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Red Bull GRC Race Recap: Top Gear Festival Barbados
Posted by: newsla on May 20, 2014 - 06:15 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
Red Bull GRC Race Recap: Top Gear Festival Barbados

IN BRIEF: Scott Speed pulled off a repeat performance of last season’s opener, winning the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross kickoff event at Top Gear Festival Barbados. Speed avoided a spectacular crash by Ken Block in the first attempt at the main event and persevered in the second, taking the victory over Steve Arpin and Brian Deegan.


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HEAT RECAPS: With an additional round of heats, the Barbados fans got to see as much Red Bull GRC action as they ever have before. Saturday saw the first round of heats, which went to top seed Nelson Piquet Jr., Scott Speed, and Tanner Foust; Sunday’s second round saw victories by Foust, Piquet, and Wiman, while the third round sent Wiman, Speed, and Block to the front row of the final. The last chance qualifier allowed Steve Arpin, Brian Deegan, Austin Dyne, and Rhys Millen to race their way in, as Tanner Foust was given a 10-second penalty for taking the joker lap twice.

MAIN EVENT RECAP: The first lap of the initial start of the final ended with a frightening moment, as Block’s vehicle jumped a curb when he tried to defend a daring overtake by Wiman. The inertia sent the Head Hoonigan in Charge flying and upside down, with the car coming to rest against the frontstretch barrier. Block escaped unhurt.

On the restart, Wiman jumped out to the lead and looked like a strong contender, but he repeated Foust’s mistake and took the joker twice to earn a penalty. Meanwhile, as Sverre Isachsen and Piquet battled tooth and nail for position throughout the final, it allowed drivers like Arpin and Deegan to slide by them. As Speed extended a lengthy gap, Wiman fought back aggressively from his penalty to battle Deegan for third, only to have the position taken from him after a penalty was assessed for aggressive driving.

RESULTS: The results from Sunday’s Top Gear Festival Barbados, the first round of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross season:

Scott Speed, #77 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Volkswagen Polo
Steve Arpin, #00 Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford Fiesta ST
Brian Deegan, #38 Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta ST
Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
Joni Wiman, #31 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA Subaru WRX STI
Rhys Millen, #67 RMR Hyundai Veloster
Patrik Sandell, #18 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
Austin Dyne, #14 Barracuda Racing Ford Fiesta ST
Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Volkswagen Polo
Emma Gilmour, #27 RMR Hyundai Veloster
Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA Subaru WRX STI
QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Sunday’s Top Gear Festival Barbados, the first round of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross season:

Scott Speed, Driver, #77 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Volkswagen Polo: “It was an awesome weekend. We had the speed right away, but with a big mechanical in the heat race, we had to come from behind from that point on. The guys did a great job twice, getting the car ready to make qualifying and to make the last heat. We were hoping that we were going to win our first time out, but it’s really special for everyone at Andretti and Volkswagen. We’re all going to celebrate really good tonight!”

Steve Arpin, Driver, #00 Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford Fiesta ST: “What a spectacular event! Right off the bat, the Red Bull GRC Top Gear Festival Barbados, this couldn’t be any better. The fans here are incredible—I don’t know what to say right now, it’s just spectacular. Throughout that main event, I had the top seat view of Ken Block tumbling into the fence. And I’m so glad he’s alright, but as soon as I found out he was alright, I had a deep sigh of relief, but man, that was a show, that’s a highlight reel for the next five years. This Royal Purple Ford, we pushed it so hard off the start. And I have Royal Purple in the car, so I have that extra little bit, I can push it harder than most but still have protection. It was just to the point where we had to ride, and it’s such a rhythm track, such a repetition track, hitting your marks and being consistent, doing everything you can do to pick up little bits of speed here and there. And the car just drove so good. I got my tires a little bit hot in the middle, I learned a lot about these new Yokohama radial tires this weekend. I got my tires hot coming through traffic, and it’s a lot like NASCAR—you can back off, settle down for a lap or two, and you feel the grip levels come right back in the tire. But I’m so excited. This is awesome.”

Brian Deegan, Driver, #38 Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta ST: “You never know what’s going to happen. You go on the starting line, and when you sit on the last row you kind of wonder what’s going to happen, and you know you’re going to get run into. The first time, I decided to play it safe—I drove through and came out last, and thought that was weak. Then I saw Ken Block go for a barrel roll, and I realized we were going to red flag this. It was kind of chaos for a while trying to figure out what we were doing, gas, tires, I don’t know. We went to the second restart, and luckily Ken was okay. This time on the start I got a better jump, and everyone was piling up in the first turn, and I just went around them. I was in fifth, and Nelson Piquet and Isachsen were murdering each other—I don’t even think they were racing, I think they were fist-fighting. I was like ‘any moment!’ And they pushed out, and I went under them. Arpin snuck under me on the joker, and I was like ‘whoa, where did he come from?’ He drove good! I thought we were battling for the lead, I didn’t know Scott Speed was gone. I thought maybe I could close in on him and get him, but my tires were smoked, and I was doing the best I could to hang in there. Next thing I know my spotter is like ‘hey, coming on your inside,’ and I was like ‘who, Nelson?’ It ended up being Wiman, and he spun me out. I just stayed in the gas and rode it sideways all the way down. He got under me and I had to jump the curb to stay on the track. I was like ‘alright dude, you got me, you punked me out,’ and I got across the finish line and wondered if they were going to rule this thing. They told us in the drivers’ meeting, if you go from behind and spin dudes out to gain a position, you’re going to get docked. And that’s what happened.”

Ken Block, Driver, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST: “Obviously I’m disappointed in how my race weekend came to an end here in Barbados. We had a great week leading into the event and I was the fastest in practice, as well as winning two of my three heats. Everything was going great in the final as I got the holeshot and was battling for the lead, unfortunately the kerbing on the last corner threw me off the track—bad! Not exactly how I wanted to start my 2014 rallycross season, but that’s racing.”

Tanner Foust, Driver, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Volkswagen Polo: “Being quickest on the first day set a tone for the second day, and we put in good lap times. The car felt great the second day. I literally overjumped the jump one time, lost a door, which there’s a rule in there that if you lose a door you’re DNFed, so that unfortunately was a mistake that snowballed through the rest of the event. It put us in the back of the LCQ, where I ended up getting a great start but kind of got held up in traffic and made a mistake in the traffic—I ended up taking the joker twice. I saw a couple people do that, and it’s really just a driver error. So it started off good, ended up really bad, but ultimately we showed the speed of the Polo. Andretti Autosport and Volkswagen engineering putting their heads together are a powerful force, and I think everybody knows now, even though maybe we don’t have the fastest motor in the Polo yet. But congratulations to Scott Speed for a pretty dominant win.”

FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Sunday’s Top Gear Festival Barbados, the first round of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross season:

· This was Scott Speed’s third career Red Bull Global Rallycross victory, and the second in his past three starts. It was also the first win for Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross in the team’s first race. Speed became the second driver in Red Bull GRC history, following Liam Doran, to win series events with multiple car manufacturers.

· Steve Arpin earned the first podium finish of his Red Bull GRC career in Barbados. His previous best finish had been fourth at last year’s X Games Foz do Iguacu event.

· Brian Deegan earned the 11th podium finish of his Red Bull GRC career, and his fourth in the last seven races. He remains second all-time in points scored in series history.

· Nelson Piquet Jr.’s fourth place finish is the best of his Red Bull GRC career so far. Saturday’s seeding saw him earn his first top seed and heat victory, while Sunday’s race marked his first main event appearance.

· Joni Wiman’s fifth place finish in Barbados made him the highest classified rookie driver, over ninth place Austin Dyne and 12th place Emma Gilmour. It marked the first time that he has ever failed to win an event held under Red Bull GRC sanctioning, after he swept all six GRC Lites races in 2013.

· Sverre Isachsen extended his streak of main event appearances to eight, the longest streak of his Red Bull GRC career. Isachsen has not missed a main event since the first leg of X Games Munich last June.

· Ken Block earned the 15th and 16th heat victories of his Red Bull GRC career in Barbados, placing him second on the all-time list. His total of 11 heat wins in 2013 was the best in the series. Block’s streak of 15 consecutive main event appearances is also the longest active streak in the series; he is six final appearances away from tying Tanner Foust’s all-time record of 21.

· Tanner Foust failed to place in the top 10 for the first time in his Red Bull GRC career in Barbados. However, he qualified third and added two heat victories to his career total of 20, maintaining his lead in that category all-time of four over Ken Block, the next closest driver.

· Gilmour became the first female driver in Red Bull GRC history by starting in this weekend’s event. She qualified 12th and finished 12th.


Scott Speed, 54
Steve Arpin, 47
Brian Deegan, 43
Nelson Piquet Jr., 40
Joni Wiman, 36
Sverre Isachsen, 28
Rhys Millen, 21
Patrik Sandell, 18
Austin Dyne, 13
Ken Block, 10
Tanner Foust, 4
Emma Gilmour, 3
Bucky Lasek, 2

Ford, 85
Volkswagen, 58
Subaru, 27
Hyundai, 21

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