Archive for the ‘Global Rallycross’ Category

Season Review: Scott Speed

Monday, November 17th, 2014

11.14.14 (via RedBullGlobalRallycross.com) – The birth of Scott Speed’s Red Bull GRC career came about almost as a happy accident—after he won last April’s X Games Brazil in the series’ “Star Car,” he impressed so many people so quickly that he ended up taking over the ride all season long. After finishing fifth in 2013 points, Michael Andretti snapped Speed up as one of the two drivers for his new Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross squad, and expectations entering the season were limitless.

When all was said and done, Speed took third place in series points, but depending on which statistics have the most value to you, he was the best driver out there.

Only Speed competed in all 10 finals in 2014, including the six-car main event in X Games Austin. He led the series in victories with three, taking the top step of the podium in the first two races of the season at Top Gear Festival Barbados and Austin, plus the first leg of the Los Angeles doubleheader. He even led the series in pole positions with three (New York, Los Angeles II, and Las Vegas), and qualified either first or second in seven of 10 events.

And he did all this despite not competing in the team’s new Beetle until the season finale.

Speed and his team showed incredible resilience when they were tested all year long. In DC, freak engine issues kept him out of qualifying and two rounds of heats, contributing to the erosion of much of his points lead. He had to advance to the main event through last chance qualifiers in Charlotte, Daytona, Los Angeles II, and Seattle, going a perfect four for four in LCQs.

Then, in Las Vegas, an aggressive cut across the course from the outside front row saw Speed run into Bucky Lasek and would have eliminated both cars if not for a red flag. When the field was reset, Speed was allowed to rejoin the field from the back of the grid, but picked off cars with ease until reaching Lasek in second, and held third until eventual champion Joni Wiman got by both drivers in the joker.

In all honesty, one error in New York was the only thing that kept Speed from this year’s championship. That weekend, Speed and Nelson Piquet Jr. entered the main event tied for the championship lead. After a red flag, the team made the mistake of pulling the car into their tent for unapproved repairs. Though pulling into the tent itself can lead to a penalty, the actions taken while inside were the determining factor in the call; the only repairs that can be undertaken during a red flag in the main event are refueling, cosmetic repairs, damaged tire or wheel replacement, and refilling the water reservoir.

Speed had finished second in the race, giving him a five-point lead with Piquet third. The revised result saw Speed plummet to ninth, as he was disqualified from the point of the illegal repairs. The penalty led to a 40-point swing (he lost 35 while Piquet gained five) that removed him from the championship lead; if not for the penalty, he would have won the title by three points in Las Vegas.

With the new Beetle ready to go for the entire 2015 slate, don’t be surprised to see more of the same from Speed at the front of the grid. And with this year’s mistakes firmly behind the entire VARX squad, mark the ex-Formula 1 star down as a championship favorite for next year.

 

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Red Bull GRC: Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross hits key youth market

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

11.13.14 (via MotorSportsTalk) – With the Red Bull Global Rallycross season now in the books, it’s worth noting how one of the top teams from the Verizon IndyCar Series has diversified into the championship as a way of both expanding its business and hitting a key new market.
 
Andretti Autosport – or Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross as the team is known in GRC – had a driver in contention for the GRC title heading into the Las Vegas finale (Sunday, 1:30 p.m. ET, NBC) in the form of Scott Speed.
 
Speed’s a fascinating case study of what GRC can provide. The last American driver to start a Grand Prix in F1, Speed was later replaced by a then-upstart named Sebastian Vettel in 2007, and headed back stateside for NASCAR. A handful of challenging seasons in stock cars followed and seeking a third career reinvention, Speed then headed to GRC, where he became an instant winner.
 
With Andretti, new partner 7UP and teammate Tanner Foust – renowned for his career of TV presenting, rallying and generating buzz among a younger demographic – Speed was in the perfect place and got the year off to a great start with wins in the first two races.
 
Their presence added to the series, and it was something both Michael Andretti and John Lopes (president, Andretti Sports Marketing) have extolled as part of the company’s greater long-term strategy.
 
“This side is really important,” Andretti told MotorSportsTalk in an interview from New Orleans over the weekend. “Just finishing GRC, and having Kuala Lumpur with FE (FIA Formula E) in a couple weeks, it’s becoming a year-round thing for us. It’s important to stay diversified, and we need to stay in the news.”
 
Speaking specifically to GRC, Andretti said it’s hitting the youth market more than IndyCar is at the moment.
 
“Both have a lot of very positive buzz; I’m very bullish on both of them,” Andretti said. “Both series are going after the demographic, which we’re all starving to get, which is millennials. To me being in the racing business, that’s very important. We need to be in series that are hooking young guns, and following the sport for many years to come.”
 
 
 
 
 
 

Scott Speed gets his own VW Beetle for Red Bull GRC season finale

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

11.3.2014 (via MotorSportsTalk) – Andretti Autosport is bringing in the Beetle for their Red Bull Global Rallycross title contender, Scott Speed.
 
The former NASCAR and Formula One racer has earned three victories this season driving the No. 77 Volkswagen Polo and is one of four contenders with a chance to take home the championship in Wednesday’s season finale at Las Vegas.
 
But instead of sticking with the Polo for the final battle, Speed will drive VW’s latest version of the Beetle. The car made its 2014 debut in Los Angeles with Speed’s teammate, Tanner Foust.
 
“We’ve driven it enough to feel more confident with this,” Speed told the series website. “Obviously, we’d like to have had more testing with it before we bring it out in race circumstances, but we feel like our odds are better with this than with the Polo.
 
“I think everyone here is just happy to get working on what our future is, and that’s this car, which hopefully gets off to a good start.”
 
Down 29 points in the championship to leader Joni Wiman, Speed will need help in order to emerge with the GRC crown. But the American driver isn’t worrying about that scenario, and is simply keeping his focus on taking the checkered flag this week in Sin City.
 
“As far as championships are concerned, if we walk away from there with four total wins and the Championship winner has no wins, then we’ll still feel pretty good about ourselves and the year we have had,” he said in a team release – perhaps referencing the fact that two of the four championship hopefuls, Wiman and Nelson Piquet Jr., have not yet won a race this season.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Don’t Miss Out: Appearances for RBGRC Las Vegas

Friday, October 31st, 2014

 

10.31.14 – Come out to the Red Bull Global Rallycross: Las Vegas event at The LINQ next week Nov. 3 -5! Below you can find information on when and where you can meet Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

 

 

Monday, Nov. 3

Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Autograph Session
Findlay North Volkswagen
7500 West Azure Dr.
Las Vegas, NV 89130
7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. PT

 

Tuesday, Nov. 4

Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Autograph Session
Red Bull Global Rallycross Vegas: The LINQ
3545 Las Vegas Blvd South L-21
Las Vegas, NV 89109
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. PT

 

Don’t Miss Out: Appearances for RBGRC: Seattle

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

9.24.14 – Come out to the Red Bull Global Rallycross: Seattle event at DirtFish Rally School this weekend! Below you can find information on when and where you can meet Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

 

 

Thursday, Sept. 25

Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Autograph Session
Chaplins Volkswagen
15000 SE Eastgate Way
Bellevue, WA 98007
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. PT

 

Friday, Sept. 26

Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Autograph Session
Red Bul Global Rallycross LA: DirtFish Rally School
7001 396th Dr. SE
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. PT

 

Scott Speed scores third win of 2014 in Los Angeles Race 1

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

9.21.14 (via NBC Sports) - A victory for Scott Speed, another podium for Ken Block, and a major setback for Nelson Piquet Jr.has tightened up the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship after the first of two races this weekend at the Port of Los Angeles.

Speed grabbed the holeshot in today’s final and went on to lead Joni Wiman and Block across the stripe, earning his third win of the season and his first since the X Games in Austin.

But Piquet did not make the final after being knocked out of his semifinal heat early with wall contact and then failing to make it out of the Last Chance Qualifier.

As a result, Block has pulled into a tie with Piquet for the championship lead at 248 points and Speed is just two points behind them. Wiman is also in the hunt at just 10 points back.

Put it all together, and tomorrow’s event in L.A. – which you can watch at 5 p.m. ET on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra – is shaping up to be the most dramatic of the 2014 GRC season so far.

“We’re back to our ways,” Speed told NBCSN after his win. “We’ve had a great weekend with no problems so far, and that’s the result. We’ve still got the speed. These guys are getting closer though, it wasn’t easy. But I couldn’t be happier with our team.”

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Volkswagen Beetle to make debut at Los Angeles rounds of Global Rallycross series

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

9.18.14 – Herndon, VA — The Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team will be racing at the Port of Los Angeles this weekend in an action-packed double header—and will debut the exciting Global Rallycross Beetle that will spearhead the team’s efforts in their 2015 Championship chase. The two-race event will be a new challenge for the team, the only double header weekend in the 2014 season.

 
Scott Speed, driver of the No. 77 7UP Volkswagen, is looking to take advantage of twice the number of championship points being on offer. After six rounds, he is third in points behind Nelson Piquet Jr. and Ken Block.
 
"The No. 77 7UP Volkswagen has had a lot of bad luck lately and we are due some good fortune—hopefully it turns up this weekend on the West Coast,” said Speed. “We will have to work extremely hard in L.A. and make sure we get off on the right foot on Friday”
 
Tanner Foust is in a close battle with Sverre Isachsen and Bucky Lasek for seventh position in the driver championship. The driver of the No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen is pushing for podium finishes in the last four races of the season and is delighted to be given responsibility for debuting the team’s new car.
 
"It's been a roller coaster season so far, but I am still very happy with the results, especially the win in New York, considering this is a new team and a new car,” said Foust. “Continuing the learning process, I will be piloting an even newer car with Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross in Los Angeles. I am very excited to compete with the new Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Beetle at the Port of LA.”
Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles will take place at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, CA, from September 19-21. NBC will air both races live on Saturday, September 20, and Sunday, September 21, at 5:00 p.m. ET. Follow @VW and @FollowAndretti on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend.
 
For tickets and further event information, visit: http://www.redbullglobalrallycross.com/
 
 
 

Don’t Miss Out: Appearances for RBGRC: Port of LA

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

9.17.14 – Come out to the Red Bull Global Rallycross: Port of LA event in Los Angeles this weekend! Below you can find information on where and when you can meet Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed during their stay in SoCal.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Thursday, September 18
 

Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Autograph Session
Pacific Volkswagen – 14900 Hindry Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
 
Saturday, September 20
 
Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Autograph Session
RBGRC: Port of LA – 425 S. Palos Verdes St, San Pedro, CA 90731
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
 

 

Tanner Foust wins New York Rallycross

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

7.24.14 (via Motorsport.com) – Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust scored his first Global Rallycross win of the season on Sunday at Volkswagen Rallycross New York.
 
It was all about the starts for the two-time champion, who blazed off the line to use the sub- two-second 0-60 launches of the Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Polo to maximum effect.
 
"The starts were the critical factor for me here," said Foust. "It can be very difficult to make a pass on a tight rallycross course and getting out front early and staying out of trouble is key to winning."
 
Foust also credits the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team with nailing the car set-up to handle the New York course. The six-turn, half-mile track layout featured five right-handers and only one left. Foust and Volkswagen teammate Scott Speed were fast and confident while many other drivers struggled to get the most out of their competition cars as uneven tire wear became a factor.
 
"We were fastest in opening practices and stayed up front all weekend long," said Foust. "Having a car that was ready to win from the moment we hit the ground here in New York shows the advantage of working with a team like Andretti."
 
Foust opened the weekend as one of only four drivers to break through the 30-second mark in qualifying and achieve a lap time in the 20s. In heat racing, he found his stride in the second round, blazing off the line to lead wire-to-wire in his Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Polo. He took another lights-to-flag victory in the Semifinal round to earn a front-row starting position in the 10-car Final. 
 
Starting from the middle of the front row, Foust kept his cool through two red-flag restarts as other drivers tangled on the course. When the abbreviated six-lap Final got underway, he was off the line first and never looked back as drivers jostled for position behind him. Although teammate Speed passed nearly half the field on the way to a second-place finish, he was demoted to ninth on a penalty assessed during the first red-flagged race. Nelson Piquet Jr. and Ken Block claimed second and third.
 
A regular top finisher, Foust has earned a podium in more than half of his Global Rallycross Championship starts since the series began in 2011. 
 
"This year, the speed has been there but the results haven't," said Foust. "It's nice to get this monkey off my back this season and earn a win in GRC. It feels like I'm headed in the right direction now."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Speed looking for success at the Dirt Track at Charlotte when Global Rallycross returns

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

7.19.14 (via Motorsport.com) - In just one short week, Red Bull Global Rallycross returns to The Dirt Track at Charlotte, July 25-26, and Scott Speed, the defending champion of the event, is looking to pick up where he left off, with another victory.

The Mt. Holly, N.C., resident captured the win last year in front of a hometown crowd after tackling what was considered one of the toughest courses on the circuit.

“It’s a great course because you get to go out of the race track and back into the track again, so it’s quite fun to drive,” said Speed. “Overall it was one of the best events we had last year so definitely looking forward to coming back. Obviously the track is something that worked out well for us and we expect to still be able to be fast again this year.”

While Speed seems like a seasoned rallycross pro, he is still somewhat new to the fast-growing sport. Coming from a diverse racing background, including Formula 1 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Speed was looking to master a new style in 2013 and set his sights on rallycross. His career jumpstarted after he took home a gold medal at the X Games in Brazil during his very first race.

“It all started with an invite to the X Games in Brazil as sort of like a star car. It was supposed to be switched between a lot of different guys throughout the year,” said Speed. “That was my first race in rallycross. When we ended up winning the X Games we were able to put together a program throughout the whole year.”

Speed ran the entire Global Rallycross season, racking up two wins in nine starts, including his victory at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The successful season landed him a 2014 ride with Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, a prestigious team that also fields a car for Tanner Foust.

 

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