After a month-long hiatus, the Red Bull Global Rallycross season resumed with a brand new event at Bader Field in Atlantic City. The largest Supercar field of the season will tackle the longest course of the 2016 Red Bull GRC season, Bader Field will play host to a 10-turn, 1.102-mile course characterized by lengthy straightaways and tight corners.
Subaru Rally Team USA and Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE each ran three Supercars for the first time in 2016, adding Chris Atkinson and Kevin Eriksson to the grid. The weekend will also mark the first time that each team will run three of their current-generation vehicles in the same event, with Subaru entering a brand-new WRX STI and OMSE campaigning the third Civic Coupe that has served as a spare car at previous events.
However it wasn’t an easy fight in the final, but Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross’ Scott Speed churned out his third consecutive Red Bull Global Rallycross victory, taking the checkered flag. Patrik Sandell and Brian Deegan completed the podium after a hectic final lap that saw late ends to the podium hopes of both Tanner Foust and Steve Arpin.
“Tanner pulled a super awesome move at the beginning, and from that point on we set the tone that we were going to be aggressive in the dirt,” Speed explained. “That’s the risk that you take out there with the ruts that develop, and I had to be at that same aggression level for the first couple of laps to catch up to him.”
An aggressive first lap saw Speed, the event polesitter and winner of all of his preliminary rounds, trade the lead three times with teammate Foust. Though it was Foust who would grab the lead out of the lap, Speed would finally close the gap, get past, and open up a gap of his own in the race’s final stages when Foust found himself running on only three tires.
Chaos then broke loose on the final lap of the eight-lap main event. Sandell had saved his Joker Lap until the very final circuit, jumping from a top-five position to second place. Behind them, Deegan muscled past his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Arpin to get to fourth, before doing the same to Foust in a reversal of last month’s final lap in Washington DC.
“A couple laps from the end, that aggression from Tanner ended with a tire de-beading,” Speed continued. “Some of that is bad luck, and some of that is aggression—it was very give and take out there, and you had to decide how aggressive you had to take that dirt and how much risk you wanted to take.”
Patrik Sandell: “This was a fantastic track to drive on with a lot of people out there, and the backdrop was insane. Overall, it was a really good race weekend that GRC put together, so we’re really pleased with that. I had kind of a rough first lap in the final where I was kind of a ping-pong ball in the middle of a lot of cars, but my car was still great and I could still push with it. My spotter did a fantastic job to give me feedback on times all the way through, and what position we could get up to by taking the Joker at the end. It took us all the way up to second, so I’m super happy for the team.”
Brian Deegan: “In the end, it was an awesome race. I just want to thank everyone from Ganassi, they work really had to give us a car that was competitive. We were in the game the whole time, and that makes it so much more fun. I want to thank all the fans for coming out—this is a good stop, and the backdrop here, everything is beautiful. I had a lot of fun, and this is probably the most fun racetrack because it swept really well. It was racy, and the dirt was really rough, so you had to pick your line. That’s rallycross—when cars start bouncing in the air, parts are breaking and people are flying over each other, that’s rallycross. And that’s what I felt here. You didn’t have to get the start to win it, you could actually make some passes. So hopefully we get some more tracks like this and head back to Atlantic City, thanks for having us!”
Next up the Red Bull Global Rallycross show moves to Seattle Washington September 16th and 17th, before the season winds up in Los Angeles in a double header October 7th, 8th and 9th.
Red Bull GRC Atlantic City Results:
1. Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
2. Patrik Sandell, #18 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST
3. Brian Deegan, #38 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
4. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
5. Steve Arpin, #00 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
6. Sebastian Eriksson, #93 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe
7. Austin Dyne, #14 AD Racing Ford Fiesta ST
8. Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
9. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
10. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
11. Chris Atkinson, #55 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
12. Joni Wiman, #31 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe
13. Kevin Eriksson, #96 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe
1. Scott Speed, 409
2. Tanner Foust, 400
3. Steve Arpin, 357
4. Patrik Sandell, 352
5. Brian Deegan, 345
6. Sebastian Eriksson, 259
7. Joni Wiman, 240
8. Austin Dyne, 165
9. Jeff Ward, 134
10. Rhys Millen, 96