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30 Jun 2013

GRC: Doran claims Munich 1 Gold

Category: GRC, News Posted 30.06.13 02:54 by

Day 1 of the Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) double-header in Germany ended with Briton Liam Doran winning the Final to claim the first of the two Gold Medals X Games Munich has on offer.

 

The smallest engine of the 17 cars field helped Britan Liam Doran to win his second X Games Gold Medal (after Los Angeles in August 2011), the 1.6 litre unit in his Prodrive MINI Cooper proved to be the right choice for the wet track in Munich. The so-called FröttmaRing in Munich’s old district Fröttmaning, close to the famous ‘Allianz Arena’ football/soccer stadium, was well prepared, but Saturday’s racing faced some unwanted rainfalls. Under the slippery conditions the up to 600bhp strong engines were not much of an advantage, as eventually shown by winner Doran, whose 450+bhp 1600cc engine was a more effective alternative here.

Heat 1 was bagged by Liam Doran after Timur Timerzyanov had won the start with the Dodge Dart of Travis Pastrana and was in the lead for most of the way to the chequered flag. But after the Joker Laps had all been done it was the British MINI driver as well as American Brian Deegan in his Ford Fiesta who had sneaked past the Russian. Therefore both Doran and Deegan had paved their way straight into the Final, while “TT” was in the need to earn his ticket for the main event in the ‘Last Chance Qualifier’.

Heat 2 was a never disputed affair for American Tanner Foust and his 2013 Ford Fiesta. After winning the sprint to the first corner the OlsbergsMSE team member subsequently extended his lead till eventually winning by a 5.5 seconds margin over his Swedish teammate Patrik Sandell in another Fiesta ST and OMSE2 driver Scott Speed in a 2012 Fiesta.

Heat 3 saw a second start, since the first run was red flagged after one lap and Dave Mirra becoming excluded from the second, being declared the cause of the red flag. According to the rules the Subaru driver was send straight into the ‘Last Chance Qualifier’. In the rerun it was Swede Mattias Ekström who jumped the start, with the result that he had to drive his Marklund Motorsport VW Polo into the ‘Penalty Box’ for a short stop. Dodge’s driver Bryce Menzies held the lead for quite a while, but when Ken Block took over the Dart campaigner had to give up with a mud covered windscreen and a defective wiper. Norwegian Sverre Isachsen did not make it to the finish either after his Subaru Impreza engine called it a day.

Heat 4 became prey of Finn Toomas Heikkinen, the OMSE Ford Fiesta driver claiming a start-to-finish victory over Swede Anton Marklund. The Volkswagen Polo man was able to pass Canadian OMSE2 competitor Steve Arpin after about half the way to chequers, ensuring himself a place on the Final grid.

The ‘Last Chance Qualifier’ with eight instead of nine cars missed out threefold European Rallycross Champion Sverre Isachsen, who later on claimed that his Impreza GR would have a new engine for Day 2. The start here was won by Timur Timerzyanov, while behind the Pastrana substitute there was quite some chaos going on. After Dave Mirra spun his Subaru it was X Games Brazil winner American Scott Speed who took over second place to “TT”, both thereby qualifying for the last starting row of the ten cars Final.

The first Final attempt ended red flagged after Timerzyanov got stuck in the tyre barriers. “Topi” Heikkinen had won the sprint to the first corner, but it was from here to the second bend that havoc was witnessed by the few spectators on the grandstand, among them Volkswagen’s WRC leader Sébastien Ogier. When the red flag was shown Liam Doran was in the lead, Tanner Foust in second place, and many of the cars showed damage from the starting carnage.

Nevertheless, all ten competitors showed up for the restart that was won to the second corner by Liam Doran. Here it was Heikkinen who took the lead, after a mistake of the Englishman, but not for too long and the MINI driver restored the early order. Doran’s victory march towards the chequered flag then became in severe danger when the left rear tyre of his Cooper 1.6 cried enough. “I had a puncture for the last three laps and expected to finish last. But I already had a good gap and, in this weather and with the slippery conditions, the car was much better to handle than one may think,” claimed Doran later.

However, youngster Heikkinen lost his own chance of winning when he also suffered from a flat tyre. Now it was Ken Block’s turn, the “Hoonigan in Chief” taking over second place from the Finn and finishing only one second behind Doran. Block later: “Unfortunately … I had a really bad start in the first start of the final, and I got very lucky that we had that restart. So I focused on a much better start on the second start, and my luck worked out. Then I just pushed really hard to catch up to Topi and Liam, and they ended up both getting punctures! So I was able to get past Topi, and get all the way up on Liam’s bumper all the way at the end. If we had one more lap, I think I would have had him. It was very fun, but it was a bit of luck today, a lot of carnage out there.”

 

  • FINAL RESULTS GRC ROUND 2:
  • 1. Liam Doran (GB) MINI Countryman JCW 1.6
  • 2. Ken Block (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 3. Toomas Heikkinen (FIN) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 4. Anton Marklund (S) VW Polo Mk5
  • 5. Mattias Ekström (S) VW Polo Mk5
  • 6. Tanner Foust (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 7. Brian Deegan (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 8. Patrik Sandell (S) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 9. Scott Speed (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 10. Timur Timerzyanov (RUS) Dodge Dart

 

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