Another thrilling season of Red Bull Global Rallycross has come to a close. Despite the departure of perennial series regular and crowd favorite Ken Block this year, as well as the absence of Las Vegas from the event calendar, the competition was as exciting as ever.
This double-header event at the Port of Los Angeles determined the season champions for both Supercars and GRC Lites. Multiple heats in two complete events – one on Saturday and another on Sunday, produced numerous race starts, plenty of on-track battles and close finishes.
The battle for the series championship in Supercars was a real nail biter. Going into Sunday’s races, Tanner Foust led his Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teammate Scott Speed (last year’s champion and former Formula One racer), but in dramatic fashion Speed overtook Foust to win the series championship by a slim six points. Tanner Foust, himself a multiple-time Red Bull Global Rallycross champion, accepted defeat graciously.
Brian Deegan had not won a Supercar race in five long years but that changed in what some said was “the move of the race,” if not the move of the year. Here’s how it went down.
In the early stages of Sunday’s feature race, Patrick Sandell, Scott Speed and Tanner Foust all took the Joker Lap and were ahead of Deegan, who described it this way (according to Red Bull GRC News):
While the three of them battled each other, putting lots of wear and tear on their equipment, Deegan worked his way towards them, lap after lap, biding his time for one big move near the end of the race:
Deegan could not contain his euphoric joy on the podium.
In another tight, close-fought battle – this time in GRC Lites – Cabot Bingham advanced in a chaotic final feature race from a last place start to pass and beat 2015 series champion Oliver Ericksson by only five points for their series title.
In past years the series finale has been held in Las Vegas, at the same time as the SEMA Show – a huge automotive aftermarket trade show. Last year’s Red Bull GRC finale was particularly spectacular. Hail and lightning in the afternoon – which was so bad that it forced the temporary, complete evacuation of the event venue – and then more driving rain during the feature races on a bone-chillingly cold November evening, transformed the racetrack into a sea of mud, causing the racecars to go in every direction, on and off the racetrack While it made for great television, the weather was brutal for spectators, race crews, racers and members of the press alike.
In stark contrast, this year’s season finale was held under beautiful, sunny skies, in balmy weather next to the Pacific Ocean at the Port of Los Angeles. This made it easier and much more comfortable for the spectators who were there in person to see and enjoy the close racing, complete with cars, dirt and car parts flying through the air.
For more information, go to redbullglobalrallycross.com and click on the RESULTS tab.
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Copyright © 2016 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #459