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RACE RECAP: Global Rallycross Vegas Finale
Posted by: newsla on Nov 09, 2013 - 06:24 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
RACE RECAP: Global Rallycross Vegas Finale

IN BRIEF: It took two full seasons, but Ken Block finally cracked the code to winning a Global Rallycross event: stay clean on the start, drive fast, and get a little bit of luck. With all those combined, Ken Block won his first GRC race on the Las Vegas Strip.


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WATCH: Features and Recaps from the GRC Vegas Finale
RACE RECAP: GRC Vegas Finale
GRC Make - A - Wish Event at the GRC Vegas Finale
PRE RACE: GRC Vegas Finale

GRC Live Radio: Listen to what the drivers have to say going into the GRC Vegas Finale with the official GRC “PRE RACE” radio show at www.grcliveradio.com

HEAT RECAPS: Wednesday’s heat races went to Tanner Foust, Toomas Heikkinen, Ken Block, and Scott Speed, while Thursday’s events saw the same four drivers earn bonus points. In the last chance qualifier, Rhys Millen coasted to the victory as Nelson Piquet Jr. spun Sverre Isachsen to take second on the final lap; Isachsen was reinstated to the final when Piquet was disqualified.

MAIN EVENT RECAP: From the get-go, GRC’s biggest names ran 1-2-3 up front, with Foust, Block, and Pastrana holding strong at the head of the pack. Speed and Millen pulled off early, while Arpin also lost power in the race’s first laps. Unfortunately for Foust, a jump start penalty dropped him to second on the third lap, yielding the top spot to Block.

As Heikkinen climbed through the field from sixth place, Block continued to extend his lead on Foust with Pastrana trailing. Eventually, Heikkinen would climb to fourth, but couldn’t quite crack the podium. Block crossed the line to a shower of pyrotechnics, while Foust earned his third runner-up placing of the year and Pastrana took his first podium of 2013.

RESULTS: The results from Thursday’s Global Rallycross season finale on the Las Vegas Strip:

1. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
2. Tanner Foust, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
3. Travis Pastrana, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
4. Toomas Heikkinen, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
5. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
6. Bryce Menzies, #99 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
7. Patrik Sandell, #18 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
8. Steve Arpin, #32 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
9. Scott Speed, #77 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
10. Rhys Millen, #67 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
11. Pat Moro, #59 PMR Motorsports Chevrolet Sonic
12. Stephan Verdier, #4 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
13. Brian Deegan, #38 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
14. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
15. Nelson Piquet Jr., #12 X Team Racing Mitsubishi Evo

QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Thursday’s Global Rallycross season finale on the Las Vegas Strip:

Ken Block, Driver, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST: “It feels really good. It’s been a bit of a tough year—I’ve had the speed but just haven’t had the luck in the first turn. Today I got a decent start, had some good luck in the first turn, and a battle with Tanner. Unfortunately he jumped the lights, so it gave us free reign for the win. It was fun battling with Travis earlier, fun battling with Tanner, but my team works incredibly hard, and it’s great to finally give me and my team a win.”

Tanner Foust, Driver, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “I like to drive in the gravel, and I think the Fiestas are really great in the gravel—they change direction really fast. But I think it’s a testament to OlsbergsMSE that this weekend the car was so good on the tight corners, and we made it the fastest car on the asphalt. It was definitely a lot of fun, it was nice racing door to door on the asphalt a little bit, and it was a lot less maintenance for the guys working on the crew, which was nice. It made for a lot of close bumper to bumper racing.”

Travis Pastrana, Driver, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart: “It was a surprisingly good race! We were slowest in qualifying, made a lot of adjustments. We actually took the same car setup—went back on all the springs, all the race setup that we had from New Hampshire a year and a half ago. And with a passenger that we had taken on a media ride, and we were 1.3 seconds faster with them in the car than I was in my qualifying! Dirtfish has done such an awesome job, and I can’t say enough for the team.”

Sverre Isachsen, Driver, #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI: “For the weekend, to take fifth place is really good for us. It’s almost a small victory. We struggled a little bit with the setup for the car, but we are pushing hard. The LCQ was hard—I was leading and I was spun around, but after all these things the mechanic made the car ready for the final. The car had small problems on every lap in the final, but we finished fifth anyway, and I’m really, really happy.”

FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Thursday’s Global Rallycross season finale on the Las Vegas Strip:

· This was the first main event victory of Ken Block’s Global Rallycross career. He had previously earned four of nine possible top seeds in 2013, as well as 11 of 13 possible heat wins. Block has now earned four podium finishes in his GRC career.
· Tanner Foust earned his third runner-up finish of the 2013 season in Las Vegas. Foust also earned the top seed for the first time in the 2013 season; his previous best seeding results had been a pair of third places at Brazil and Charlotte.
· Travis Pastrana earned a podium finish for the first time since scoring the race victory in New Hampshire in July 2012. It was the best finish of the season for Pastrana Racing, whose previous best finish of fifth came in Atlanta with Timur Timerzyanov behind the wheel.
· Toomas Heikkinen missed the podium for the first time this Global Rallycross season. He finished fourth to equal his result in the first Las Vegas race of 2012.
· Sverre Isachsen earned his fourth top five finish of the season in Las Vegas, and his second top five in three starts in the city.
· Local favorite Bryce Menzies made it to his first final of the 2013 season, and first final since this race last year. He finished a career-best sixth place.
· Brian Deegan missed the main event for the first time since competing at Charlotte in May 2012, ending a streak of 13 consecutive main event appearances.
· Dave Mirra pulled out of Thursday’s event after suffering an engine failure in the first practice session on Wednesday. It would have been Mirra’s second event with Prodrive after the combination debuted in Charlotte in September of this year.

DRIVER POINTS (provisional):
1. Toomas Heikkinen, 169
2. Tanner Foust, 123
3. Ken Block, 115
4. Brian Deegan, 106
5. Scott Speed, 94
6. Patrik Sandell, 89
7. Sverre Isachsen, 86
8. Steve Arpin, 79
9. Liam Doran, 59
10. Travis Pastrana, 56
11. Bucky Lasek, 49
12. Dave Mirra, 36
13. Bryce Menzies, 35
14. Timur Timerzyanov, 34
15. Anton Marklund, 26
16. Mattias Ekstrom, 26
17. Stephan Verdier, 23
18. Rhys Millen, 20
19. Nelson Piquet Jr., 17
20. Townsend Bell, 16
21. Guilherme Spinelli, 14
22. Pat Moro, 12
23. Buddy Rice, 7
24. Henning Solberg, 7
25. Mauricio Neves, 5
26. Eduardo Marques, 3
27. David Sterckx, 1

1. Ford, 344
2. Subaru, 144
3. Dodge, 131

GRC Lites Race Recap: Las Vegas Strip

IN BRIEF: Joni Wiman completed a perfect sweep of the 2013 GRC Lites season by scoring a victory on the Las Vegas Strip. Wiman beat series newcomer Eric Faren and points runner-up Sebastian Eriksson to the line in the sixth and final race of the year.

WATCH: Recap from the GRC Lites Race at the GRC Vegas Finale
RACE RECAP: GRC Lites at the GRC Vegas Finale

MEDIA IMAGES: Images from 11/6 and 11/7
*NOTE: Please give photo credit to Matt Kalish

GRC Live Radio: Listen to what the drivers have to say going into the GRC Vegas Finale with the official GRC “PRE RACE” radio show at www.grcliveradio.com

HEAT RECAPS: Top seed Sebastian Eriksson and Faren split heats 1A and 2A, positioning themselves well for the main event, while Joni Wiman swept both heats 1B and 2B. After overcoming the first engine failure in GRC Lites history, Kevin Eriksson won the last chance qualifier to advance to the final, while Alexander Westlund followed him into the eight-car main event.

MAIN EVENT RECAP: Wiman moved aggressively across the grid at the start, leading Sebastian Eriksson and Faren, who got off to a slower start than he may have hoped. Luckily for Faren, he was able to regain second place by taking the joker immediately, and held the spot as Wiman began to pull away.

In the second half of the pack, strong starts from Austin Dyne and Kevin Eriksson allowed them to pull into fourth and fifth place, respectively, but Mitchell deJong would eventually pass Eriksson for fifth.

RESULTS: The results from Thursday’s Global Rallycross season finale on the Las Vegas Strip:
1. Joni Wiman, #93 Set Promotion GRC Lites
2. Eric Faren, #21 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites
3. Sebastian Eriksson, #37 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites
4. Austin Dyne, #99 AD Racing GRC Lites
5. Mitchell deJong, #24 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites
6. Kevin Eriksson, #39 Set Promotion GRC Lites
7. Alexander Westlund, #55 Set Promotion GRC Lites
8. Geoff Sykes, #65 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites
9. Brent Lee, #35 Brent Lee Motorsports GRC Lites
10. Tyler Benson, #60 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites

QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Thursday’s Global Rallycross season finale on the Las Vegas Strip:

Joni Wiman, Driver, #93 Set Promotion GRC Lites: “I didn’t expect everything to go this well, but of course I am happy about it. It was unbelievable. I thought that it was important to get good speed out of the corner, and that way nobody could catch me. In the final I got to push Sebastian a bit out, and I got to take the line by myself.”

Eric Faren, Driver, #21 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites: “I’m very happy. It’s almost perfect—I’m fighting against the best Lites drivers there are, because they’ve raced the most, so second place is very good. I said if I was second or third, I would take the joker immediately so I wouldn’t get stuck behind other drivers. I tried to follow the leader and catch him, but then I got some company from behind, so I had to keep him there. We lost some time on Wiman, but second was good.”

Sebastian Eriksson, Driver, #37 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites: “It was really tough today. It was a tight track. I had a quite good start, but I had to let go for Joni in the first corner, and I made a mistake to take the joker on the second lap—I should have waited until closer to the finish, I think. I was faster, but I couldn’t pass Eric. Third place is good.”

FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from from Thursday’s Global Rallycross season finale on the Las Vegas Strip:

· Joni Wiman won his sixth consecutive GRC Lites race in Las Vegas on Thursday. He completed a perfect sweep of the season in the finals and won eight of a nine possible heat races as well. Wiman’s six consecutive victories is a Global Rallycross record.
· Wiman was also awarded the 2013 GRC Lites Driver’s Championship on Thursday. Wiman clinched the series championship in the previous round of competition at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway after winning the series’ first five races.
· Eric Faren finished second in his GRC Lites debut. Faren, who finished fourth in this year’s Super1600 championship in Europe, won his second heat race and earned a front row starting spot for the final.
· Sebastian Eriksson earned his fourth consecutive third place finish in Las Vegas. Eriksson finished on the podium in five of six races in 2013.
· GRC Lites suffered the first engine failure of the series’ history on Kevin Eriksson’s car during Heat 2B. Eriksson’s car was the original GRC Lites prototype, and has undergone constant testing and racing since last year—an affirmation of the durability of the 300-horsepower Mountune powerplant. Eriksson recovered from the failure with a new engine, winning the last chance qualifier and finishing sixth in the final.

1. Joni Wiman, 128
2. Sebastian Eriksson, 93
3. Mitchell deJong, 81
4. Kevin Eriksson, 76
5. Alexander Westlund, 73
6. Geoff Sykes, 66
7. Austin Dyne, 66
8. Harry Cheung, 46
9. Halid Avdagic, 29
10. Reinis Nitiss, 23
11. Tyler Benson, 22
12. Eric Faren, 17
13. Brent Lee, 8

PaddockTalk Perspective

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