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27 Jul 2014

GRC: Block takes dirty Charlotte

Category: GRC, News Posted 27.07.14 12:00 by

American ‘Big Carhoona’ Ken Block has made North Carolina’s Charlotte his by winning Round 5 of the Global RallyCross series from Norwegian ‘Viking Warrior’ Sverre Isachsen and Brazilian Nelson ‘Nelsinho’ Piquet Jr.

 

It was clear that Ken Block had one thing in mind during Round 5 of the Global RallyCross weekend in North Carolina – winning. And Block was able to put together a perfect event, including two Heat wins, a Semi-Final victory, and eventually the all decisive Final win at the so-called Dirt Track, which is located across the street from the famous Charlotte Motor Speedway. This result marked Block’s first GRC win of the running season and the Hoonigan Racing Division principal and driver was thrilled to be back on top of the podium.

 

The Charlotte rostrum with (from left) runner-up Sverre Isachsen, winner Ken Block and third Nelson Piquet Jr. © Ford Racing/ERC24

The Charlotte rostrum with (from left) runner-up Sverre Isachsen, winner Ken Block and third Nelson Piquet Jr. © Ford Racing/ERC24

 

“This was an awesome weekend of Rallycross for me,” said Block after the chequered flag had been dropped for the last time on Saturday. “My team did an amazing job getting my Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST ready for racing here on this track, and it felt great to be racing on more gravel and dirt instead of mostly tarmac. I’m really at home on surfaces like this and I think it showed with both my results and how quickly we got the right car set-up for this course. I’m absolutely stoked on winning here and it feels great to build on my podium finish last weekend in New York. Hopefully I can continue that trend when we hit Florida and Daytona next month and keep scoring points for this championship.”

 

With his third place Nelson Piquet Jr. extended his points lead in the championship standings. © Ford Racing/ERC24

With his third place Nelson Piquet Jr. extended his points lead in the championship standings. © Ford Racing/ERC24

 

Block’s Ford Racing teammate Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jr. was able to secure a spot on the podium as well with his third-place finish. ‘Nelsinho’, who claimed the points lead on July 20 in New York, leaves Charlotte with that advantage intact. “It was a hard weekend that ended with an amazing result,” said the former Formula 1 star. “Having to make the main event through the Last Chance Qualifier, then racing from seventh to third place in the Final, shows the strength of my Ford Fiesta ST. I have to thank for the effort put in by my entire SH Rallycross team and I’m very happy to extend my championship points lead.”

Threefold European Rallycross Champion and current Subaru campaigner Sverre Isachsen was able to split-up the Ford duo by claiming second place. “Eventually it worked out for me this season. I have claimed a few podiums over the last two years, and I also won a race in Rallycross’ infancy here in America in 2010, but I consider this as my best result in US Rallycross so far. This second place is as good as gold for me,” claimed the Norwegian. “I’ve started the weekend pretty well with a fourth place in Qualifying. Moreover, I won one of the preliminary Heats and finished third in another. In the Semi-Finals I got hit by another car, but managed to salvage a third place to secure myself a place in the Final – but without a good place on the grid.”

 

Making it to runner-up Sverre Isachsen claimed his best result for quite some time. © LG/Subaru/ERC24

Making it to runner-up Sverre Isachsen (centre) claimed his best result for quite some time. © LG/Subaru/ERC24

 

43-year old Isachsen continued: “Okay, I did not have the best fundamental basis for the Final, but this course suits me well. Unlike most other tracks we run in the US this one has the most of gravel, and I got a good start into the bargain. Furthermore, I put my tokens on the Joker Lap detour – and it all went very well to bag that second place. My Subaru Impreza SuperCar gets better and better from race to race and my team did a phenomenal job today. I’m really looking forward to the next race at the Daytona International Speedway.” However, prior to Daytona the 2009, 2010 and 2011 ERC winner is set to participate in WorldRX Round 7 at Trois-Rivières in Canada [to be held on August 7 and 8] by using the same Subaru Impreza GR SuperCar he is racing in the Global RallyCross series.

 

Mitchell DeJong won his third out of four 2014 GRC Lites Finals. © OMSE/ERC24

Mitchell DeJong won his third out of four 2014 GRC Lites Finals. © OMSE/ERC24

 

The GRC Lites podium at Charlotte and (from left) Kevin Eriksson (2nd), Mitchell DeJong (1st) and Oliver Eriksson celebrating their success. © OMSE/ERC24

The Lites podium and (from left) Kevin Eriksson (2nd), Mitchell DeJong (1st) and Oliver Eriksson celebrating their success. © OMSE/ERC24

 

In addition to the SuperCars contest a total of seven GRC Lites vehicles returned to the series for their fourth round of 2014 competition and it eventually turned into an OlsbergsMSE podium sweep. American Mitchell DeJong earned his third win of the season, followed by the Swedish brothers Kevin Eriksson, as runner-up, and Oliver Eriksson in third place. It was the first podium for rookie Oliver Eriksson who, at the age of 15, was the youngest driver in the Charlotte field.

 

  • Round 5, Global RallyCross, The Dirt Track, Charlotte, NC, USA, 25.–26.07.2014
  • UNOFFICIAL FINAL RESULTS SUPERCARS:
  • 1. Ken Block (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 2. Sverre Isachsen (N) Subaru Impreza GR
  • 3. Nelson Piquet Jr. (BR) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 4. Joni Wiman (FIN) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 5. Scott Speed (USA) VW Polo Mk5
  • 6. ‘Bucky’ Lasek (USA) Subaru Impreza GR
  • 7. Steve Arpin (CDN) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 8. Tanner Foust (USA) VW Polo Mk5
  • 9. Brian Deegan (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 10. Austin Dyne (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 11. Rhys Millen (NZ) Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • 12. Emma Gilmour ♀ (NZ) Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • 13. Patrik Sandell (S) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • UNOFFICIAL FINAL RESULTS GRC LITES:
  • 1. Mitchell DeJong (USA) “Ford Fiesta Mk7”
  • 2. Kevin Eriksson (S) “Ford Fiesta Mk7”
  • 3. Oliver Eriksson (S) “Ford Fiesta Mk7”
  • 4. Alejandro Fernández (CO) “Ford Fiesta Mk7”
  • 5. Tyler Benson (USA) “Hyundai Veloster”
  • 6. Geoff Sykes (USA) “Ford Fiesta Mk7”
  • 7. Austin Cindric (USA) “Ford Fiesta Mk7”

 

Top photo: Ken Block en route to overall victory in the Charlotte GRC round. © Ford Racing/ERC24