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Red Bull GRC Race Previews: Daytona International Speedway
Posted by: newsla on Aug 22, 2014 - 03:49 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
Red Bull GRC Race Previews: Daytona International Speedway


IN BRIEF: Red Bull Global Rallycross returns to action after a month-long break at Daytona International Speedway, competing for the first time at the World Center of Racing as it kicks off the second half of the 2014 season. 14 Supercars, the largest field since X Games Austin, have entered the two-day event.

 

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TUNE IN INFORMATION:
• Saturday, August 23, 2:30PM ET on NBC (live) and liveextra.nbcsports.com
• Friday, August 29, 2:00AM ET (Thursday, August 28, 11:00PM PT) on NBCSN
SPOTTER GUIDE: Click here

LAST RACE: Ken Block completed the first perfect event under the current Red Bull GRC race format at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, sweeping qualifying, two heat races, his semifinal, and the main event. Sverre Isachsen came home second, overcoming a tough start to the season for his first podium and best finish in his Red Bull GRC career, while Nelson Piquet Jr. earned his fourth straight podium by coming home third.

DRIVER CHANGES: PMR Motorsports’ Pat Moro returns to Red Bull GRC for the first time since X Games Austin, while BMI Racing’s Sarah Burgess joins him to create Chevrolet’s first-ever multi-car lineup in a Red Bull GRC event. 12 of the 13 drivers who competed in Charlotte return, with the exception of Brian Deegan.

THE TRACK: Daytona International Speedway has built the largest track in Red Bull GRC history, a .924 mile course comprised of 13 turns within the track’s famed International Horseshoe. A wide, sweeping first corner (which also features the joker lane) will see drivers reaching the rev limiter in top gear, while tight dirt hairpins and technical paved sections complete the course.

NO STRANGERS TO DAYTONA: Four Supercars competitors have competed at Daytona in their racing careers so far. Nelson Piquet Jr., Scott Speed, and Steve Arpin, the top three drivers in the standings through the first half of the season, have all raced on Daytona’s 2.5-mile superspeedway in stock cars. The fourth driver, Rhys Millen, competed on part of the track’s road course as part of the TV special “Driven: A Race Without Boundaries.”

PIQUET IN CONTROL: Nelson Piquet Jr.’s Supercars points lead extended to 46 in Charlotte, the largest gap anyone has had over second place so far this season. To put that in perspective, if Piquet failed to make the final this weekend, second place driver Scott Speed would need to finish second and finish first or second in both heats just to tie for the championship lead.

MINOR CHANGE TO RACE FORMAT: Due to the extra length of the Daytona course compared to previous courses, this weekend’s main event will be comprised of eight laps, rather than the series’ typical 10 laps. All other event formatting remains consistent with typical Red Bull GRC events.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross event at Daytona International Speedway:
Rhys Millen, Driver, #67 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Veloster Turbo:“My first time here was last year. What an opportunity for myself and the other drivers in the series to come to a site that is so rich in American auto racing, from NASCAR to the Daytona 24 Hours and now GRC. The course is fantastic—the length of the course is incredible, the runoff areas, the space, and just the general design. Even the turn one combination lends itself to the joker combination for the sport of rallycross. It’s just very fitting. Overall, the track, the challenge, the speed, the flow, the feel, the length, everything is really an indication of what GRC racing should be in the US.”

Patrik Sandell, Driver, #18 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST: “I really like the combination of the fast sections and the twisty, technical sections. Over a lap, you have everything. You have some dirt sections, you have the big jump, you have some really narrow corners where you have to be so precise, and then you have the really, really fast sections as well. For me, this is a proper track, and I love it. I was almost at the rev limiter in sixth gear on the first corner, so that’s the fastest my car goes.”

Austin Dyne, Driver, #14 Barracuda Racing Ford Fiesta: “I’ve always wanted to race here. I like the tarmac part of it, it’s amazing. There’s just so much grip here compared to the parking lot stuff we’ve done, and so much more of what I grew up doing. The dirt here is pretty sand-based, so I’m not sure how that’s going to be. The jump’s got a pretty gnarly kicker, and we won’t have any issue seeing cars in the air! The back section is really cool—it’s really technical, so it might be hard to pass, but as a driver it’s a lot of fun back there.”

Ken Block, Driver, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST: “I think the track is quite good, because I think there are some good places to pass here. When you have higher speed stuff that slows down to slow speed stuff, it really becomes very important to figure out the lines and the speeds, and get the braking points right. I think there are some good places to pass here, and there’s some good technical stuff. So I think it’s quite fun. It’s a little bit longer than some of the other tracks we’ve had, so I’m really looking forward to that. But this is the hottest I’ve ever been in the racecar—it’s going to be interesting to see who can handle that and continue to put in good, consistent lap times all weekend dealing with the heat.”

DRIVER POINTS:
1. Nelson Piquet Jr., 227
2. Scott Speed, 181
3. Steve Arpin, 164
4. Joni Wiman, 162
5. Ken Block, 155
6. Patrik Sandell, 120
7. Tanner Foust, 112
8. Sverre Isachsen, 109
9. Austin Dyne, 102
10. Bucky Lasek, 87
11. Brian Deegan, 85
12. Rhys Millen, 68
13. Emma Gilmour, 24
14. Pat Moro, 3

MANUFACTURER POINTS:
1. Ford, 472
2. Volkswagen, 293
3. Subaru, 196
4. Hyundai, 92
5. Chevrolet, 3

GRC Lites Race Preview: Daytona International Speedway
IN BRIEF: The largest track in GRC Lites history awaits the sport’s class of up-and-comers at Daytona International Speedway. With key championship player Kevin Eriksson out of the picture, full-timers will have a strong chance to make up points in the series championship this weekend.

LAST RACE: Mitchell DeJong got back to his winning ways in Charlotte, overcoming a last place finish in his first heat to win out for the rest of the weekend. Kevin Eriksson earned his third runner-up placement of the season behind him, while younger brother Oliver capped his second Lites race with his first podium.

SPOTTER GUIDE: Click here
DRIVER CHANGES: Blake Fuller replaces Austin Cindric at C4 Motorsports, making his series debut. Kevin and Oliver Eriksson, owing to a schedule conflict, will not compete in this weekend’s event.

THE TRACK: Daytona International Speedway has built the largest track in Red Bull GRC history, a .924 mile course comprised of 13 turns within the track’s famed International Horseshoe. A wide, sweeping first corner (which also features the joker lane) will see drivers reaching the rev limiter in top gear, while tight dirt hairpins and technical paved sections complete the course.

CHAMPIONSHIP SHAKEUP: Kevin Eriksson’s absence from this weekend’s event will allow other full-time drivers to come back into the championship hunt in Daytona. Eriksson currently sits second in series points with 207. Alejandro Fernandez, currently 92 points back of Eriksson at third in the championship, can make up over half of that deficit if he wins the race and both of his heats.
NOTABLE NEWCOMER: Blake Fuller, the 2002 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Open class winner, makes his series debut for C4 Motorsports this weekend in Florida. For Fuller, Daytona is his home race; he’ll step immediately into a vehicle that has shown speed all season, with Austin Cindric earning an X Games medal in his first race in the car and qualifying second in Charlotte last month.

IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE: How strong has Mitchell DeJong been in his second season of GRC Lites? Not only has he earned 217 points in four races, which would put him second to Nelson Piquet Jr. in Supercars standings despite having competed in one fewer race, but he has also posted faster times in heats than Supercars drivers on multiple occasions.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross event at The Dirt Track at Charlotte:
Tyler Benson, Driver, #60 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing GRC Lites: “It’s Daytona—it’s the pinnacle of racing, so just being here and experiencing it, it’s almost overwhelming how huge the facility is. I’m really looking forward to running a different style of track that’s a little less tight and more open. I think it should make for some interesting, fun racing.”

Geoff Sykes, Driver, #6 DTV Solutions GRC Lites: “There are definitely a couple of big factors to this race, one being that we are in the NASCAR capital of the world at Daytona International Speedway. But also, it happens to be the longest GRC track we’ve ever done, almost twice as long as some of the other courses. The going to be twice as long, and it’s going to be hot out here, so it’s definitely going to test us as drivers in endurance.”

Blake Fuller, Driver, #79 C4 Motorsports GRC Lites: “Just being a part of the inaugural race here is great, because Daytona International Speedway has been home to so many epic moments in motorsports. So for it to host GRC, and for it to time perfectly—it’s my home race, and it’s the inaugural one for me—it’s really good.”

DRIVER POINTS:
1. Mitchell DeJong, 217
2. Kevin Eriksson, 207
3. Alejandro Fernandez, 115
4. Geoff Sykes, 111
5. Austin Cindric, 97
6. Tyler Benson, 95
7. Oliver Eriksson, 82
8. Nelson Piquet Jr., 75
9. Atila Abreu, 72
10. Pedro Piquet, 43
11. Colton Herta, 16

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