IN BRIEF: It wasn’t an easy fight in the final, but Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross’ Scott Speed churned out his third consecutive Red Bull Global Rallycross victory during the series’ inaugural visit to Atlantic City. After a hectic last lap, Patrik Sandell and Brian Deegan found their way onto the podium in second and third.
HEAT RECAPS: As with many races this year, Speed and teammate Tanner Foust were the class of the field in heats and semifinals—but the real story was how close Foust’s winning streak in preliminary rounds came to ending. A last-lap pass by Brian Deegan in the first round was penalized for being too rough, and Foust’s semifinal was red-flagged for an incident including Nelson Piquet Jr. with the points leader in fifth. He would take full advantage of the restart, however, to climb back to victory. Sebastian Eriksson would win the last chance qualifier.
MAIN EVENT RECAP: Speed and Foust traded the lead three times on the first lap of the eight-lap final, with Foust eventually taking the top spot and extending a gap. However, as the race wound down, Speed was able to close the gap and pass his teammate for the top spot when Foust found himself running on only three tires.
That opened the door for a wild final lap. Patrik Sandell pounced on the Joker Lap to jump from the middle of the pack to second place, barely getting in front of Foust as the two lanes of the course merged. Meanwhile, Deegan had muscled his way around Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Steve Arpin for fourth before catching Foust in third; in redemption from last month’s race in Washington DC, where Foust would get past Deegan on the final lap, this time it was Deegan’s time to take the final spot on the podium.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: The results from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City, the ninth round of the 2016 Red Bull GRC season:
QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City, the ninth round of the 2016 Red Bull GRC season:
Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle: “This track has definitely been my favorite. We’ve never been to a track that rutted up like this did, where we really had to be careful and pick our lines. As we saw in the race, that really played out in my favor, but it definitely made it interesting! What a great city to have a race in—Atlantic City has been amazing, and I love being here. I’m super pumped about the track, it’s been really great to be here. A huge thanks to our sponsors—BFGoodrich make the best tires on earth!”
Patrik Sandell, #18 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST: “This was a fantastic track to drive on with a lot of people out there, and the backdrop was insane. Overall, it was a really good race weekend that GRC put together, so we’re really pleased with that. Bryan Herta Rallysport has done a fantastic job to give me a really fast car this weekend, and they always put their best foot forward to help me out. I had kind of a rough first lap in the final where I was kind of a ping-pong ball in the middle of a lot of cars, but my car was still great and I could still push with it. My spotter did a fantastic job to give me feedback on times all the way through, and what position we could get up to by taking the Joker at the end. It took us all the way up to second, so I’m super happy for the team.”
Brian Deegan, #38 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST: “In the end, it was an awesome race. I just want to thank everyone from Ganassi, they work really had to give us a car that was competitive. We were in the game the whole time, and that makes it so much more fun. I want to thank all the fans for coming out—this is a good stop, and the backdrop here, everything is beautiful. I had a lot of fun, and this is probably the most fun racetrack because it swept really well. It was racy, and the dirt was really rough, so you had to pick your line. That’s rallycross—when cars start bouncing in the air, parts are breaking and people are flying over each other, that’s rallycross. And that’s what I felt here. You didn’t have to get the start to win it, you could actually make some passes. So hopefully we get some more tracks like this and head back to Atlantic City, thanks for having us!”
FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City, the ninth round of the 2016 Red Bull GRC season:
UNOFFICIAL DRIVER POINTS:
UNOFFICIAL MANUFACTURER POINTS:
GRC Lites Race Recap: Atlantic City
IN BRIEF: Alex Keyes did something he’d never done before: he won every single session of GRC Lites action in Atlantic City. From turning the fastest laps in practice and qualifying, to winning both of his heats and the main event, he posted the first perfect weekend of his career; first-time podium finisher Travis PeCoy and Colin Braun placed second and third.
HEAT RECAPS: Keyes blasted out to the lead in both of his heats to back up his pole position and earn lane choice in the main event. Conner Martell, who qualified second overall, won the other first-round heat, but fell back to third in the second round; instead, it was AF Racing Team’s Christian Brooks who would take his first career heat victory in that session. Braun would earn the win in the last chance qualifier over defending series champion Oliver Eriksson.
MAIN EVENT RECAP: For a majority of the race, the podium wasn’t in question; Keyes jumped out to an early lead, PeCoy settled into second place by the second lap, and Braun staked a claim to third place before the race reached halfway. But behind them, the field shuffled throughout the race, with championship contenders having to deal with the implications.
Miki Weckstrom briefly held a top-three spot, but slid back in the pack as the race went on. Martell also had to claw his way forward in the main event to get back into the top six. It was championship leader Cabot Bigham who did the most work to get up front, though; after falling back to ninth on the start, he still made his way back up to fifth. Likewise, Eriksson still managed to salvage fourth place after his LCQ appearance.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: The results from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City, the ninth round of the 2016 GRC Lites season:
QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City, the ninth round of the 2016 GRC Lites season:
Alex Keyes, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: “This is a great way to end my half of the year! It’s actually been a pretty rough year so far, I haven’t had the results that I’ve wanted, and I’ve made some mistakes along the way. It feels great to finish good, because there are a lot of great people behind it. We have some new partners, but I’m still at DRR—I love the team and everyone on there. We have a mechanic with a birthday today, so this is a nice gift for him. Everyone on the team has been great, and it’s been a great year.”
Travis PeCoy, #3 AF Racing Team: “It’s been building this whole season. The last race, I was fourth and chasing the podium, so I had to get it done this weekend. Keyes was unstoppable this weekend, so kudos to him—he was on rails all day. The Joker really came in handy, and then Weckstrom made a mistake, so I was able to capitalize on that. It was really good racing, thanks to everyone who ran a proper and clean race, and thanks to my whole team. They work so hard, especially coming off of a terrible qualifying run, so it was a surprise to find myself in second. I’m stoked for my mechanics and all my sponsors.”
Colin Braun, #56 CORE autosport: “It’s a blast! This is so fun, very different from what I came from in the style of racing. We proved today that if you find yourself in the LCQ, and you have a fast car, you’re not out of it—but it makes it a lot harder. Hats off to these guys. The CORE autosport guys did a great job of getting the car fixed back up in between rounds, my spotter made a good call on the Joker, and we had good pace. It’s a whole new world, and it’s a blast.”
FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City, the ninth round of the 2016 GRC Lites season:
UNOFFICIAL DRIVER POINTS: