|GRC Lites: ashington DC presented by Volkswagen race preview|
The second half of the longest season in GRC Lites history kicks off on a brand new course at RFK Stadium in Washington DC.
Five drivers have taken victories in the first six rounds of the season, meaning nearly half the field could walk out of this weekend’s event with the championship lead.
TUNE IN INFORMATION:
Wednesday, August 19, 4:30PM ET on NBCSN
NBC Sports Group will be offering live streaming of the Global Rallycross Washington DC race through the NBC Sports Live Extra app via desktop, mobile and tablet.
TICKETS: Click here
EVENT SPOTTER GUIDE: Click here
2015 SPECTATOR GUIDE: Click here
LAST RACE: Tanner Whitten and Miles Maroney split the two Detroit races at the end of last month, with each driver taking his first victory of the 2015 season. But it was Austin Cindric who walked out of the weekend as the big winner—with a pair of third-place finishes, he reclaimed the championship lead from Whitten.
DRIVER CHANGES: Rhys Millen Racing pares down to a single entry in DC, with Blas Zapag jumping into Harry Cheung’s car, while Gavin Harlien will skip this weekend’s event as well. Meanwhile, Joachim Hvaal will join the GRC Lites field for the first time in a third Olsbergs MSE entry.
THE TRACK: At .980 miles and with nine turns, the new RFK Stadium layout is significantly larger, faster, and wider than last year’s course and one of the longest in Red Bull GRC history. The dirt jump also returns after being utilized in at three of this season’s events. Click here for more information on the track.
TITLE RACE GETS TIGHTER AND TIGHTER: When Tanner Whitten fell out of the second Detroit race due to contact with Alejandro Fernandez, it opened the door for his championship rivals to make up some ground. Unfortunately for the DirtFish Motorsports driver, they did just that; Miles Maroney won the race, with Fernandez second and Austin Cindric third, and all three passed him in the championship standings. The good news for Whitten? The spread between all four drivers is 16 points. Add Oliver Eriksson at 31 points back of the lead and this weekend’s action will be pivotal to determining this year’s champion.
SPORTS CAR-STYLE COURSE SUITS TOP LITES DRIVERS: This weekend’s Washington DC course shares characteristics with an American Le Mans Series race held at RFK Stadium 15 years ago, making it one of the most road racing-type courses on the circuit this year. That’s good news for some of the top drivers in the series; Miles Maroney was the youngest driver in ALMS history when he debuted in the series at 17, while Austin Cindric races Ford Mustangs in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and Tanner Whitten has raced Porsches for Isringhausen Motorsports.
ALI RETURNS TO SECOND HOMETOWN: AF Racing’s Nur Ali is no stranger to Washington DC, a city which he refers to as his “second hometown.” A graduate of American University, Ali takes a keen interest in politics, having served as an intern for Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) during his college years before moving on to an impressive career in open wheel racing, stock cars, and most recently GRC Lites. Ali is also coming off of a career-best fourth place finish in Detroit.
QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Washington DC presented by Volkswagen:
Miles Maroney, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: “At this point I’ve actually grown quite fond of the dirt parts of the circuits, so I’m always excited to see the track layouts no matter what. On the heels of our performance in Detroit, to say I’m excited to get to DC would be an understatement and I’m looking forward to getting back to work at RFK. Knowing that it involves elements of a sports car track is just icing on the cake.”
Tanner Whitten, #15 DirtFish Motorsports: “After finally taking our first win in Detroit I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders as well as the teams. We knew from round one that we had what it took to run up front. But it’s just so hard to win these events with how stacked the competition is this year, so taking that first win means so much to me. Coming into DC I don’t feel any more pressure than I have all year. We know we have the speed and we have the clean race raft to back it up. So we just need to stay clean the rest of the year and we will be right back up there by the finale in Las Vegas.”
Nur Ali, #42 AF Racing: “From what I saw on the map, I think if I can capitalize on what I did at Detroit and take it to the next level mentally and I guess as a driver, I think we can do better this weekend. It’s just a matter of getting used to this whole program, the car, and everything else that’s been in the works. I think it’s a benefit for me and my team and myself that if the cards fall in the right place, I think this could be a good opportunity for us to maybe take a podium this weekend.”