For anyone unfamiliar with RallyCross, it’s essentially a form of sprint style rally racing held on a closed track usually covered in gravel or dirt and featuring Motocross-style jumps.

The cars that compete in RallyCross are typically based on regular production models, though they’re tuned specifically for the sport and are similar to the performance machines found in more established rally competitions such as the World Rally Championship.

Last year in the U.S. a new competition called the Global RallyCross Championship was launched and featured star drivers such as Rhys Millen, Tanner Foust and or Ken Block.

For the competition’s sophomore year there will be a surprise new entry, confirmed today as the 2013 Dodge Dart. Dodge, together with its motorsports and performance division, SRT Motorsports, has announced that its upcoming Dart compact sedan will compete in the 2012 Global RallyCross Championship with four-time Rally America Champion and 17-time X Games gold medalist Travis Pastrana behind the wheel.

The Dart that will be piloted by Pastrana will be custom built specifically for Global RallyCross racing, but Dodge boasts that it will still share a few traits with the production model. One element that certainly won't be shared with the production model is the Global RallyCross Dart’s powerplant, which displaces 2.0 liters just like one of the production models but outputs more than 600 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque--enough for a 0-60 mph time of just 1.9 seconds!

The 2012 Global RallyCross Championship will feature seven races in total, with the first taking place on May 26 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The rest of the calendar is listed below.

2012 Global RallyCross Race Schedule:
May 26 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 10 – Texas Motor Speedway
June 30 – X Games, Los Angeles   
July 1 – X Games, Los Angeles
July 14 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway
September 1 – TBD