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GRC Race Preview: Bristol Motor Speedway

July 19, 2013
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IN BRIEF: Bristol Motor Speedway hosts the second American-based round of the Global Rallycross schedule, making its debut as part of the nine-race series.

TUNE IN INFORMATION:

  • Saturday, July 20, 4:30 PM ET on ESPN and ESPN 3

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the full entry list.

LAST RACE: For the second race in a row, Toomas Heikkinen crossed the finish line first, inheriting the victory after Tanner Foust spun in the very final corner. OlsbergsMSE teammates Patrik Sandell and Brian Deegan would complete the podium, while Foust and Ken Block would complete a Ford sweep of the top five.

DRIVER CHANGES: Timur Timerzyanov, last year’s European champion, will return to the #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart in place of Travis Pastrana. Timerzyanov made two starts earlier in the season, finishing 10th and 11th in the X Games Munich doubleheader. After missing New Hampshire, Liam Doran will also return to the series with his MINI.

THE TRACK: Bristol will feature many of the same features at all Global Rallycross tracks, including an even mix of dirt and paved surface (in this case, concrete) and the signature tabletop jump. Part of the layout will go through the infield of the oval track.

BACK-TO-BACK ATTACK: By taking the victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Toomas Heikkinen scored the fifth pair of back-to-back wins in Global Rallycross history, and the first since Tanner Foust did so at the end of last year. All in all, three drivers have scored two consecutive victories in Global Rallycross competition:

  • Marcus Gronholm; March 25, 2011 (Irwindale) and March 26, 2011 (Irwindale)
  • Tanner Foust; April 16, 2011 (Snoqualmie) and June 17, 2011 (Pikes Peak)
  • Marcus Gronholm; May 26, 2012 (Charlotte) and June 9, 2012 (Texas)
  • Tanner Foust; September 29, 2012 (Las Vegas) and October 30, 2012 (Las Vegas)
  • Toomas Heikkinen; June 30, 2013 (Munich) and July 11, 2013 (New Hampshire)

DASH FOR THE CASH: Bristol represents the second race of the Sylvania SilverStar zXe Cup, which awards a $20,000 cash bonus to the driver to score the most points in four selected events. The first event took place at New Hampshire, while the others will be held at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 10 and Charlotte Motor Speedway on September 22. By virtue of winning at New Hampshire, Toomas Heikkinen holds the initial points lead.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of Saturday’s Global Rallycross event at Bristol Motor Speedway:

Toomas Heikkinen, Driver, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: It’s going to be an exciting race for everyone, I think. It’s cool to be here, and we have a nice track. It’s going to be maybe the fastest track, and we have the banks. It’s race by race—I just concentrate like every race. After the last race, I didn’t want to take any pressure—just do my job and my Ford Fiesta is flying right now. It’s on fire, I’m so happy.

Steve Arpin, Driver, #32 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta: As far as racetracks across the country go, Bristol is like my fantasy. I’ve always wanted to drive here—it’s been my goal with stock car stuff, but I’ve never had the opportunity with the programs that we had. Never in a million years would I have imagined that the first time I went around the high banks of Bristol would be in a Ford Fiesta rally car! The word on the stock car side is, “It’s Bristol.” All you have to say is “It’s Bristol, it’s awesome.” And whether you’re in a stock car, a truck, or a rally car, it’s going to be awesome.

Timur Timerzyanov, Driver, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart: I was really surprised to go on the track. It’s like a stadium. “The Last Coliseum” is fantastic. I’ve never seen something like this. It has 130,000 people, and it’s really, really nice. I tried to go up on the (banking) and it’s not possible, every time I want to go down. I think that this track will be very nice for us.

DRIVER POINTS:

  1. Toomas Heikkinen, 76
  2. Tanner Foust, 51
  3. Brian Deegan, 47
  4. Patrik Sandell, 46
  5. Liam Doran, 43

SYLVANIA SILVERSTAR ZXE CUP POINTS:

  1. Toomas Heikkinen, 21
  2. Patrik Sandell, 17
  3. Brian Deegan, 15
  4. Tanner Foust, 14
  5. Ken Block, 13

MANUFACTURER POINTS:

  1. Ford, 147
  2. Dodge, 43
  3. Subaru, 41
Categories: Features