STEPHAN VERDIER / NEW ANIMATED SERIES “MOTORCITY” ON DISNEY XD PARTNER WITH RHYS MILLEN RACING FOR 2012 GRC SEASON
Rhys Millen Racing proudly announces Stephan Verdier and Disney XD’s upcoming animated series “Motorcity” in the No. 12 car for the 2012 Global RallyCross Championship season. Stephan brings a great amount of experience and personality to the program.
Stephan Verdier has a long heritage in competition sports. Born in the costal Mediterranean city of Nice, France, his need for speed began young becoming a junior world speed skiing record holder and a member of the French Downhill Ski Team. At age 17, Stephan transitioned into motorsports and later establishing Stephan Verdier Racing in 2002 becoming a professional driver.
In 2004, Stephan would challenge “America’s Mountain” in the Pike Peaks International Hill Climb winning the Rally Production Class. The next year he would go onto win the Open Rally Class.
2006 would bring a whole different level of competition participating the next five seasons in Formula Drift.
With rally being such a dominant passion, Stephan would become one of the few athletes’ to challenge both winter and summer X-Games. 2010 he would place 4th overall in RallyCross X-Games 16.
Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) made its American debut in 2011. RallyCross combines the best aspects of circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition to deliver intense action. As the sports #1 privateer, Stephan would finish 3 out of 4 races on podium and 4th overall in points for the season.
Entering its second year, GRC delivers an all-new expanding field of drivers coming from a diverse motor and action sports background. GRC is the only race series in the world featuring a 70′ gap jump on the joker lap, adding a component of excitement and risk to a key strategic racing element. The series is expanding to all new cities and will be held at SMI venues in 2012 as companion events to their NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and IZOD IndyCar Series races. Stephan will be piloting the #12 Motorcity Car in another bumper-to-bumper, adrenaline filled season.
Disney XD is set to premiere “Motorcity,” a turbo-charged animated series set in a futuristic Detroit, controlled by an evil billionaire who bans personal freedoms including automobiles. Now it’s up to The Burners, a group of rebels led by 17-year-old Mike Chilton, to customize their fleet of cool hot rods and set out to stop Kane from taking over their last oasis of freedom, a subterranean refuge dubbed Motorcity. The series premieres MONDAY, APRIL 30 (9:00–9:30 p.m., ET/PT).
Beginning in May on Disney XD, viewers are invited to join the action through a series of interstitials with Verdier and members of the “Motorcity” creative team. DisneyXD.com will feature game performance tips from Verdier and Sports Illustrated for Kids will host a sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Summer X Games. The Grand Prize winner will be part of Verdier’s pit crew, and more.
Verdier will also participate in several Disney XD and Radio Disney fan experiences at the Global RallyCross events between May and September and will guest star in an upcoming episode of “Motorcity.”
“I’m really proud to have Disney XD and their new series “Motorcity” as a title sponsor for the full season of GRC. Make sure you watch it starting in April on Disney XD. Being a part of Rhys Millen Racing, this partnership gives me the best chance at the championship. They are one of the top teams in GRC and I know we’ll do great. GRC is shaping up to be a fantastic season for 2012. There are a lot of new drivers, teams and with some the events taking place at NASCAR and Indy car events, we will be exposed to a large audience. We also have a great TV package with ESPN showing the races live. All together it’s going to be incredible.”
- Stephan Verdier.
Special Thanks To Everyone Supporting The 2012 Motorcity RallyCross Car
Motorcity on Disney XD – http://disney.go.com/xd/motorcity/
Rhys Millen Racing – http://www.rmrproducts.com
HRE Wheels – http://www.hrewheels.com
Cooper Tires – http://us.coopertire.com
Garrett – http://www.turbobygarrett.com/turbobygarrett
Sparco – http://www.sparcousa.com
K&N – http://www.knfilters.com
NGK – http://www.ngksparkplugs.com
Motul – http://www.motul.com/us/en-us
VP Racing – http://www.vpracingfuels.com
Sponsor Crawford Performance/Cooper tires Takes Top Subaru Honors
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Crawford Performance and Cooper tires are pleased to announce a spectacular final for X-Games 16 Rally Cross. Stephan Verdier and his Crawford Performance Powered Rally Cross Car / Drift Car / Gymkhana Car debutted for the first ever Rally Cross held by X-Games. Currently Verdier’s car competes not only in Formula D, but also a Gymkhana event in RWD format. When X-Games invited Stephan for the Rally Cross event, the car was converted to AWD format and a 45mm restrictor installed to restrict the power levels to equal the playing field for all competitors.
In order to convert the vehicle to make it a competitive vehicle for X-Games, against such teams as Ford Rally Team and Subaru Rally Team, the vehicle was brought to Crawford Performance for some serious work. The car received a sequential transmission, custom twin scroll Garrett turbo kit, ECU remapping via EcuTeK ECU all provided by Crawford Performance for 600hp and 550 ft/lbs. While many other sponsors helped prepare the vehicle, including front and rear bumpers by GTI, top of the link rally suspension by Tein, including the engineer for setup and 15 inch rally wheels by Enkei. In order to install the new rally rims stock 4 pot Subaru rally brakes where provided by Ontario Subaru, and Motul providing the much need fluids for the sequential, differentials and engine, Clutch Masters with the twin plate clutch, Ignite racing fuel for the bio fuel, NGK offering spark plugs and O2 sensors, while K&N offered multiple filters where definitely needed after Verdiers encounter with a cement wall. Cooper tires was also a big help with there rallycross tires.
Friday Practice according to Stephan Verdier:
My second session on the track, X-Games staff watered it down heavily and I knew it was going to be slippery but not as bad as I thought. Into the first turn I began braking and there was no way to slow my speed down enough to make the corner. Bang the back of the car hit into the K-rail but luckily enough I didn’t lose my drift, but it happened to be bad enough to take the car to the frame shop that night to get it straight.
Saturday Qualifying according to Stephan Verdier:
I had a great qualifying round (Qualifying 2nd overall) and the car felt amazing, power everywhere and handle the best it had all weekend up to this point. Right after taking the checkered I was not able to stop in time before the cement barrier and the car crashed hard into the wall causing the engine to instantly shut off. The right front frame rail moved into the engine and broke the front timing pulley and locked the engine. Good thing we had 5 hours to fix it, but not a spare engine. The simple version of the story included a chain, a truck, and a little bit of luck in the hopes the engine may be salvageable. The team and many supporters dropped by to lend a hand to rebuild the beast, while the entire time we were hoping that the million to one shot would include no bent valves or damaged pistons. As lady luck may have it, we were that million to one shot, and when the engine pulleys were repaired, the timing belt reinstalled, the engine fired right up. The sigh of relief and the thrill form Verdier was ecstatic. We were back in the game!!! Now the remaining damage needed repair, a cracked rear left hub (no spare), front right A-Arm, front right bumper, front right chassis needed to be pulled back out, intercooler piping needed to be unbent, new K&N Air Filter, and numerous other small problems from the crash.
Semi-Finals according to Stephan Verdier:
This was my best run of the entire weekend. The car launched off the line and I had an instant lead on everyone else. The car was running perfectly, the run itself was great and the power was fantastic through the entire run. Every time I hit the straights the Crawford Performance Powered car would just pull cars lengths on the rest of the pack and by the time I had taken the checkered flag (and a 1st place) my heart was racing a mile a minute. Here is a video a local fan uploaded to YouTube of the first round.
Finals Round according to Stephan Verdier:
Due to qualifying second and Pastrana’s car not running, I was now the number 1 seed and had first pick at the gate for the finals. My launch was awful, because I was caught off guard due to a miscommunication between myself and the referee. So I started in last place (4th) for the finals, definitely not the way you want to start a race.
In the first corner I was able to power by and out braked Hubinette like he was standing still. Then into the corner under the bridge (X-Games ramp) where Tanner and Deagan went wide which allowed me to cut back on the inside of Deagan. This was a perfect opportunity to cut back in the inside and steal the corner from Deagan and then a drag race down the back of the stadium, passing him before the hill and arch. In that drag race we touched at least 4 times of if not more, definitely a ton of excitement already. The next 3 laps I was closing on Tanner, then I started to lose some power, I thought Deagan pushed me and bent my exhaust, but one of my intercooler pipes that got bent during my crash in the qualifying rounds cracked and started leaking. I took the ‘joker’ lap which included the big jump right behind Tanner and at that point it just let go and lost almost all my power. At this point Deagan was able to pass me and between the arch Samuel tried to pass me on the outside but I was able to friendly block him. But alas going down to the finish the car wouldn’t go and Samuel passed me about 100 feet from the finish. I couldn’t help but be mad, but after what had happened over the past couple days’ competing in the X-Games for the first time and taking home 4th overall at X-Games 16 was awesome!
Next, we are off to Formula D Las Vegas, only two weeks away and the car needs to be prepped for RWD and more power.
Thanks to all my sponsors, Cooper Tires (awesome rallycross tire), Crawford Performance, GTI, Tein, Clutch Masters, Enkei, Ignite Racing Fuel, Subaru of Ontario,Turbo by Garrett, Sparco, APT, Von Zipper, Motul, K&N, Seibon…
And yes we did complete 5 laps.
Stephan is one of 12 drivers invited to compete in the inaugural X Games SuperRally. Despite being best known for his drifting exploits, Stephan has a Rally background, having taken part in multiple national events, and twice winning the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in different rally classes.
With SuperRally, he has an opportunity to get back to his rally roots. Verdier explains; “I’m so excited to race in the SuperRally event. It’s a brand new sport inspired by European Rallycross, and let me tell you, it’s crazy! Door to door racing with 650 horsepower all wheel drive cars on dirt. X Games fans are going to go nuts!”
“I’m one of the few X Games athletes to participate in both summer and winter X Games. I competed in SkierCross, which is like SuperRally with skis. Now I have a roll cage to protect me, so everybody watch out!”
Stephan will be driving the 2006 Subaru STi that he normally pilots in Formula-D. However for SuperRally, the car will be converted back to all wheel drive, and will be sporting some additional upgrades. The transformation from drift machine to rally car will be undertaken by Crawford Performance and Costa Gialamas at GTI, immediately following the Seattle Formula Drift event held on July 9 – 10.
Crawford Performance will be in charge of swapping the engine for a new 2.7 liter unit, and the rear wheel drive drift gearbox will be replaced with a sequential all wheel drive transmission. Additionally, a Motec ECU and differential controller will be installed, as well as a rally spec suspension capable of coping with the 70 foot gap jump, which is a signature feature of the SuperRally course.
GTI will take care of fabricating skid plates, special reinforcements, and replacing the front and rear bumpers, as well as general preparation and event service.
Stephan concludes, “It has always been my intention to use the car in drift and rally events, so making the change from one to the other is not difficult. The X Games SuperRally is a fantastic chance to showcase the performance of the car, and gives me a head start to prepare for the European Rally Cross Series later this summer. I just want to thank all of my sponsors, and I hope to reward their loyal support with a win at the X Games!”
The event will take place at the Los Angeles Coliseum on July 31 and will air live on ESPN and ABC.
About Stephan Verdier Racing
Since his teenage years, Stephan Verdier has been racing. Beginning with go-karts in his native France, Stephan took part in the Bridgestone USA Driver Search in 1993, beating out 1200 other hopefuls. He then went on to compete in various Formula races before giving rallying a shot in 2001. He won the SCCA Western States Rally Championships in the PGT class in 2003 and 2004, as well as the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Rally class in 2005.
In 2006 Stephan made the jump to the Formula Drift series, quickly establishing himself as one of the top drivers in the nation. In 2009 he took his first overall win, at Round 6 in Sonoma, CA. He was also voted most improved driver for the second year in a row.
Stephan Verdier Racing is proudly supported for the SuperRally event by: Crawford Performance, Cooper Tires, Enkei Wheels, Tein, GTI, Apr, Seibon, Ignite racing fuel, NGK.
-1986 Junior world speed skiing record holder.
-1988 French Downhill Ski Team
- 2001 Ranked 5th in the world for SkierCross
- 2002 Participated in the winter X Games- SkierCross
- Commercial helicopter pilot and private airplane twin engine licensed.
Well I’m back at home after a long week of travel and racing. I was really excited about going to Atlanta, I love that track and we had more power from Crawford performance’s engine, nearly 50 wheel horsepower more! Costa Galiamas and I spent Thursday and Friday day chasing the set up. My first run of qualifying wasn’t pretty and the judge killed me for it, but it di get the job done. I believe it was the worse score I have received since I started drifting in 2005 (apart from a 0). My second run felt pretty good but once again I did not receive the score I had hoped for during qualifying. It was better than my first and allowed me to proceed into the top 32 competition on Saturday for the big show. That night we made some big suspension change during the night practice and the car was a new beast and we were very excited about the competition for Saturday.
Saturday practice went very smooth and I was really confident for my first battle against Essa (BMW who finished 4th overall). I followed him on the first run but during our first run he jumped the start and didn’t wait for me at the pace cone so I fell back a couple car lengths. I was pretty upset with this manuevor but that is racing. Fortunately with the new power from Crawford Performance and Ignite Race Fuels I was able to close the gap back and finish the run with the advantage. I only needed to have a clean lead run to close the deal and move onto the next round. I lead in the second run but on one of my entries I transitioned to hard and spun the car. Game over, Essa advance and I went home a little beat up but excited about the power and reliabilty I had with the vehicle.
During the weekend many competitors where asking how I was able to keep the temperatues of the engine so cool, about 195 degrees Fahreheit to be exact. Event the most reliable cars that usually never overheat were having issues but of course we were not. With the use of Ignite Race Fuels and a reliable performing tune (3 season of Formula D I might add) from Crawford Performance the car was reliable all through the hot parts of the day and into the evening heat of Alanta Georgia.
I would like to thank all my sponsors for their amazing support and plan to do my best at the next event in New Jersey June 4-5.
Here is a quick video of one of the sessions against a Ford V8. Go Subaru 4 banger!!!