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25 Aug 2014

GRC: Millen’s first strike

Category: GRC, News Posted 25.08.14 17:30 by

Rhys Millen is competing in the Global RallyCross series since its inaugural year 2011, but did not claim an overall win till last weekend. In Round 6 at Daytona in Florida the US-based racer from New Zealand has now bagged his first GRC victory.

 

Rhys Millen became the 5th different winner in the 6 Global RallyCross championship series races completed so far this season. The Kiwi took the checkered flag in first place at the famous Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach. On a very hot Florida day the Hyundai Veloster campaigner beat Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST driver Ken Block and Subaru Impreza GR pilot ‘Bucky’ Lasek to second and third place respectively.

 

While Rhys Millen eventually claimed his maiden GRC win Scott Speed finished in 10th place. © Red Bull/ERC24

While Rhys Millen eventually claimed his maiden GRC win Scott Speed finished in 10th place. © Red Bull/ERC24

 

The Daytona winners podium with (from left) 'Bucky' Lasek, Rhys Millen and Ken Block. © Red Bull/ERC24

The Daytona winners podium with (from left) ‘Bucky’ Lasek, Rhys Millen and Ken Block. © Red Bull/ERC24

 

'Bucky' Lasek hurling his Subaru Impreza GR SuperCar to third place. © Red Bull/ERC24

‘Bucky’ Lasek hurling his Subaru Impreza GR SuperCar to third place. © Red Bull/ERC24

 

“To my team really is where I need to tip my hat,” said Millen after the Final. “The car put a huge smile on my face in our test on Monday. We came here and, in the first time all year that we had a track this long, we were very surprised with where we were and how amazing the car brakes and turns into tight corners. That was the recipe to get the job done here.”

Millen, who qualified fourth, overcame a cam-belt failure in Friday’s heats to take the win in his Semi-Final and earn the top starting position for the all-decisive Final. A strong start enabled the racing all-rounder to jump out to a commanding lead, as Ken Block separated himself from the field to make a late charge from second position. In the end Millen’s advantage was big enough to ensure himself the first ever GRC victory, even with some engine problems that hampered him during his final lap.

 

Tanner Foust leading Rhys Millen and Nelson Piquet Jr. © Red Bull/ERC24

Tanner Foust leading Rhys Millen and Nelson Piquet Jr. © Red Bull/ERC24

 

Austin Dyne and Sverre Isachsen jumping it out. © Red Bull/ERC24

Austin Dyne and Sverre Isachsen jumping it out. © Red Bull/ERC24

 

Swede Patrik Sandell and Finn Joni Wiman in close fight over the loose section. © Red Bull/ERC24

Swede Patrik Sandell and Finn Joni Wiman in close fight over the loose section. © Red Bull/ERC24

 

However, during the post-race inspections the winning Hyundai Veloster was found to have equipment not permitted under the sections of the GRC rulebook. But upon further inspection by the series’ technical team it was found that this equipment did not provide any performance advantage. Therefore the win will stand, but the team will be penalized 50 points and a fine will be imposed by the Global RallyCross officials.

 

Daytona Beach in Florida presented itself with sunshine and heat. © OMSE/ERC2

Daytona Beach in Florida presented itself with sunshine and heat. © OMSE/ERC24

 

Mitchell DeJong on his way to yet another GRC Lites victory. © OMSE/ERC24

Mitchell DeJong on his way to yet another GRC Lites victory. © OMSE/ERC24

 

In the GRC Lites category young Mitchell DeJong had his second perfect weekend of the season, posting the fastest time in qualifying, winning both of his heats and eventually taking the victory of the Final. Columbian Alejandro Fernández and Tyler Benson completed the podium, thereby both drivers earning their best career finishes.

 

  • Round 6, Global RallyCross, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA, 22.–23.08.2014
  • UNOFFICIAL FINAL RESULTS SUPERCARS:
  • 1. Rhys Millen (NZ) Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • 2. Ken Block (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 3. ‘Bucky’ Lasek (USA) Subaru Impreza GR
  • 4. Patrik Sandell (S) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 5. Sverre Isachsen (N) Subaru Impreza GR
  • 6. Tanner Foust (USA) VW Polo Mk5
  • 7. Joni Wiman (FIN) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 8. Nelson Piquet Jr. (BR) Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST
  • 9. Austin Dyne (USA) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 10. Scott Speed (USA) VW Polo Mk5
  • 11. Emma Gilmour ♀ (NZ) Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • 12. Steve Arpin (CDN) Ford Fiesta Mk7
  • 13. Pat Moro (USA) Chevrolet Sonic/Aveo RS
  • Point standings after 6 of the 10 rounds:
  • 1. Nelson Piquet Jr. (BR) 245
  • 2. Ken Block (USA) 205
  • 3. Scott Speed (USA) 190
  • UNOFFICIAL FINAL RESULTS GRC LITES:
  • 1. Mitchell DeJong (USA) “Ford Fiesta Mk7”
  • 2. Alejandro Fernández (CO) “Ford Fiesta Mk7”
  • 3. Tyler Benson (USA) “Hyundai Veloster”
  • 4. Blake Fuller (USA) “Ford Fiesta Mk7”
  • 5. Geoff Sykes (USA) “Ford Fiesta Mk7”
  • Point standings after 5 of the 9 rounds:
  • 1. Mitchell DeJong (USA) 273
  • 2. Kevin Eriksson (S) 207
  • 3. Alejandro Fernández (CO) 162

 

Top photo: The Final is on and Rhys Millen en route to his first GRC overall victory. © Red Bull/ERC24