LA Doubleheader

Scott Speed won the first two races of the 2014 GRC season.  [credit Alison Padron/Red Bull Content Pool]


This weekend is a big deal for Red Bull Global Rallycross as the series heads home to Los Angeles for a doubleheader event with racing on Saturday and Sunday.

Only four races remain on the 2014 schedule, including the two this weekend, so it is showtime for the drivers as they make their way towards a championship.  Currently, F1 and NASCAR driver Nelson Piquet Jr. leads the championship battle in his SH Racing Rallycross Ford.  Closing quickly is Ken Block in his Hoonigan Racing Division Ford.  Block recently won at Charlotte and has three podium finishes in a row heading into this weekend.  Fourty-one points separate the top two drivers.  Andretti Autosport VW driver and two time winner this season Scott Speed as well as super rally team Olsbergs MSE’s rookie driver Joni Wiman could be right in the thick of the points battle as well with solid finishes this weekend.

“We got more than three guys in the chase for the championship but three guys who are pretty close to each other in the championship,” said Global Rallycross CEO Colin Dyne.  “Nelson Piquet has been doing a fantastic job, Scott Speed has already won two races, Ken (Block) has won a race.  When you have a close race for the title, it makes it all more interesting.”

Adding to the homecoming excitement is Travis Pastrana returning with the Subaru Rally Team USA for his second series race this season.  The X-Games and action sports star could be the spoiler in the mix of the championship run as he looks to add Subaru to the list of winning manufacturers this season in GRC.

“This is going to be a fantastic weekend here in Los Angeles.  There is a big motorsports crowd and a big action sports crowd.  This is really where the sport started from,” said Dyne.  “We’re excited about the event and the double-header.   Double headers are great, great for the fans and the drivers really enjoy them.  It’s extra work for the crews, but that’s what they love doing – working on race cars.  Teams will have different strategies, some may be conservative in one race and not so in the other race, but everybody wants to win both races – that would be quite spectacular.”

Rounds 7 and 8 at the Port of Los Angeles will take place on a .586 mile course with a sweeping first corner for opening lap excitement and a dirt infield with a jump between corners six and seven.  The longest “joker lane” of the season, which drivers must use one time in a race, will add to the strategy drivers must employ in the event.  Adding to the strategy is that the car raced on Saturday will need to be used on Sunday as well, so tearing up a car early will require the crews to work extra hard to have it ready for round 8.

Variety has been a theme this season.  After Speed won the opening two races there has been a different driver finding victory lane in each event.  Manufacturers have been diverse as well with Volkswagen, Ford and Hyundai taking wins in the six races run.

“I think the field is a real stellar field and we’ve got a couple rookies that have done really well, winning heat races and showing some of the veterans that they know how to play the racing game,” said Dyne.  “The manufacturers have all stepped it up.  Having different winners and different manufacturers win is great.”

The 2014 season for the Red Bull Global Rallycross series was expected to feature growth as the series brought on new sponsorship, new venues on the schedule and signed a TV partnership with the races broadcast on NBC.  This weekend’s Port of Los Angeles races can be seen live on NBC on Saturday at 5:00pm EST and Sunday at 5:00pm EST.

“We have a lot of momentum going into our LA race this weekend after starting out in Barbados,” said Dyne.  “It’s been a wonderful experience working with the folks at NBC.  We had a great race in Barbados, a great race in New York and Washington DC, and we’ve hit some pretty exciting locations this year and are doing exactly what we promised our stakeholders we were going to do this year.  So from that perspective, we are very happy with that.”

Following this weekend’s events at the Port of Los Angeles, the series heads to Seattle next weekend and wraps up on November 5th with the finale in Las Vegas.

Global RallyCross Quick Laps:

–          Subaru Rally Team USA has not yet won this season but has two podium finishes in the last two races with Sverre Isachsen (2nd) in Charlotte and Bucky Lasek (3rd) in Daytona.

–          Barracuda Racing Ford driver Austin Dyne has raced in all six finals this season, just his second season driving Rallycross and his first in the top Supercar division.  Only two other drivers have competed in all of the finals this year, point leader Piquet and two time winner Speed.

–          2015 schedule preview – look for nine or ten events with two doubleheaders.  “We have our TV schedule already in place and are slotting in the locations.  There will be repeat locations that we will be going to and there will be some new locations.  We are looking to have our schedule announced probably toward the middle of October,” said Colin Dyne.

Find out more about Red Bull GRC at their website:

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