Red Bull GRC Seattle: Track Facts
Track length: .735 miles
Joker Lap: Longcut after Turn 5; .788 miles
Fans who attended last year’s debut Red Bull Global Rallycross event at Evergreen Speedway should see a lot of familiar corners at this weekend’s Seattle doubleheader. From the charge into oval Turn 1 to the hard braking zone into the dirt in Turn 2, the first half a lap or so will be exactly the same as last year’s exciting layout.
There’s only one catch: the jump and Joker Lap have switched places.
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That means that, after drivers get through the sweeping, dirt left-right combo of Turns 3 and 4, they’ll need to prepare for a hard dirt hairpin Turn 5 leading up to the jump on the main course on most laps. From there, they’ll charge off of the dirt into Evergreen’s smaller banked portion for Turns 6 and 7, before returning to the frontstretch in front of throngs of cheering fans.
Instead, it’s the Joker Lap that will see them continue just a bit longer through Turn 5, going wide and directly across from the frontstretch before rejoining the main lap after a quick right-left pairing. While it may look drastic on the map, the additional portion tacks roughly a football field in length onto the track.
The one advantage: the longer lap sees drivers return to pavement much more quickly than their competitors, who have to conquer both dirt and air. That might enable Jokering drivers to put the power down more quickly, especially since they’ll be less likely to touch the handbrake on that lap. We’ll learn more about the right way to attack the course on Friday evening, when drivers compete in their first round of heats.