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Red Bull Global Rallycross – Daytona Florida

Red Bull Global Rallycross – Daytona Florida

Getting Dirty In Daytona:

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Saturday:

Lites-

What started out as a chaotic rush into turn 1 saw Eriksson take a showstopping slide around the outside of the group to take the lead.  The rest of the race was less dramatic as Whitten, Braun, and Martel duked it out for 2nd and 3rd place.  A wet track didn’t give the drivers much room to be as aggressive as had been hoped for.  Having only one set of tires keeps craziness at bay until the teams can figure out their wet setups. Even though the first Lites race of the weekend was rather mundane, the start was spectacular with Eriksson’s move to P1.

We both had some great starts in the (Saturday) final and there was a drag race on the first corner. I knew I had to get out ahead on the first corner and I was outside, so my biggest chance was to outbrake him. I braked,, went in the wet, went sideways and got around him. I don’t really know how—I have to check the videos and stuff, but it was so awesome! I actually thought I was going to spin out, and then I saved it and was in front.” – Oliver Eriksson, #16 Olsbergs MSE X Forces

  1. Oliver Eriksson, #16 Olsbergs MSE X Forces
  2. Tanner Whitten, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  3. Colin Braun, #56 CORE Autosport
  4. Conner Martell, #21 DirtFish Motorsports
  5. Alejandro Fernandez, #126 AF Racing Team

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SuperCars-

Steve Arpin put another trophy in the case for Ganassi after beating out teammate Brian Deegan and Red Bull driver Sebastian Eriksson on a particularly muddy track.  Heavy rains during the mid-afternoon meant that Saturday would run under the infield lights. Nothing was lost to the wait however after watching Arpin capitalize on mistakes and mechanicals by Foust and Speed. Early on Tanner Foust seemed the one to beat after capturing the lead during a Joker Lap.  Foust would lose the lead after spinning going around the tires in turn 6 and collecting Sandell with his left-rear wheel.  Sandell had no where to go and was the victim of coincidental bad luck or else he most likely would’ve taken the podium.

One of the things that I’ve learned here are there are some areas of the track where you just have to attack it like a dirt track, to almost where you are being overaggressive. Then, there are other areas where you have to be super disciplined, just back everything up and stay calm through there. It’s just finding that happy medium in those areas around different parts of the racetrack”- Steve Arpin, #00 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST

  1. Steve Arpin, #00 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
  2. Brian Deegan, #38 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
  3. Sebastian Eriksson, #93 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe
  4. Joni Wiman, #31 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe
  5. Jeff Ward, #07 SH Rallycross/DRR Ford Fiesta ST

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Sunday:

Lites-

It was Tanner Whitten’s turn to take the top step on the podium Sunday. Colin Braun took a heavy shunt that sent him inot the barriers early in the finla heat.  Although e was able to continue on, the race was clearly Whitten’s.  Oliver Eriksson and Miki Weckstrom put up a great fight throughout the entire final with Weckstrom staying permanently pasted to Eriksson’s rear mirrors.

“GRC was a blast! I am super impressed with the series and the level of competition, but also how quickly these CORE guys put together a strong program. I’m happy I could put it on the podium for them on Saturday. GRC is pretty much a contact sport and sometimes you come out on the bad end of it like we did in the main on Sunday, but we sure showed we had a fast car in the heats and raced well all day! We have a lot to learn, but everyone at CORE is up to the task and we’ll be back and even more prepared at the next one.” – Colin Braun, #56 CORE Autosport

  1. Tanner Whitten, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  2. Oliver Eriksson, #16 Olsbergs MSE X Forces
  3. Miki Weckstrom, #45 Olsbergs MSE X Forces
  4. Conner Martell, #21 DirtFish Motorsports
  5. Travis PeCoy, #3 AF Racing Team

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SuperCars-

Foust’s and Speed’s crews pulled all nighters to get their drivers back on the track for Sunday morning.  After resetting the tire barriers for the first start, the race went without a hitch for the restart.   Foust spent the majority of the race working to defend his front position from aggressive drives by both Eriksson and Wiman.  Speed made best use of a late Joker, which held more strategic significance than ever in Daytona, to leap-frog Wiman and Eriksson for second place.

“I really, really love bringing home a win for the guys this weekend. They have been working through the heat, and we were here until 6 in the morning. We had two impacts in the previous round—one hit the hole in the track, which hit the right front suspension. That kind of made the car dead in the water and gave (Patrik) Sandell, nowhere to go, and that was the second impact. The crew had to fix both sides of the car.” – Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle

  1. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
  2. Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
  3. Sebastian Eriksson, #93 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe
  4. Joni Wiman, #31 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe
  5. Brian Deegan, #38 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST

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Retrospective:

This was my first time attending a Red Bull GRC event and I loved every minute of it!  The racing was close, the action was relentless, and even though it rained, I was happy to be there throughout the weekend.

I recently wrote about the Formula D event that took place at Orlando Speedworld a couple weeks ago.  I spent a good amount paper/pixels complaining about my day job and the heat that weekend, but finished with saying that I was a big fan of drifting and rallycross. The heroes and rockstars of racing’s past can be seen in the personalities and auras surrounding not only the events, but their competitors as well.  The crowd wasn’t as young and “hip” as the Formula D crowd but they were just as drawn into the experience as the other was.

Bigger series’ like Indy and F1 should focus on making the event feel like a “party with a race” instead of the opposite and then dwindling attendance and TV ratings will grow.  LEt the drivers be the personalities they are instead of demanding them to be corporate, let them be the Hunts and Stewarts that they are instead of sterile brand spokespeople. Look at Kimi Raikonnen, every time he has a radio transmission or speaks his mind he become more popular. Cooperate Kimi isn’t entertaining. Corporate racing isn’t entertaining.

Once again, if you have the opportunity to attend one of these events (Formula D or Red Bull GRC) you absolutely should!  I can’t sell them enough.
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Written by Mike Miessler

Mike Miessler

I inherited the "car gene" from my brother. He painted car models. I crashed them. After a short stint in college on an FSAE team, I realized that I'm better at fixing cars than I am at driving them. That took me around the U.S. and Canada playing with race cars of all sorts; Formula Fords, MX5 Cup cars, and Porsche Cup cars.

For the last decade I've been lucky enough to meet great people, see awesome tracks, and get my hands dirty on a little bit of everything. Now I'm writing about cars. A little different from driving and working on them, but just as fun!

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