GRC Race Recap: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
IN BRIEF: Toomas Heikkinen won his second consecutive Global Rallycross race, taking the Sylvania Silverstar zXe at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after a last-corner accident ended Tanner Foust’s dominant run toward the finish.
HEAT RECAPS: Ken Block, Heikkinen, and Foust won the three heat races, while Brian Deegan, Patrik Sandell, and Sverre Isachsen also advanced directly to the main event. Defending race winner Travis Pastrana, X Games Brazil gold medalist Scott Speed, and Bucky Lasek, advanced via the last chance qualifier.
MAIN EVENT RECAP: Foust and Heikkinen pinched Block at the first corner, with Foust and eventually Sandell making it through the squeeze and over the jump first. The rest of the field would settle in behind them, with every driver making it through at least one lap.
From there, it was Foust’s event to lose, as he pulled away from the quarreling vehicles of Sandell and Heikkinen. A flat tire ended Pastrana’s hopes of defending his victory, while Lasek’s engine blew on the eighth of ten laps in the final.
But as Foust raced toward the checkered flag, he slammed into the outside guardrail on the elevated hairpin, losing the lead in the main event for the second year in a row. Heikkinen, Sandell, and Deegan snuck by to finish first, second, and third, while Foust would have to settle for a fourth place run at New Hampshire for the second year in a row.
RESULTS: The results of today’s Sylvania Silverstar zXe Global Rallycross at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
- Toomas Heikkinen, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
- Patrik Sandell, #18 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
- Brian Deegan, #38 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
- Tanner Foust, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
- Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
- Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
- Travis Pastrana, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
- Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
- Scott Speed, #77 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
- Nelson Piquet Jr., #12 X Team Racing Mitsubishi Evo
- Bryce Menzies, #99 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
- Steve Arpin, #32 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
- Dave Mirra, #40 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
QUOTES: A collection of quotes from after today’s Sylvania Silverstar zXe Global Rallycross at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
Toomas Heikkinen, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “I think it was difficult for everyone, with the raining and drying. There were a lot of different things. For all of us, we had a tough day—it was tricky to change your setup every time. Even the qualification was a little bit different for everybody. But all in all, it was a great day.”
Patrik Sandell, #18 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “When we had the drawing for the seeding, I was in the last group, and it was raining a lot before. Then it started to dry up, and dry up. Then I put my helmet on, and it starts to rain like crazy! So I knew that after seeding, I would be behind. That was not such a good start of the day, but that’s part of the game. Then I had an okay heat against Topi. In the final, I had a good start—we were able to do some good driving in the first two corners to pass some cars. I was hunting Tanner, but he did a really, really good job—I’m sorry for him that he had a crash at the end. Then Topi was driving really good. But at the end of the day, I’m super happy with being second.”
Brian Deegan, #38 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “It was a good race, I just ran my pace. I was kind of just hanging out there, and going ‘man, nothing’s going to happen up front, these guys are running pretty clean.’ Then I saw Tanner hit the wall on the last turn, so I just tried to sneak it in there. We almost came together, and had a little battle. I was able to come across the line in third, which is okay—a podium’s always good. But I come here and want to win races, and it still has eluded me this year. So I think I have some homework to do.”
Tanner Foust, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “That was a tough way to end the race—that’s never fun! Topi was pressuring for the whole race, and then on the very last straightaway, it seemed like he had a little bit of a run. So I thought I’d play it safe—my spotter said he had a chance on the inside, so I played it safe and hit the brakes on the inside corner to protect the turn. But there’s just gravel from all the rain, dragging that mud out. As soon as I touched the brakes, I knew I was in for a pretty wild ride. The car just rotated, went straight into the wall, and then was face-to-face with Brian coming in at 100 miles per hour! The first events of the year, the first six seconds have been the most exciting, and this one, it was the last six. I don’t know what hurts more, but it was a pretty exciting day. Hopefully it was a good show.”
FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from today’s race at New Hampshire:
- This was the second victory of Toomas Heikkinen’s Global Rallycross career, and his second in a row. He has finished on the podium and won his heat in all four races so far this year, the only driver to do so.
- This was the third win of the season for OlsbergsMSE, following Speed’s victory at X Games Brazil and Heikkinen’s win at X Games Munich. This was also the team’s second podium sweep of the season, after Brazil.
- Fords have now swept the top five at two Global Rallycross events this year: Brazil and New Hampshire.
- Patrik Sandell scored his best career Global Rallycross finish by placing second at New Hampshire. He now has two podium finishes in four career GRC starts.
- Brian Deegan finished third for the second year in a row at New Hampshire. This was his first podium of the season, and his best finish since placing second in last year’s season finale.
- Tanner Foust and Ken Block both scored top five finishes for the second year in a row at New Hampshire. Foust finished fourth in both races, while Block finished fifth each year.
- Only four drivers—Deegan, Foust, Block, and Travis Pastrana—have made it to both finals at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Dave Mirra, who placed 10th last year, did not advance past his heat race and finished 13th.
- Subaru placed two drivers in a main event for the second time this season, after the second X Games Munich event. Sverre Isachsen placed sixth and Bucky Lasek finished eighth, both season-best runs.
- Toomas Heikkinen, 76
- Tanner Foust, 51
- Brian Deegan, 47
- Patrik Sandell, 46
- Liam Doran, 43
- Ford, 147
- Dodge, 43
- Subaru, 41