So you’ve heard about rally racing, but there seem to be two types… what’s the deal? The simplest answer is that rally is one car at a time on a public road closed for racing, and rallycross is multiple cars running together on a closed course specifically designed for racing.
The cars are similar, but in rallycross there are fewer engine restrictions, and the cars do not have to be street legal. In stage rally (often called this since the closed roads they race on are called “stages”), the cars have to drive from one closed road to the next on public streets and therefore have to be legal to drive on the road and must obey all traffic laws. Also in stage rally co-drivers, or navigators, ride along in the car to provide information on the road ahead, since the teams are allowed very little information about the roads they race on.
So to keep it simple: rallycross is door-to-door on a track, and rally has a passenger and races on real roads against the clock.