Speed Wins Charlotte Global Rallycross
CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 22, 2013 - from track press release) – Scott Speed picked up the win after a chaotic final in Global Rallycross presented by SYLVANIA Silverstar zXe at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. It was Speed's second win of the season.
“It was a good, hard race,” said Speed. “The key was not to wreck and thankfully I managed to avoid that. It’s just feels good to be able to come out here and win in what was such a tough race. I definitely enjoyed it.
“The course was great. Our car was more of an asphalt-dirt car and this course was perfect for it. Besides the course, it’s great to be at home for this win. Being in Charlotte, I have a lot of friends and family here, and my baby Juliet was able to come which was great. Overall, I’m just glad to be in Charlotte.”
The feature started with Brian Deegan jumping out to the lead from the standing start. That lasted until contact was made with Speed who took the lead. Halfway through the first lap, going up the hill to exit The Dirt Track, favorites Travis Pastrana, Steve Arpin, Toomas Heikkinen and several others were involved in a pileup resulting in a red flag.
The race was re-gridded and Speed jumped out to the lead again, followed by Deegan, Ken Block, Heikkinen, Bucky Lasek, Arpin, and Patrik Sandell. Sverre Isachsen collided with a water barrier and retired from the race. Block’s right front tire went down, but he continued the race on three tires. Arpin also had a tire go down and continued.
Speed led the rest of the way, holding off Deegan, Heikkinen, Stephan Verdier and Arpin.
With his start today Heikkinen clinched the 2013 Global Rallycross championship, after winning five of the eight races run so far.
“This is a big one,” said Heikkinen, “It is more important, though, after having a rough year last year. I wrecked bad in L.A. and broke a hip, my leg, and other things. This year means a lot to me and my team.
”The course here was really nice and so was the atmosphere all around as well. I hope that we get to come back here next year.”
Heikkinen also won the $20,000 battle for the SYLVANIA SilverStar® zXe Cup. New to the GRC series this season, the SYLVANIA zXe Cup will go to the driver that earns the most championship points in four of the series’ U.S.-based events.
The fight for the SYLVANIA zXe Cup started with the July 11 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, included races in Bristol and Atlanta, and wrapped up on Sunday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
Joni Wiman won the Global Rallycross Lites final, picking up his fifth win of the season. Geoff Sykes finished second, followed by Sebastian Eriksson, Mitchell DeJong and Alexander Westlund rounded out the top five.
Global Rallycross SuperCar Final: 1. Scott Speed; 2. Brian Deegan; 3. Toomas Heikkinen; 4. Stephan Verdier; 5. Steve Arpin; 6. Bucky Lasek; 7. Ken Block; 8. Sverre Isachsen; 9. Travis Pastrana.
Global Rallycross Lites Final: 1. Joni Wiman; 2. Geoff Sykes; 3. Sebastian Eriksson; 4. Mitchell DeJong; 5. Alexander Westlund; 6. Harry Cheung; 7. Kevin Eriksson; 8. Austin Dyne; 9. Tyler Benson.
Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.