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05 Aug 2013

GRC: Topi wins fourth in a row

Category: GRC, News Posted 05.08.13 16:55 by

Finn Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen won the Final of the Los Angeles X Games at the Irwindale Event Center, thereby claiming his fourth consecutive victory of the 2013 Global RallyCross Championship series.


The ex-NASCAR venue Irwindale Event Center (formerly known as Irwindale Speedway), located at the town of Irwindale in the Los Angeles County of California, hosted this year’s Los Angeles X Games, to count also as Round 6 of the Global RallyCross Championship.

The three practice runs, in the GRC series known as ‘Seeding’ sessions, ended with Americans Brian Deegan (0:36.753), Ken Block (0:36.930) and Scott Speed (0:37.243) setting the three fastest times, ahead of the first European drivers; Brit Liam Doran (0:37.403), Swede Patrik Sandell (0:37.438) and Finn Toomas Heikkinen (0:37.449) finished behind the US trio here.

As usual the racing became pretty intense right from the start of the qualifying runs. Canadian Steve Arpin crashed his OMSE2 Fiesta immediately into the barriers, the damage was bad enough to miss out the second start. While threefold European champion Sverre Isachsen drove to victory in the re-started Heat 1, followed by Brian Deegan, Subaru campaigner Dave Mirra was forced to give up after about half the way to the finish line.

Heat 2 saw problems of Anton Marklund and Rhys Millen, with the result that the Swede had to retire and the Kiwi finished far away behind the two winners Liam Doran and Patrik Sandell, who thereby made it straight into the Final.

While Heat 1 and 2 were started with four competitors, Heat 3 and 4 saw five cars starting. Toomas Heikkinen won the third race and Travis Pastrana became his runner-up here.

Heat 4 was claimed by Ken Block, far ahead of second placed Tanner Foust. Timur Timerzyanov, who drove the second Marklund Motorsport VW Polo Mk5 this time, finished frustrated in fourth place, his car had suffered some damage before.

Immediately after the start of the ‘Last Chance Qualifier’, the race that paves its two winners the way to the two last starting positions of the Final grid, Anton Marklund crashed his Polo badly against the track wall. The Swede had tried to avoid contact with the slow starting Hyundai Veloster of Rhys Millen, but subsequently went into troubles with the second Millen Veloster, here driven by Belgian David Sterckx, before hitting the concrete barrier hard. Marklund was soon checked by the medical team, but stated later on that he was okay. The re-run saw Millen winning the LCQ from ex-Formula 1 racer Scott Speed, the two leaders now allowed to enter the all-decisive Final.

The ten-car, ten-lap Final concluded the last LA X Games, Austin in Texas is set to host next year’s US edition. Once again the start of the main event produced the usual carnage, Liam Doran and Ken Block heavily involved. The two taking each other out of the chase for victory, Patrik Sandell and Brian Deegan also biting the dust in the process. First leader of the decimated pack was Sverre Isachsen, due to a jump start. But it did not take long till the “Viking Warrior” was called into the ‘Penalty Box’ for a stop-and-go penalty. All advantage went to Toomas Heikkinen now, the Finn being in front early to subsequently extend his lead. At the end of the ten laps road “Topi” was more than four seconds ahead of his OMSE teammate Tanner Foust, Sverre Isachsen crossing the finish line in third place, five seconds behind the American.


Video of the SuperCars Final.


In the GRC Lites category it was once again Marcus Grönholm’s protégé Joni Wiman who claimed overall victory in an eight-cars, ten-laps Final. The Finn pulled away from the field, eventually leaving second place to the 15 years old American Mitchell DeJong and third place to Swede Sebastian Eriksson, who had to overcome a stop-and-go penalty for a jump start on his way to chequers.


Video of the GRC Lites Final.


More Los Angeles X Games pictures to be found here in our Gallery.


  • 1. Toomas Heikkinen (FIN) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 2. Tanner Foust (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 3. Sverre Isachsen (N) Subaru Impreza GR
  • 4. Rhys Millen (NZ) Hyundai Veloster
  • 5. Travis Pastrana (USA) Dodge Dart
  • 6. Ken Block (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 (DNF)
  • 10. Liam Doran (GB) MINI Countryman JCW 1.6 (DNF)
  • Last Chance Qualifier:
  • — Rhys Millen (NZ) Hyundai Veloster
  • — Scott Speed (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 11. “Bucky” Lasek (USA) Subaru Impreza GR
  • 12. Stéphane Verdier (F) Subaru Impreza GD
  • 13. Bryce Menzies (USA) Dodge Dart
  • 14. Steve Arpin (CDN) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 15. Dave Mirra (USA) Subaru Impreza GR
  • 16. David Sterckx (B) Hyundai Veloster
  • 17. Anton Marklund (S) VW Polo Mk5
  • 18. Timur Timerzyanov (S) VW Polo Mk5
  • 1. Joni Wiman (FIN) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 2. Mitchell DeJong (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 3. Sebastian Eriksson (S) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 4. Kevin Eriksson (S) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 5. Reinis Nitišs (LV) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 6. Alexander Westlund (S) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 7. Halid Avdagiç (TR) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 8. Harry Cheung (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • Last Chance Qualifier:
  • — Alexander Westlund (S) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • — Harry Cheung (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 9. Geoffrey Sykes (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 10. Austin Dyne (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7


Worth reading: Officials warn overly aggressive drivers (by Jen Horsey for ESPN)