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22 Apr 2013

GRC: No Speed limit in the Jungle

Category: GRC, News Posted 22.04.13 03:16 by

The first ever Global X Games event held in the Brazilian town of Foz do Iguaçu was won by ex-Formula 1 and later NASCAR driver American Scott Speed from Finn Topi Heikkinen and Swede Patrik Sandell.

 

After his impressive second fastest time in qualification that American 2006/2007 Formula 1 pilot for the Scuderia Toro Rosso and NASCAR driver in recent years Scott Speed claimed an astonishing victory of the Global X Games RallyCross competition in Brazil. The choice by Ford Racing and its OlsbergsMSE squad to invite Speed as the first guest driver into their so-called ‘Star-Car’ (a 2012 Ford Fiesta Mk7) thereby beared fruit. However, with Speed winning the gold medal, Finn Toomas Heikkinen silver and Swede Patrik Sandell bronze the podium at Foz do Iguaçu was a Ford men only affair.

Heat 1 had just three cars competing and was won by Toomas Heikkinen with an advantage of 6.5 seconds over American Ken Block (Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST). Starting from the outside of the grid Topi forced his way to the front by smashing his Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST right into the way of Block and Briton Liam Doran, the latter had to retire with his broken Citroën DS3 Rallycross SuperCar almost at the spot.

Heat 2 saw a jump start from former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr. in the Mitsubishi Lancer E10 prepared by Rhys Millen Racing. After “Nelsinho” had been called into the ‘Penalty Box’ for a Stop-and-Go penalty the race was won by American Brian Deegan and his Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST. His compatriot Travis Pastrana drove the Dodge Dart to second place, passing chequers about 5 seconds after Deegan.

Heat 3 was an unchallenged lights-to-flag run for Tanner Foust. After 6 laps the American ERC favourite with the fans in Europe crossed the finish line, his 2013 Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST was 6.5 seconds ahead of the 2012 OMSE2 Fiesta of Canadian Steve Arpin.

Heat 4 started with another strange action when American Buddy Rice in the VW Polo Mk5 hindered Scott Speed in the first corner, to the advantage of his teammate Anton Marklund. But Speed fought back and passed Rice by using his Joker in lap 4, then chasing after Marklund. It took the American one more lap to close the gap and to take the other Polo too, the Swede eventually passing the chequered flag 1.2 seconds after the ‘Star-Car’ driver.

The ‘Last Chance Qualifier’ had seven competitors at the grid, but only two of them would make it to the Final. For Liam Doran it all went wrong within fractions of a second. After he blew his start from the pole position it was Bryce Menzies who crashed his Dodge Dart into the tail of Doran’s Citroën. Buddy Rice in the second Marklund Motorsport Polo and Swede Patrik Sandell in another OMSE Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST claimed the first two LCQ places and thereby the last two spots on the Final grid.

The first start attempt of the Final produced utter chaos among the ten starters as well as serious damage to some of the cars. But it took no less than four laps till the race was stopped by the red flag. From the ten cars just six went into the re-run, Tanner Foust, Ken Block, Travis Pastrana and Buddy Rice were missing. Here the start of the last race of the event was marked by an excellent move of Topi Heikkinen. The Finn came once again from the outside, but this time found a wide open gap at the inside to pass Brian Deegan and Scott Speed. While Speed started to chase Heikkinen it was Steve Arpin who found himself all of a sudden in third place, Deegan now in fifth position. For almost the whole distance it looked as if the gold medal would become the prey of the 22 years old Finn, but in the last lap it was that man Scott Speed who played his Joker to pass Topi. When the chequered flag dropped the two Ford drivers were separated by less than 1 second while Sandell finished third, about 5 seconds after the first Global X Games RallyCross winner.

 

  • FINAL RESULTS GRC ROUND 1:
  • 1. Scott Speed (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 2. Toomas Heikkinen (FIN) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 3. Patrik Sandell (S) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 4. Steve Arpin (CDN) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 5. Brian Deegan (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 6. Anton Marklund (S) VW Polo Mk5
  • 7. Tanner Foust (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 8. Ken Block (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 9. Travis Pastrana (USA) Dodge Dart
  • 10. Buddy Rice (USA) VW Polo Mk5
  • 11. Nelson Piquet Jr. (BR) Mitsubishi Lancer E10
  • 12. Mauricio Neves (BR) Peugeot 207
  • 13. Eduardo Marques Jr. (BR) Peugeot 207
  • 14. Liam Doran (GB) Citroën DS3
  • 15. Bryce Menzies (USA) Dodge Dart

 

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