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Red Bull GRC Race Preview: Washington DC

© by Larry Chen / Red Bull Content Pool

2016 Red Bull Global Rallycross season kicks off with a return to Washington DC and a new course layout at RFK Stadium

IN BRIEF: The second half of the 2016 Red Bull Global Rallycross season kicks off with a return to Washington DC and a new course layout at RFK Stadium. Defending race winner Nelson Piquet Jr. returns to a Supercar for the first time this season to go for back-to-back victories in the nation’s capital.

TUNE IN INFORMATION:

Saturday, July 30, 2PM ET on NBC
Saturday, July 30, 2:30PM ET on Red Bull TV

TICKETS: Click here

EVENT SPOTTER GUIDE: Click here

LAST RACE: Defending Supercar champion Scott Speed finally broke through for his first victory of the 2016 season with a last-lap pass at Marine Corps Air Station New River. After an early mechanical failure for Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan inherited the lead for most of the race, only to lose the top spot in the Joker Lap on the final lap of the race. Steve Arpin completed the podium behind Speed and Deegan.

DRIVER CHANGES: Nelson Piquet Jr. rejoins SH Rallycross/DRR for this weekend’s event in hopes of defending his Washington DC victory last year. In 22 starts for the team from 2014-15, Piquet earned eight podium finishes and finished fourth in the final standings in both seasons.

THE TRACK: This year’s Washington DC course returns to Lot 8 of RFK Stadium, but reverses direction as part of an entirely new .899-mile layout. The 10-turn course includes a new technical section beneath the DC Metro, and a jump leading directly to the finish line. Click here for more information on the track.

INTENSE BATTLE FOR SUPERCAR TITLE EMERGES: With the right combination of finishes this weekend, any of the top five drivers in Supercar points can leave Red Bull GRC Washington DC with the championship lead. Current leader Tanner Foust (295 points), Steve Arpin (286), and Scott Speed (279) have the best chance of heading to Atlantic City on top; fourth-place Brian Deegan (248) and fifth-place Patrik Sandell (243) are also within striking distance this weekend and can take the top spot by capitalizing on others’ potential struggles.

VOLKSWAGEN AIMS FOR FIRST VICTORY AT HOME EVENT: Located in nearby Herndon, Virginia, Red Bull GRC Washington DC represents a home race for Volkswagen USA. Drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed, combined winners of three Supercar titles, have yet to crack the podium, but both enter the weekend as favorites; Foust has already tied the single-season record for heat and semifinal wins with 16, while Speed is the series’ most recent race winner at MCAS New River.

RED BULL GRC LAUNCHES PICK 5 FANTASY RALLYCROSS PRESENTED BY BFGOODRICH: For the first time, Red Bull GRC steps into the world of fantasy sports this weekend with Pick 5 Fantasy Rallycross presented by BFGoodrich Tires. Throughout the week, fans have submitted entries to series social channels selecting five Supercar drivers to represent them in the final five rounds of the 2016 season. The fan whose selections earn the most combined points will win a prize pack from BFGoodrich Tires and signed memorabilia from each driver. Click here for more information.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Washington DC:

Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Rallycross/DRR Ford Fiesta ST: ““I’ve missed competing in Red Bull GRC with SH Rallycross/DRR. I had such a great couple of seasons with the team and I love rallycross. Sulli and I are friends and have kept in touch. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to race again with the team that helped me get my first GRC victory.””

Patrik Sandell, #18 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST: “I am very excited for Washington DC again. My first time here it was fantastic, and we won. The second time, we placed second. I am happy to have Nelson back—I told him to watch my back now, as I was watching his back last year. Hopefully the weekend will treat me well.”

Austin Dyne, #14 AD Racing Ford Fiesta ST: “This track should be better than last year, even though last year was a quite big improvement from the first year where the lot was half the size. It’s hard to compare, but it should be good. I saw the track and it looks good. I’m sure it will drag dirt on the front stretch, which will make it quite slippery, and that kind of mix between tarmac and dust that creates a lot of passing will be there.”

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GRC Lites Race Preview: Washington DC

IN BRIEF: This weekend, GRC Lites returns to action at RFK Stadium for the third consecutive year. Defending race winner Alex Keyes, defending Lites champion Oliver Eriksson, and current points leader Cabot Bigham headline the ever-competitive spec feeder series to Red Bull GRC’s marquee Supercar division.

TUNE IN INFORMATION:

Thursday, August 25, 5:30PM ET on NBCSN
Sunday, July 30, 2:30PM ET on Red Bull TV

TICKETS: Click here

EVENT SPOTTER GUIDE: Click here

LAST RACE: Miki Weckstrom returned to the top step of the podium during a lightning-abbreviated main event at Marine Corps Air Station New River earlier this month. Weckstrom coasted away with the victory over Blake “Bilko” Williams and Parker Chase, both of whom earned their first-ever Lites podium finishes.

DRIVER CHANGES: CORE autosport returns to the field this weekend after missing MCAS New River due to a schedule conflict. Drivers Colin Braun and Jon Bennett each made it to the main event in their debut in the series at Daytona International Speedway, with Braun earning a podium finish in his first-ever rallycross start. Sandra Hultgren also rejoins the field after making her GRC Lites debut last year in Las Vegas; she is a mainstay of Olsbergs MSE X Forces’ Lites programs in Europe.

THE TRACK: This year’s Washington DC course returns to Lot 8 of RFK Stadium, but reverses direction as part of an entirely new .899-mile layout. The 10-turn course includes a new technical section beneath the DC Metro, and a jump leading directly to the finish line. Click here for more information on the track.

LITES CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE TIGHTENS: Cabot Bigham’s consistency for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has him in the Lites championship lead with five races left on the 2016 schedule. However, Bigham (247 points) has three drivers right on his tail: a pair of Olsbergs MSE X Forces teammates in defending series champion Oliver Eriksson (233) and two-time 2016 race winner Miki Weckstrom (232), and Phoenix II victor Conner Martell of DirtFish Motorsports (225).

SHARED DREYER & REINBOLD RIDE PRODUCING BIG RESULTS: The #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entry, shared by Tanner Whitten and Alex Keyes, has earned 250 points so far in 2016, more than any individual driver in the Lites championship. Keyes returns to the car this weekend in Washington DC, as he aims to defend his victory here last year, and will finish his portion of the schedule next month in Atlantic City. Whitten will close the season in Seattle and Los Angeles.

RETURNING DRIVERS HAVE LEG UP ON REST OF LITES FIELD: Only three of this weekend’s 12 Lites entrants competed in last year’s event at RFK Stadium: Alex Keyes, Oliver Eriksson, and Alejandro Fernandez. All three came out of the weekend with strong results: Keyes held off Eriksson for the victory, while Fernandez placed a respectable fourth.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Washington DC:

Alex Keyes, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: “We are running on a little bit of the same track as last year. We are running in a different direction, but it is definitely shorter. We have a dirt corner this year, which will be interesting—last year we pretty much just had a dirt straightaway. It will be interesting to see where the bumps are. This track last year was definitely the bumpiest, which honestly wasn’t a bad thing. I kind of like it that way. There are a lot of unknowns—we’ll see how it all plays out.”

Colin Braun, #56 CORE autosport: ““I’m really looking forward to getting back in the GRC car. It’s so much fun. It’s so different and we’re still in the steep part of the learning curve. I’m really excited to continue that learning process and figure out more about the car and how to go fast. Daytona was a lot of fun, but it was also a taste of all the stuff we needed to learn. We went back to the shop and talked about it as a group and I think we’ll be a lot stronger doing our second race.”

Cabot Bigham, #2 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: “It’s all about the points at this point, no pun intended. We are half way through the season—at this juncture we are just trying to finish the season strong, keep finishing and keeping the car in one piece. Hopefully we can just be in a good enough position to get that first win. But even if I didn’t get a win this entire season, taking the championship home would be my main priority. I think the biggest thing now is just to keep the car on track.”

Jon Bennett, #54 CORE autosport: ““We have our first event under our belt and we understand the way the event flows and a little bit about our competitors and the feel of a GRC weekend. I think Colin and I are really looking forward to going to Washington DC and focus more on our actual racing and not just on understanding how the event works and the mechanics of going GRC racing. Plus, we both know how to properly jump a car now, so that chapter’s been written! We’re looking forward to settling into a groove and doing our homework on how to make the cars faster and be more competitive.”

Written by CNaz

CNaz

My Life at Speed Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Chris Nazarenus, had a chance meeting with key executives at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1998. It would be the "Jerry McGuire" moment that would change her life forever. Although she knew nothing about motorsports at that time, the chance meeting would influence her passion for all things fast, great stories and interesting people. That's what you will find here at My Life at Speed.

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