How Heikkinen Can Clinch Two Championships in Charlotte
Toomas Heikkinen’s dominant run in the 2013 Global Rallycross season has been well documented thus far. He hasn’t lost a race event since June 29, the first leg of the X Games Munich doubleheader, and has won seven of his nine heat races this year, tied with Ken Block for the season lead.
In the penultimate round of the season, held at Charlotte Motor Speedway on September 22, Heikkinen can cash in on that success by potentially clinching both the Global Rallycross Drivers’ Championship and Sylvania SilverStar zXe Cup.
In the Drivers’ Championship, Heikkinen holds a 43-point lead over OlsbergsMSE teammate Tanner Foust, the only other driver who remains mathematically eligible barring any penalties. With two races remaining on the season schedule, drivers can score a maximum of 44 points (20 for a race victory and two for heat victories at each event), meaning Heikkinen can clinch a share of the title by scoring a point at either of the final two races and the title outright by scoring two.
The story is similar but not quite the same in the zXe Cup, which will wrap up in Charlotte by awarding a $20,000 prize to the driver best in the four GRC races hosted by Speedway Motorsports. Heikkinen’s lead is still nearly insurmountable, but three drivers—Ken Block, Brian Deegan, and Foust—remain mathematically alive in the championship battle.
Block, at 20 points back, has a slightly clearer path than Deegan and Foust, who are each 21 points behind. But Heikkinen needs only two points at Charlotte to eliminate his OMSE teammates, while Block would be defeated if Heikkinen can manage to score three.
In other words, September 22 could be a big day for the young Finn—perhaps the biggest day of his career.
Photo credit: Matthew Kalish