Race Preview: X Games Brazil
Sunday’s event at X Games Brazil will mark the first race of the 2013 Global Rallycross calendar, which is sure to be the series’ biggest season yet. After months of planning, weeks of careful construction, and days of practice laps, it’s finally time to kick off the nine-race schedule.
2011 X Games Rally Car Racing gold medalist Liam Doran posted the fastest lap time in seeding on Saturday and thus will have the inside line for the first heat. There, he will face off with Ken Block and Toomas Heikkinen for two transfer spots into the final.
“First place—it couldn’t be any better than that,” said Doran.” This time last year when I was in X Games Los Angeles, I qualified dead last in 17th because I didn’t do a qualifying run. So hopefully this is a turnaround for me at X Games events.”
Other heat lineups include:
- Heat 2: Nelson Piquet Jr., Brian Deegan, Travis Pastrana, Bryce Menzies
- Heat 3: Tanner Foust, Steve Arpin, Patrik Sandell, Mauricio Neves
- Heat 4: Scott Speed, Buddy Rice, Anton Marklund, Eduardo Marques
Each of the first three heats contains at least one former X Games Rally Car gold medalist, while the fourth features the versatile Speed in the Star Car and 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Rice in a Volkswagen Polo. Both will be making their Global Rallycross debuts.
“The guys gave me a fast car, and it’s something that, going into this, evidently fit my style,” said Speed. “It’s got the speed. Now it’s just about figuring out the little details, figuring out how to make it race and how to make it last the whole time.”
In all, Sunday’s field includes over four dozen X Games medals, dozens of Formula 1 starts, multiple off-road championships, and many of the most legendary names in action sports history. They’ll all be trying to knock off two-time defending Global Rallycross champion Tanner Foust, whose OlsbergsMSE team has equipped him with a brand new Ford Fiesta ST for the 2013 season.
“I’m really excited to be here in Brazil competing in the first round of Global X Games,” said Foust. “It’s a really cool venue and I really enjoy the level of competition with some of these other drivers coming out from different disciplines of motorsports. I look forward to some good racing out there!”
Tune in to ESPN at 12:30 PM ET/9:30 AM PT to watch coverage of Global Rallycross at X Games Brazil.
Photo credit: Alison Merion Padron