Olsbergs MSE rookie and defending GRC Lites champion Joni Wiman was in the driving seat heading into the season finale, holding a 12-point lead over Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block. But with 56 points on offer that lead was far from safe.
However in the end it was Ken Block that won the battle taking the win at the LINQ in Las Vegas, but it was Joni Wiman who won the war. Block did indeed do everything that he could to try and snatch the title from Wiman, but it was Wiman’s second place finish that sealed the title by five points (the equivalent of a single finishing position over the entire season).
In the events leading up to the final the first two rounds of heats saw Scott Speed and Tanner Foust win a pair of sessions apiece in their Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetles, while Ken Block ensured he drove for the title winning both of his heats. In the semifinals, Bucky Lasek got by the field to win the first session, while Block won the second; Sverre Isachsen won the last chance qualifier over Brian Deegan, Tanner Foust, and Emma Gilmour, Emma’s fourth place meant that she was the first female finalist in Red Bull Global Rallycross history.
In the main event it was a coming together into turn one between Speed and Lasek, spinning both cars and causing havoc in the field, as red flags came out it was Speed who was moved to the back of the field for the restart. At the second attempt it was a good start for Block who led out Lasek, and Speed with Wiman in fourth.
However, with a battling Lasek and Speed it was Wiman who executed his joker lap to perfection and climbed to second, well ahead of the battle for third place. And even though it was Block’s unblemished main event and second victory of the season the it was not enough and the night belonged to Wiman.
“I don’t believe it—it’s just amazing. I haven’t realized it yet. It’s like a dream come true,” said Joni Wiman.
Joni Wiman became the first Red Bull GRC champion to win the overall title without taking a victory throughout the season. He also became the first driver to win the series’ Supercar title the year after winning a GRC Lites championship.
1. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
2. Joni Wiman, #31 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
3. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
4. Scott Speed, #77 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
5. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
6. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
7. Emma Gilmour, #27 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
8. Steve Arpin, #00 Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
9. Brian Deegan, #38 Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta ST
10. Patrik Sandell, #18 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
11. Pat Moro, #59 PMR Motorsports Chevrolet Sonic
12. Austin Dyne, #14 Barracuda Racing Ford Fiesta
13. Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
14. Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
1. Joni Wiman, 381
2. Ken Block, 376
3. Scott Speed, 344
4. Nelson Piquet Jr., 307
5. Sverre Isachsen, 280
6. Patrik Sandell, 246
7. Steve Arpin, 224
8. Bucky Lasek, 215
9. Tanner Foust, 209
10. Rhys Millen, 201
11. Austin Dyne, 150
12. Brian Deegan, 140
13. Emma Gilmour, 62
14. Pat Moro, 8
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