Tickets are now on sale for the return of the Red Bull Global Rallycross to Atlantic City in August.
The racing series announced Feb. 2 its return to Atlantic City's Bader Field on Saturday, Aug. 12 and Sunday, Aug. 13 as part of its 12-race series this year. Unlike last year's event, this year the series will have two points races during its weekend stop.
"We're really happy to have them back," Dan Gallagher, national sales manager for the Atlantic City Sports Commission and Meet AC, said in February. "Because it's televised on NBC, it's a great way to showcase Atlantic City and the sport."
Last year's single-day event drew a large and enthusiastic crowd. Although event organizers did not release an official attendance, spectators filled the general admission bleachers to watch the races.
Scott Speed won last year's event en route to winning his second straight Red Bull Global Rallycross Supercar title. Speed is also expected to be racing again this year in Atlantic City.
The races are conducted on a 1.102-mile track made of 70 percent cement and 30 percent dirt. Cars are capable of reaching 100 miles per hour.
According to a news release, this year’s event will see a brand new track layout, as drivers will race in the opposite direction on the Bader Field runways. Many of last year’s straightaways, tight turns, and dirt elements will be preserved on the new layout, but with drivers approaching the course counterclockwise in 2017.
The track will definitely include the series' signature 70-foot dirt jump and a Joker Lap, a short cut on the track that each driver is allowed to take once during a race.
"This track was one of the most technical tracks we've ever driven on," Speed told a NBC announcer after last year's race. "We've never had a track that developed such big ruts. It was one of those tracks where you have to navigate grooves and pot holes that were getting dug out."
This season's schedule begins in Memphis, Tennessee on April 29 and also features stops in Louisville, Kentucky (May 21); Thompson, Connecticut (June 3-4); an undetermined site in Canada (June 17-18); Indianapolis (July 9); Atlantic City, Seattle (Sept. 9-10) and Los Angeles (Oct. 14).
Atlantic City, Seattle and Los Angeles are the only repeat stops from last season.
“Atlantic City produced some of the most over-the-top rallycross action we saw in 2016,” said Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne. “From late-race passes to championship drama, last year’s event had it all. We expect even more wheel-to-wheel battles this season as the series returns to Bader Field with a doubleheader event weekend.”
Atlantic City qualifies in terms of popularity and uniqueness, which is what convinced officials to expand it into a two-day event.
Although the races are held at Bader Field, the Atlantic City casino skyline forms a dramatic and impressive backdrop.
"It's an incredible event and to have it for two days is great," Gallagher said. "It's not often that you get all the best riders in this location. We're over the moon."
Tickets for Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City are on sale now at www.redbullglobalrallycross.com/tickets. Tickets range from $55 to $150. Tickets purchased at the door will be $5 more than regularly priced admission. All tickets include full access to the paddock, where fans can get up close to the cars and stars of Red Bull GRC. Kids 12 and under are free to attend with a ticketed adult.
The race is part of what is shaping up to be a busy summer sports schedule in the city. Other events scheduled by the Atlantic City Sports Commission include Major League Triathlon Atlantic City on June 3, Red Bull Surf and Rescue competition on July 19, Atlantic City Triathlon Aug. 5 and Ironman Atlantic City Sept. 17.
Check out photos from Day One of the Red Bull Global Rallycross in A.C.
Press of Atlantic City Sports Editor Mark Melhorn rides with rallycross driver Scott Speed during practice runs on the course. Saturday August 27 2016 GRC Red Bull Global Rallycross first day of racing at Bader Field Atlantic City. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)