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20 May 2014

GRC: VW conquers Barbados

Category: GRC, News Posted 20.05.14 16:16 by

At the Carribean island of Barbados former Formula One racer American Scott Speed turned his first race with a VW Polo Mk5 SuperCar into a triumph over four Ford Fiesta Mk7 drivers.

 

The opening round of the 2014 Global RallyCross series took place at the recently renovated Bushy Park Circuit of Barbados and was eventually won by Volkswagen of America/Andretti Autosport driver Scott Speed. The all decisive Final needed two start attempts, as the first one was red-flagged after an incident between American Ken Block and Finn Joni Wiman. While leading Block had allowed himself a driving mistake near the end of the first lap and was subsequently passed by Wiman in the second-to-last corner. Block tried all he could to fight back, hit a curb much too hard, with the result that his car flipped, landed on its roof and slid burning into the concrete barriers on the frontstretch. However, the ‘Hoonigan in Chief’ was able to leave the car by himself, his representatives soon confirmed that he was not injured.

 

Runner-up Steve Arpin (left), winner Scott Speed and third Brian Deegan (right) celebrating their Barbados podium. © Red Bull Media House/ERC24

Runner-up Steve Arpin, winner Scott Speed and third Brian Deegan celebrating their Barbados podium. © Red Bull Media House/ERC24

 

It was about 45 minutes later that the re-run was started, this time with nine instead of the permissible ten drivers. Joni Wiman took an early lead for almost half of the 10 laps distance, while it was Scott Speed who then led the field for the second half of the race. The VW campaigner reached the chequered flag with a save advantage over Canadian Steve Arpin and Joni Wiman. But the SuperCars rookie from Finland had first got a penalty for doing two Joker Laps instead of one, whilst after the Final he got a post-race penalty for aggressive driving when fighting with Brian Deegan. Therefore, the protégé of Marcus Grönholm dropped down from third to fifth place overall. This meant full advantage for Deegan, the American completing the Barbados podium in third place.

 

Ken Block flipped his Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST in the Final while trying to grab his lost lead back. © Red Bull Media House/ERC24

Ken Block flipped his Ford Fiesta Mk7 in the Final while trying to grab his just lost lead back. © Red Bull Media House/ERC24

 

“It was an awesome weekend,” said winner Speed later on. “We had the speed right away, but with a big mechanical in the heat race, we had to come from behind from that point on. The guys did a great job twice, getting the car ready to make qualifying and to make the last heat. We were hoping that we were going to win our first time out, but it’s really special for everyone at Andretti and Volkswagen. We’re all going to celebrate really good tonight!”

 

  • Round 1, Global RallyCross, Bushy Park Circuit, Parish of Saint Philip (BDS), 17.–18.05.2014
  • FINAL RESULTS SUPERCARS:
  • 1. Scott Speed (USA) VW Polo Mk5
  • 2. Steve Arpin (CDN) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 3. Brian Deegan (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 4. Nelson Piquet Jr. (BR) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 5. Joni Wiman (FIN) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 6. Sverre Isachsen (N) Subaru Impreza GR – DNF (7 laps)
  • 7. Rhys Millen (NZ) Hyundai Veloster – DNF (4 laps)
  • 8. Patrik Sandell (S) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST – DNF (4 laps)
  • 9. Austin Dyne (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST – DNF (0 laps)
  • 10. Ken Block (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST – DNS

 

Top photo: Speed made good use of his ex-Marklund Polo to claim the Barbados victory. © Red Bull Media House/ERC24