Isachsen Takes GRC Seattle

Sverre Isachsen scored the first victory for Subaru in the Red Bull Global RallyCross series at DirtFish Rally School in Seattle, WA. [Alison Padron / Red Bull Content Pool]

Subaru Rally Team USA Gets First Win In Red Bull Global Rallycross

Sverre Isachsen scored Subaru Rally Team USA’s first-ever Red Bull Global Rallycross victory in front of a sellout crowd at DirtFish Rally School in Snoqualmie, WA, in Saturday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Seattle. Isachsen, a three-time European rallycross champion, earned the victory over new series points leader Joni Wiman, and Brian Deegan.

“It is really important for the team,” said Isachsen. “We never gave up on developing this car—it takes time. You do something wrong, but then you do something right, and then of course today we had a fast car. It’s huge for everybody, all the Subaru guys.”

A thrilling main event saw points leader Ken Block, starting from pole, clip a barrier upon entering the joker lane in the first corner, allowing Isachsen to get by while Block bounced into two-time series champion Tanner Foust. Wiman, who started from the outside front row and elected to save his joker, fought his way back into second place to take his third consecutive podium finish.

“It looked a bit bad in the first half of the season, but we worked hard and never gave up in the second half of the season, and that’s been really good,” Wiman said. “It’s amazing to lead the championship. I’m so happy and it feels amazing, and I want to go!”

In GRC Lites, Mitchell DeJong clinched the 2014 championship by virtue of starting the event, mathematically eliminating all other drivers from contention. The 17-year-old celebrated in the best way possible by earning his sixth victory and third perfect weekend (he was fastest in qualifying and the winner of both of his heats) of the year. Austin Cindric and Alejandro Fernandez completed the podium.

Full results from Red Bull Global Rallycross Seattle:

1. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
2. Joni Wiman, #31 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
3. Brian Deegan, #38 Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta ST
4. Nelson Piquet Jr., #75 SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
5. Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
6. Scott Speed, #77 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo
7. Patrik Sandell, #18 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
8. David Higgins, #715 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
9. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
10. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
11. Steve Arpin, #00 Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
12. Austin Dyne, #14 Barracuda Racing Ford Fiesta
13. Emma Gilmour, #27 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
14. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI

Unofficial points through nine of 10 rounds:

1. Joni Wiman, 332 points
2. Ken Block, 320
3. Nelson Piquet Jr., 304
4. Scott Speed, 303
5. Sverre Isachsen, 247
6. Patrik Sandell, 239
7. Steve Arpin, 208
8. Rhys Millen, 196
9. Tanner Foust, 178
10. Bucky Lasek, 173
11. Austin Dyne, 147
12. Brian Deegan, 127
13. Emma Gilmour, 40
14. Pat Moro, 5

Unofficial Manufacturer Points:
1. Ford, 841
2. Volkswagen, 481
3. Subaru, 420
4. Hyundai, 236
5. Chevrolet, 5

FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Red Bull Global Rallycross Seattle, the ninth round of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross season:
• Sverre Isachsen scored the first victory of his Red Bull Global Rallycross career, and the first for Subaru Rally Team USA in Red Bull GRC, in Saturday’s event. It was Isachsen’s first overall race victory in rallycross since October 2011, when he finished his third consecutive European championship-winning season with a victory in the Czech Republic.
• Joni Wiman earned his third podium finish in eight days by finishing second in Seattle. It was his fourth podium finish of the year. He became the Supercar points leader for the first time in his career with the victory.
• Brian Deegan earned the 12th podium of his Red Bull GRC career, second-most of all time, and his second podium of the season by finishing third on Saturday.
• David Higgins finished eighth in his first Red Bull GRC start since X Games Los Angeles in July 2012. Higgins finished seventh in that event, also driving for Subaru Rally Team USA.
• Ken Block’s ninth place finish broke a streak of five consecutive podium finishes dating back to July’s Volkswagen Rallycross NY. Block also lost the points lead that he gained by virtue of two podium finishes in last week’s Red Bull GRC Los Angeles.
• Austin Dyne failed to appear in a main event for the first time this season by finishing sixth in the last chance qualifier. Scott Speed is now the only driver to have made it to every main event this season.

GRC Lites Race Recap: DirtFish Rally School

IN BRIEF: Mitchell DeJong took a well-earned victory lap at Red Bull Global Rallycross Seattle, the eighth round of the 2014 GRC Lites season. He earned his sixth victory of the season, as well as his third perfect weekend of the year. Austin Cindric and Alejandro Fernandez completed the podium.

HEAT RECAPS: Mitchell DeJong’s heat performances were outstanding, as almost nobody had anything for him in either session. DeJong won the first race by over 11 seconds and the second by over eight. The most intense battles came between Fernandez and Cindric, who fought for second, with the Colombian driver taking the spot both times.

To the surprise of many, DeJong looked somewhat vulnerable at the start of the main event, as Tyler Benson nipped the champion at the line to lead the first lap of the race. But from there, DeJong reasserted himself at the front of the pack and extended his lead to 12 seconds by race’s end. Fernandez took the joker to take second place, but Cindric climbed into the spot by taking his joker one lap later.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: The results from Saturday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Seattle, the eighth round of the 2014 GRC Lites season:
1. Mitchell DeJong, #24 Olsbergs MSE
2. Austin Cindric, #77 C4 Motorsports
3. Alejandro Fernandez, #126 Olsbergs MSE/AF Racing
4. Tyler Benson, #60 Rhys Millen Racing
5. Geoff Sykes, #6 DTV Solutions

QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Saturday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Seattle, the eighth round of the 2014 GRC Lites season:

Mitchell DeJong, Driver, #24 Olsbergs MSE GRC Lites: “You kind of have to guess on setup at first, what you think it’s going to be like. Fortunately, I have great mechanics, and we kind of guessed right. We only had to make very minor adjustments all weekend. This is an awesome track—you get to slide. I think the biggest thing on this track is you really have to pitch into corners and get it rotated early, but not slide too much or get too much wheel spin. It’s a hard balance, but it was definitely my favorite track of the year, and I hope to be back next year.”

Austin Cindric, Driver, #77 C4 Motorsports GRC Lites: “It’s been really difficult for me because I have no experience on dirt, but I come in here and learn with an open mind, and I think that helps me a lot. In my first year I think I adapted to things quite quickly between all my experiences in different types of cars. That’s been on my side, and just a little bit of good luck, hard racing and lots of fun! Alejo Fernandez and I had an awesome race—every heat race we were battling each other, in the final we passed each other twice through the joker and through the hairpin, and it was a blast. I had a lot of fun.”

Alejandro Fernandez, Driver, #126 Olsbergs MSE/AF Racing GRC Lites: “It feels good, and we’re looking for Vegas to have another fun track. Seattle was definitely a really cool venue. I’m looking to get second in the championship, if not clinch third in Vegas, so we’ll see what happens. The battle was really good—both Cindric and I were almost on the same pace and I just took the joker a lap earlier than he did. Then he got me back, and I was starting to get on him, until with five, four laps left our oil temperature just got too high and our engine went into safety mode. So it was a struggle trying to catch him after that, but it was still really good fun, and I hope to see some more good racing in Vegas like that.”

FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Saturday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Seattle, the eighth round of the 2014 GRC Lites season:
• Due to Kevin Eriksson’s non-appearance in Seattle, Mitchell DeJong clinched the 2014 GRC Lites title solely by starting Saturday’s event. DeJong qualified first, won both of his heats, and the main event for the third time this year; the other occurrences came in Washington DC in June and Daytona in August.
• Austin CIndric earned a career-best second place finish on Saturday. It was Cindric’s first podium finish in GRC Lites since X Games Austin in June, when he ran third.
• Alejandro Fernandez earned his third podium finish of the 2014 season, with all coming in the past four races.
• Tyler Benson and Geoff Sykes now share the fourth spot in the GRC Lites standings after Saturday’s event. Benson leads Sykes in podium finishes 1-0 by virtue of his third place result in Daytona.

1. Mitchell DeJong, 433
2. Kevin Eriksson, 314
3. Alejandro Fernandez, 274
4. Tyler Benson, 235
5. Geoff Sykes, 235
6. Austin Cindric, 213
7. Oliver Eriksson, 82
8. Nelson Piquet Jr., 75
9. Kevin Hansen, 74
10. Atila Abreu, 72
11. Pedro Piquet, 43
12. Blake Fuller, 37
13. Colton Herta, 16

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