Race Recap: Heikkinen Wins First Career X Games Gold in Munich
IN BRIEF: After a silver medal in Brazil and a bronze yesterday, Toomas Heikkinen finally won a gold medal at the Global Rallycross event in X Games Munich on Sunday. Liam Doran and Tanner Foust won the silver and bronze medals.
HEAT RECAPS: Heikkinen, Mattias Ekstrom, Doran, and Brian Deegan won the four heats, while Steve Arpin, Sverre Isachsen, Ken Block, and Tanner Foust also advanced directly to the final. After three re-starts in the last chance qualifier, Townsend Bell and Guiga Spinelli also advanced to the main event.
MAIN EVENT RECAP: A wild first turn saw Isachsen’s Subaru get bounced on two wheels, while Heikkinen and Doran managed to clear the majority of the carnage. Deegan pulled off shortly thereafter.
Heikkinen began to pull away from the field, while a tight battle still commenced in the middle of the pack. Ekstrom and Bell fought aggressively for fifth place, while Block remained on track and charged past multiple cars. Meanwhile, Foust’s rear bumper began to drag in the middle of the race before eventually falling off.
At race’s end, Heikkinen crossed the line first, nearly five seconds ahead of Doran and almost ten seconds ahead of Foust. Ekstrom, Arpin, Bell, and Spinelli finished behind them on the lead lap, while Isachsen completed nine laps and Deegan completed one.
QUOTES: A collection of quotes from after today’s Global Rallycross event at X Games Munich:
Toomas Heikkinen, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: ”It felt good, and even right now it feels good. But we have a long season, and we have go into LA and see what will happen. I’m leading the championship right now, and we have to be happy. But tomorrow we have to concentrate on the future… (The team) make it work, they make the cars, and I just come in and do my best.”
Liam Doran, #33 LD Motorsports MINI Countryman: ”It was a hard race. Rallycross is always a battle, and I had a couple of hits, but it happens, you know? The car was broken from the second turn. Yesterday I won a gold medal with three wheels, and this time I did eight laps with pretty much three wheels again, because one rear wheel was pointing in completely the wrong direction. But I’m proud of myself for keeping it in one piece and staying on the track, and silver’s not bad at the end of the day, is it? Anyone else would be happy, so of course I’m happy. I could have won gold, and it’s frustrating, but you’ve still got to be happy. I got one yesterday, so I shouldn’t be greedy, should I?”
Tanner Foust, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “Yesterday was horrible damage, and the team was working hard to get it all put back together. Today, though, the car’s fairly clean. I saw my own bumper on the track somewhere, but that comes off pretty easily. I did go underneath a Subaru on the first corner… I’ll be honest, it’s hard to be too excited because I just got lucky in the first turn. Yesterday I got unlucky, and there’s a very fine line between those two. The difference is not a good result, and a good result. I’ll take the luck when I can get it, and if that means some hardware, then even better.”
Guiga Spinelli, #12 X Team Racing Mitsubishi Evo: ”It was a very, very important moment, an amazing moment, my first time here. It’s a fantastic takeaway, sure, and I’m very happy to be in the final in my first weekend. Sure we will work much more to try to come back better, better, and better, and for me, next time will be with more experience. We’ll try to do our best each time that we come.”
FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from today’s X Games Munich doubleheader.
- This was the first career X Games and Global Rallycross victory for Toomas Heikkinen. It was his third career medal, the others coming earlier this year in Brazil and Munich yesterday.
- Heikkinen is the only driver to have medaled in each of the past three races. He is also the only driver to have won his heat in each of the past three races. He has finished fifth or better in each of his past five races, dating back to Las Vegas in September 2012.
- This was Liam Doran’s second consecutive X Games medal and third overall. Both of the other medals were gold, coming at Los Angeles in 2011 and here in Munich yesterday.
- Tanner Foust won his first X Games medal since Los Angeles 2011. He is the all-time leader in X Games videos for rally and rallycross, with seven overall.
- Sverre Isachsen made his first final of the 2013 season, while Townsend Bell and Guiga Spinelli made the first finals of their Global Rallycross careers.
Photo credit: QBA/QNIGAN.com