from the Fiesta in their effort to ease Marcus from the car.  
Marcus was unconscious as he was taken by ambulance to a nearby Hospital.  After listening to the roar of these angry little RallyCross cars prior to Gronholm's wreck, an eerie silence swept throughout the service area as the ambulance quietly left the scene. The latest update that has been reported by his team and ESPN is that Marcus is awake and is under observation.  We have no confirmed reports as to the extent of his injurys. 
After Toomas Heikkinen's spectacular wreck on Friday evening, GRC and ESPN decided, for the safety of the drivers, they would bridge the gap. This was quickly done by event workers first thing on Saturday morning.

Tanner Foust completing his loop of the giant Hot Wheels Double Loop; Photo Neil McDaid / Rally World News.
The day would get underway on a much lighter note with Tanner Foust and Greg Tracy pulling off a very well orchastrated performance on a larger than life Hot Wheels Double Loop. The loop portion of the stunt went smoothly with Tanner giving Greg the hole shot on the approach runway.  Both cars successfully completed the loop despite traveling a lot slower than many had expected. 

But the real action came as the cars jumped  the gap directly proceeding the loop. As Greg landed, his rear suspension blew out leaving a trail of parts in his wake. Tanner would just barely make it across the gap, clipping the lip on the way across. His Hot Wheels themed car would come bouncing and skipped down the ramp before sliding to a stop behind Tracy.

Sebastien Loeb's Citroen DS3 did not handle the metal jump well.  It suffered both front and rear suspension damage. As we left the service area  last night his service team was desperately seeking a fix for his heavily damaged front suspension. Picture Neil McDaid / Rally World News. 

Qualifying got underway around 5:30 PM PT Saturday and was then stopped due to Gronholm's accident. After Gronholm's car was cleared from the track, several drivers would return to the course to complete their laps. Ken Block would set the fastest time of the day which was somewhat over shadowed by the accident. Cars are schedule to be back on the track later today for X Games Rallycoss. Coverage on ESPN2 starts at 3:00 PM EST.