Friday, 18 August 2017
Red Bull GRC Race Preview: Los Angeles
Written by GRC    Friday, 07 October 2016 20:54    PDF Print E-mail

For the first time in series history, Red Bull Global Rallycross will crown a champion at the end of a doubleheader event. The Port of Los Angeles, one of the series’ most iconic host venues, will set the stage for an exciting Supercar finale.

 

TUNE IN INFORMATION:

Sunday, October 9, 3PM ET on NBC
Saturday, October 8, 7:30PM ET and Sunday, October 9, 6:30PM ET on Red Bull TV

TICKETS: Click here

EVENT SPOTTER GUIDE: Click here

LAST RACE: Tanner Foust broke one winning streak and kept another alive last month at Evergreen Speedway, as Red Bull GRC returned to the Seattle market. He ended teammate Scott Speed’s three-race winning streak with the victory, but also gave Volkswagen its fourth win in a row and seventh of the year—clinching the brand its first manufacturer’s championship.

DRIVER CHANGES: Three drivers will make their Supercar debuts this weekend in Los Angeles. Toshihiro Arai, a multi-time PWRC champion, will trade stage rally for rallycross as he joins Subaru Rally Team USA as the series’ first-ever Japanese driver. Meanwhile, two drivers will graduate from GRC Lites this weekend: Tanner Whitten will fill in for Nelson Piquet Jr. at SH Rallycross/DRR, and Mitchell DeJong makes his debut with Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE.

THE TRACK: The Port of Los Angeles serves as the shortest track of the 2016 Red Bull GRC season at .699 miles, but drivers will have plenty of passing opportunities in the dirt, tight corners, and the Honda Joker Lap. Click here for more information on the track.

FIVE DRIVERS ELIGIBLE FOR SUPERCAR TITLE IN LA: Volkswagen may have locked up the Red Bull GRC Manufacturer’s Championship, but Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teammates Tanner Foust (465 points) and Scott Speed (452) are only two of the drivers who remain mathematically eligible for the Driver’s Championship. Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Steve Arpin (399) and Brian Deegan (373), as well as Bryan Herta Rallysport’s Patrik Sandell (357), also have a shot at the crown.

LITES LADDER SYSTEM PRODUCES SUPERCAR NEWCOMERS: Tanner Whitten and Mitchell DeJong will make their long-awaited Supercar debuts this weekend after accomplishing numerous successes in GRC Lites. Whitten, who earned a victory in the second Daytona final this June, becomes the first Lites race winner to earn an in-season promotion to a Supercar with SH Rallycross/DRR. DeJong, the 2014 class champion and single-season Lites record holder for victories (seven) and heat wins (15), rejoins Olsbergs MSE in a third Honda Civic Coupe.

RED BULL GRC SUPPORTS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH: Red Bull Global Rallycross is proud to support key Breast Cancer Awareness Month initiatives this weekend in Los Angeles. Susan G. Komen Foundation representatives will be on site at the Port of Los Angeles to educate and bring attention to the initiative, as well as accepting donations. This weekend’s course will also feature pink and white stripes on the infield to promote awareness.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles presented by Honda:

Mitchell DeJong, #24 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe: “I’m really excited being able to finally make my first Supercar start! This is kind of a home race for me, there’s nice weather, and I have a lot of friends and family coming out, so it’ll be a nice hometown crowd. It’ll be nice to finally race a Supercar—it’s been a long time, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m just going to take it as a learning experience, do the best I can, not put too much pressure on myself, and see what we can do with it.”

Tanner Whitten, #07 SH Rallycross/DRR Ford Fiesta ST:  “This is extremely special. It’s one of the moments that I’ve been looking forward to and praying about. I’ve been working for it ever since I had the opportunity to drive the Lites car back in 2012. It’s been great to have the opportunity—it’s the last event of the year and it’s been a big deal for the last couple days to get this program put together. I’m really excited for the finale in LA.” 

Patrik Sandell, #18 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST: “The track with be very narrow and tight. The space is very limited, so qualifying will be super important. If we can work well before qualifying and then have good launches, that’s kind of 70 percent of the race. Everyone is so fast and within tenths of each other. If we can just get ahead in the start, it’s easier to keep that position, rather than passing.”

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GRC Lites Race Preview: Los Angeles presented by Honda

The GRC Lites championship will come down to four drivers and two rounds of racing action this weekend at the Port of Los Angeles. The first-ever season-ending doubleheader for the Lites class will also take place on the shortest track of the year, in a combination sure to produce thrilling racing and an exciting finish.

TUNE IN INFORMATION:

Thursday, October 13, 5PM ET on NBCSN
Saturday, October 8, 7:30PM ET and Sunday, October 9, 6:30PM ET on Red Bull TV

TICKETS: Click here

EVENT SPOTTER GUIDE: Click here

LAST RACE: DirtFish Motorsports’ Conner Martell gave the hometown team a performance to remember at Evergreen Speedway, sweeping every session from qualifying to the final in GRC Lites Seattle. Meanwhile, race runner-up Oliver Eriksson took the championship lead for the first time since winning last year’s title when incoming points leader Cabot Bigham failed to finish.

DRIVER CHANGES: Blake “Bilko” Williams, Colin Braun, and Alex Keyes all return to the class this weekend after podium performances in their most recent starts. Williams and Rhys Millen Racing rejoin the field after a runner-up finish at MCAS New River, Braun will partner Scott Anderson at CORE autosport after a third-place result in Atlantic City, and Keyes will take the place of Tanner Whitten at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing after winning the New Jersey round.

THE TRACK: The Port of Los Angeles serves as the shortest track of the 2016 Red Bull GRC season at .699 miles, but drivers will have plenty of passing opportunities in the dirt, tight corners, and the Honda Joker Lap. Click here for more information on the track.

FOUR DRIVERS ENTER LA WITH SHOT AT GRC LITES TITLE: Defending GRC Lites champion Oliver Eriksson (378 points) enters this weekend’s Port of Los Angeles doubleheader with the best shot at earning this year’s title, but he’ll be pressured by three impressive rookies: Cabot Bigham (353) of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Miki Weckstrom (349) of Olsbergs MSE X Forces, and Conner Martell (327) of DirtFish Motorsports. All four drivers can count themselves race winners so far in 2016.

DEPTH OF LITES COMPETITION CONTINUES TO INCREASE: Six different drivers have won Lites races in 2016, and all six will be in competition this weekend: the four championship contenders, Keyes, and Whitten, who will become the first Lites race winner to earn an in-season promotion to a Supercar with SH Rallycross/DRR. In addition, nine of the 13 drivers who will start this weekend’s Lites race can count themselves podium finishers in the class, with eight of them having achieved the feat this year.

RED BULL GRC SUPPORTS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH: Red Bull Global Rallycross is proud to support key Breast Cancer Awareness Month initiatives this weekend in Los Angeles. Susan G. Komen Foundation representatives will be on site at the Port of Los Angeles to educate and bring attention to the initiative, as well as accepting donations. This weekend’s course will also feature pink and white stripes on the infield to promote awareness.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles presented by Honda:

Oliver Eriksson, #16 Olsbergs MSE X Forces: “It’s really special to have a chance to write history as the first ever back-to-back champion of GRC Lites. But it’s really competitive out there, and I’ll have to give everything I’ve got and cross my fingers. It’s rallycross—anything can happen in the first few laps. But I think we’ve got the car working right, and the crew has done a great job preparing it, so I feel really ready.”

Conner Martell, #21 DirtFish Motorsports: “Winning in Seattle made the difference, I think if we had a bad weekend in Seattle we would have been out of the championship, but now I think I’m only 40 points behind on Oliver. If I have just a couple good races in LA, there’s no doubt that we can get on the podium. LA is going to be a very big race for a lot of people.”

Colin Braun, #54 CORE autosport: “I’m looking forward to getting back in the car. Every time I get back in, I feel like I’m a step better in performance, closer to being good. It’s just another step in the right direction! Two events are great—I love the doubleheader format. If you make a mistake on day one, you won’t be depressed about it. You have another chance to go back at it on Sunday and have a better result.”

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Photo: Red Bull Content Pool






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