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GRC Lites: Daytona race preview
Written by GRC    Friday, 19 June 2015 17:59    PDF Print E-mail

A record-setting 11 entries mark the first doubleheader of the 2015 GRC Lites season, a return engagement at Daytona International Speedway.


Only two of the drivers competing this weekend have seen the track before, led by last year’s runner-up Alejandro Fernandez.


Friday, June 26, 2PM ET on NBCSN and

NBC Sports Group will be offering live streaming of the Global Rallycross Daytona race through the NBC Sports Live Extra app via desktop, mobile and tablet.

TICKETS: Click here


2015 SPECTATOR GUIDE: Click here

LAST RACE: As was the case early last year, sophomore drivers were the class of the field in the Lites season opener in Fort Lauderdale. Olsbergs MSE took two spots on the podium with victor Austin Cindric and third place finisher Oliver Eriksson, while Alejandro Fernandez tied a career best with his runner-up result.

DRIVER CHANGES: Harry Cheung makes his first GRC Lites start since Charlotte in September 2013, joining the Rhys Millen Racing squad alongside teammate Jackie Heinricher. Aside from Cheung, all 10 competitors who raced in Fort Lauderdale will return to compete in Daytona.

THE TRACK: The Daytona International Speedway course remains nearly unchanged from the 2014 season. The .931-mile course features 11 turns and a dirt jump with a 69% to 31% pavement to dirt ratio.

OLSBERGS MSE AT FRONT OF FIELD ONCE AGAIN: As was the case for much of last season, when its drivers combined for all nine race wins and 17 podiums, Olsbergs MSE had plenty to celebrate on the GRC Lites front in Fort Lauderdale. Austin Cindric won his first Lites race in his first event with the team, while teammate Oliver Eriksson returned to the podium for the first time since Charlotte last July.

WHITTEN LEADS NEWCOMERS INTO DAYTONA: Tanner Whitten was one of the original test drivers for the GRC Lites platform when it was being developed in 2012, but he didn’t make it to the track in a race situation until last month in Florida. He spent time in second place during the first final, but fell to fourth after the restart and eventually finished there. Still, Whitten leads all 2015 Lites rookies in points with 39 heading into the doubleheader.

FRESH TRACK, FORMAT FOR MAJORITY OF FIELD: Of the 11 drivers racing this weekend, only Alejandro Fernandez and Geoff Sykes competed in last year’s Daytona round. That experience should give them an advantage on the track layout, but they’ve got another ace up their sleeve: doubleheader experience. They’re two of the only three drivers (Austin Cindric is the other) to have run back-to-back races in the class, which they did in Los Angeles last year. That experience with saving equipment and knowing when to push may come in handy this weekend.

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

Alejandro Fernandez, #126 AF Racing: “What I’m looking the most forward to is getting a good result again. Last year, this is where I got my first podium, so I really want to capitalize on that. Besides that, the track looks really fun. It looks like it’s going to be faster than what it was last year, because before the long straight last year was a lot more, like, tighter. So now, it looks a lot more open and it’ll probably be flat out going down the front straightaway, so that’ll be fun.”

Tanner Whitten, #15 DirtFish Motorsports: “I think this course is really going to suit the Lites cars really, really well. They’ve taken out some of the really tight stuff that would’ve really bogged these cars down, so it’s going to be a really fast-flowing, momentum track for these cars, so I’m really excited to see how we take to this track with these cars. It definitely falls right into my wheelhouse of what I’m used to, and it’s just really cool to be at Daytona. I don’t care what sport you do — whether it’s NASCAR, Rolex 24, Supercross — Daytona, for me, is the pinnacle. So I think this is a really, really cool opportunity and I’m really excited to get up on the box in both of these races this weekend. ”

Alex Keyes, #61 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: “I was ready to go for that first race in Ft. Lauderdale and then, of course, I wasn’t able to do it, so it just makes me want it more here. And the doubleheader, it’s a pretty good weekend — if we have a good weekend, then it could be big. Because if we do well, it pays off twice.”

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Last Updated ( Friday, 19 June 2015 18:14 )