GRC: Fort Lauderdale race preview
Written by GRC    Saturday, 30 May 2015 20:20    Print
The 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross season kicks off with a brand new event in Fort Lauderdale at the Bahia Mar Resort.
Scott Speed will look to win his third straight season opener, while Joni Wiman will hope to kick off his championship defense on a high note over such competitors as Ken Block, Tanner Foust, Nelson Piquet Jr., and Bucky Lasek.
TUNE IN INFORMATION: Sunday, May 31, 3PM ET on NBC and
NBC Sports Group will be offering live streaming of the Global Rallycross Fort Lauderdale race through the NBC Sports Live Extra app via desktop, mobile and tablet.
TICKETS: Click here
2015 SPECTATOR GUIDE: Click here
LAST RACE: Ken Block won the battle, but Joni Wiman won the war in Red Bull GRC’s 2014 season finale in Las Vegas. Block dominated the weekend to win his second race of the season, but Wiman, despite going winless all year long, earned just enough points with his runner-up finish to steal the championship.
DRIVER CHANGES: Click here for a 2014-15 silly season recap detailing driver changes since last year’s finale in Las Vegas.
THE TRACK: Click here for full details about the brand new .420-mile course at the Bahia Mar Resort.
SEASON OPENER TO TAKE PLACE IN FORT LAUDERDALE FOR FIRST TIME: Fort Lauderdale will host its first Red Bull Global Rallycross event this weekend, the second Florida-based event in the series’ history after a debut run at Daytona International Speedway last year. The event will kick off a busy month to start the 2015 season, with the non-points event at X Games Austin following next weekend and a return to Daytona in three weeks’ time.
NEW VEHICLES PROLIFERATE SUPERCAR GRID: After the 2014 season, many of Red Bull GRC’s top drivers swapped out their old rides for fresh machinery, whether or not they changed race teams in the offseason. Subaru Rally Team USA has replaced Bucky Lasek and Sverre Isachsen’s hatchback WRX STIs for the newer model sedan, while Steve Arpin, Brian Deegan, Austin Dyne, and Patrik Sandell will all join Ken Block in M-Sport Ford Fiesta STs. While the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross squad retains Beetles for Scott Speed and Tanner Foust, this year’s cars have swapped out the 1.6-liter engines for 2.0-liter powerplants.
ERIKSSON, GONZALEZ JOIN SUPERCAR GRID: Sebastian Eriksson of Olsbergs MSE and Victor Gonzalez Jr. of Rhys Millen Racing are the two newcomers on the 2015 Red Bull GRC Supercar grid. Eriksson, the 2013 GRC Lites runner-up, spent last year racing Supercars in Europe and coaching Lites drivers worldwide. Gonzalez, the first Puerto Rican driver to ever compete in NASCAR, will be making his rallycross debut in the event.
QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Fort Lauderdale:
Steve Arpin, #00 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST: “We’re back at the race track, it’s 2015—we’ve got a great race team and great partners, an incredible race team in Chip Ganassi Racing. We’re back to racing, and it’s awesome. I’m just happy that we’re here! The track is shorter, it’s tight, it’s going to be interesting, but it’s going to be the same amount of interesting for everyone. So we just need to do everything we can—there aren’t many places to capitalize on a short track like this, so we’ll just need to be on top of our game in those places where we can.”
Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI: “I think we’ve got a lot to look forward to with this new car. We tested every aspect of it, we tried to break everything we could possibly break, and I think we did a good job! I think what we have now is basically a car that is ready to be proven. Just to see it all come into place, I’m really looking forward to the first race. It’s a short track that might not show all that the car has to offer, but I think this track would be able to bring out the weaknesses of the old car. To be able to show the strengths of this new car on a course like this, I think that’s going to be a big statement.”
Austin Dyne, #14 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST: “We just need to be really smooth and really tidy. You can’t make a lot of errors here. It’s small, but it’s not too skinny, so you have a little room lift-wise. If you’re smooth and tidy, you should be fast.”
Sebastian Eriksson, #93 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST: “It’s quite short and narrow with the concrete blocks around the track all the way. You need to drive quite safe, to not risk anything to break the car. It’s a lot of laps in the final, so you need to keep the car in one piece.”

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 30 May 2015 20:43 )