After competing in the series since its foundation, Rhys Millen finally won the first race of his Red Bull Global Rallycross career at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. Millen held off a hard-charging Ken Block for the victory, while Bucky Lasek crossed the line third for his second podium of the season on a hot Florida day.
Rhys Millen became the fifth different winner in six Red Bull Global Rallycross races this season when he took the checkered flag at the inaugural Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona, held at the historic Daytona International Speedway.
“To my team, really is where I need to tip my hat,” Millen said. “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 semifinal and earn the top starting position in the main event. A strong start enabled him to jump out to a commanding lead, as Block separated himself from the field to make a late charge from second. In the end, Millen’s gap was large enough to preserve the victory, even as his engine failed on the final lap.
In the first semifinal, Wiman’s first-lap stall allowed Bucky Lasek and Rhys Millen to get around him, with Millen eventually taking the win, while Austin Dyne outlasted the field to win the second semifinal. Tanner Foust challenged Dyne for the lead, lost control of the car, and hit the tire barriers trying to avoid Dyne’s braking, but recovered to beat Ken Block for the final transfer spot. Block won the Last Chance Qualifier over Wiman, Isachsen, and Speed.
In post-race inspection, the winning car was found to have equipment not permitted under section 14-9.1 of the Red Bull GRC rulebook. Upon further inspection by the Red Bull GRC technical team, it was found that this equipment did not provide any performance advantage. The win will stand, but the team will be penalized 50 points and a fine will be imposed by the series.
Though his four-race podium streak was snapped, Nelson Piquet Jr. maintained his points lead by 40 over Block, who jumped from fifth to second in the championship
The results from Saturday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona, the sixth round of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross season:
Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Veloster Turbo
Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
Patrik Sandell, #18 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo R
Joni Wiman, #31 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
Austin Dyne, #14 Barracuda Racing Ford Fiesta
Scott Speed, #77 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo R
Emma Gilmour, #27 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Veloster Turbo
Steve Arpin, #00 Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
Pat Moro, #59 Chevrolet Sonic Racing/PMR Motorsports Sonic