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15 Apr 2013

GRC: It takes two to Samba

Category: GRC, News Posted 15.04.13 21:30 by

With 2004 ‘Indy 500’ winner Buddy Rice and 2006/2007 Formula One driver Scott Speed the Brazilian Global X Games will see two American tarmac dancers to do their first steps on a RallyCross floor.

 

On April 11 Swede Anton Marklund released the name of his teammate for the Global X Games of Brazil via his Twitter account. American tarmac racer, 2004 ‘Indy 500’ and 2009 ‘24 Hours of Daytona’ winner Buddy Rice is set to drive the second 560bhp VW Polo Mk5 Rallycross SuperCar of Marklund Motorsport at Foz do Iguaçu, where the prestigious South American event will be held from April 18 to 21.

“The Rallycross deal is really exciting”, said Buddy Rice. “It’s a stadium format, it’s something that’s totally different, and I really have always liked new challenges. I think the more diverse you are, the better driver you become. I haven’t done this before, it’s something totally new to me, but I look forward to the challenge and seeing what I can do. I know it’s going to be extremely difficult with the driver line-up, the competition, and the factories that are all involved with this, but this is a great platform. And it’s at X Games, so how can you pass up an opportunity to go take part in that?” However, Rice is not completely new to driving on loose surface, since having competed in the 2005 ‘Baja 1000’ and done a bit of other off-road racing.

Not much later and also on April 11 it was not just one, but two new names that had been added to the X Games invitation/entry list for Brazil. Beside Rice it was his compatriot Scott Speed, Formula One driver for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team in the whole of 2006 and the first half of 2007, who also appeared on the ESPN website. As nothing but his name was given we guessed Speed on our Facebook to team up with OMSE2, the satellite team of the Swedish OlsbergsMSE squad, and it turned out that our guess was a good one.

“The Star Car idea was sparked initially as means to create an element of surprise and suspense to both fans and drivers for each of the nine Global RallyCross events this season”, said Colin Dyne, Global RallyCross CEO. “But as the idea has become a reality for Global RallyCross, it is an exceptional element that allows for talented drivers like Scott Speed to get a taste of what Global RallyCross really has to offer.”

For each race of the 2013 season, Global RallyCross will select a Star Car driver who will compete against the regular field of Global RallyCross drivers. With that in mind, every Star Car driver is selected specifically, each bringing a different quality to the series. The Star Car, run by OMSE2, is a Ford Fiesta Mk7 Rallycross SuperCar of the first generation, the same model that took four 2012 GRC round victories as well as the top two spots in last year’s Global RallyCross Championship standings.

“I’ve always been open to looking for other racing series I can try”, said Scott Speed. “So when this thing came up, obviously the series has grown, it’s gotten bigger and bigger, and I’ve always had my eye on this series and how it’s coming. And when the first race was on one of the off weekends that I had, I immediately began working on something to be able to try it.”