Vermont SportsCar eyes Nitro RX expansion after strong Group E debut

Vermont SportsCar

Vermont SportsCar eyes Nitro RX expansion after strong Group E debut

Off Road

Vermont SportsCar eyes Nitro RX expansion after strong Group E debut


Leading U.S. rally and rallycross outfit Vermont SportsCar is aiming to expand its presence in Nitro Rallycross’ headline all-electric Group E category after acquiring two more FC1-X race cars, doubling its total number of entries in the series.

VSC has been a mainstay in U.S.-based rallycross since the discipline had its first professional season in 2010. The company earned the Nitro RX Team Championship in 2021 running the Subaru factory team with Travis Pastrana and Scott Speed and in 2022 – independent of Subaru – VSC transitioned to Group E, a new single-make category using the 1000 horsepower, all-wheel-drive FC1-X.

Since VSC’s move to EV racing as a two-car team with Pastrana and Conner Martell, Pastrana became the first driver to win multiple races in the 2022-23 season, and won a joint high of three rounds in the 10-round season, while Martell has been a regular frontrunner and secured second in a historic one-two finish for the team in Phoenix in November.

After a strong first electric season, VSC has acquired an additional two cars, with eyes on either expanding its own footprint in the series, or running the cars for a new partner team should one be interested in joining forces.

“We have the cars and the equipment and we’re ready,” Vermont SportsCar founder and president Lance Smith told RACER. “The interest level we are seeing for Nitro RX Group E is really high right now and we are exploring all options to expand and grow with the series.

A four-car assault on Nitro Rallycross’ Group E category is planned for the 2023-24 season. Vermont SportsCar

“What Nitro RX has put together has been exceptional: between the quality of the racing, the track design, the TV package, and the cars themselves, it’s a compelling formula that we believe in.”

VSC’s planned expansion in the Group E field comes as rallycross in the United States goes from strength to strength. Having previously attracted teams like Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing, Bryan Herta Autosport, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and manufacturers like Ford, Volkswagen, Dodge, Honda, and Subaru, the discipline went through a slump in the late 2010s as management issues with previous series threatened its very existence Stateside.

But with grids currently at their biggest for several years, several manufacturers are said to be keen to join in and capitalize on the increased interest. Multiple manufacturers were involved in initial discussions during the development of the FC1-X, which can be customized to resemble a number of road-going EVs – with more than 20 already being considered during the machine’s design phase.

“With Nitro Rallycross’ first global season set to culminate with a championship weekend, we are having exciting discussions with several manufacturers regarding their involvement in Nitro Rallycross,” said Brett Clarke, president of Nitro Rallycross. “From the beginning, we have worked with First Corner to design the FC1-X to incorporate the bodywork of numerous SUV and CUV models from manufacturers around the globe.

“That adaptability, along with the FC1-X’s boundary-breaking performance, makes it a compelling marketing platform for OEMs as EV momentum continues to accelerate.”