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X Games Los Angeles 2012 RallyCross Notebook


   Photos: John Rettie

The now-infamous metal jump continued to make headlines during X Games, just as it had in the previous two rounds of the 2012 Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) series.

 

Configuring the Jump

 

Since Figueroa Street is a major thoroughfare in downtown Los Angeles, it could not be closed to traffic until Friday evening, just two days before the rallycross competition. This meant the 16 competitors who were entered in the rallycross portion of X Games Los Angeles 2012 could not practice on the whole street course. Instead, practice was confined to the jump, located in a parking lot across from the Staples Center. The pre-fabricated metal jump had been transported from the previous event in Texas.

 

But even the jump practice did not last very long because Toomas Heikkinen, from Finland, came up short in his first practice run and hit the edge of the ramp hard and toppled to the ground. Fortunately, he only suffered a broken ankle; but practice finished early.

 

A number of team managers and other drivers, including eight-time World Rally Championship champion Sébastien Loeb, from France, requested that the jump be made safer. Loeb was making a one-off trip to X Games for his first-ever U.S. race. The organizers agreed, and a platform was put in place so it turned into what’s called a tabletop jump. Unfortunately, this meant the joker lap (shortcut) could not be used; the course under the jump was blocked by the structure supporting the tabletop.

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