Global Rallycross Season Review: Bryce Menzies
After running in a pair of Global Rallycross events last year, Bryce Menzies was tapped by Travis Pastrana to run the full 2013 season alongside him in a Red Bull-backed Dodge Dart. Expectations were higher than last season’s limited schedule run, as Pastrana’s other commitments meant that Menzies would be the only driver on the team running for a championship.
Unfortunately, Menzies’ first full GRC season had more lows than highs as the Dart struggled to match up with the competition and he often caught unlucky breaks. At season’s end, he placed 13th in the championship—not quite a reflection of the talent of the driver who won his third consecutive TORC Series Pro 2 championship in 2013.
The season started in Brazil, where both Menzies and Pastrana would end up in the same heat—a problem that happened more than once in the 2013 season and undoubtedly contributed to some of Menzies’ bad luck. While Pastrana and Brian Deegan advanced, Menzies had to go to the last chance qualifier; there, he couldn’t avoid rear-ending the stalled Citroen of friend Liam Doran on the start line, ending both of their race days.
As the season went on, the Dodges seemed to get more and more dialed in, and with that progress Menzies kept coming closer and closer to making the main event. Competitive in the Bristol LCQ, he couldn’t overcome a stacked opposition that included defending series champion Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan, and part-time teammate Timur Timerzyanov, the defending European champion who filled in for Pastrana during schedule conflicts. A spirited drive at X Games Los Angeles ended with Menzies in the wall despite a strong challenge to earn a transfer spot.
After missing the Atlanta round due to a schedule conflict of his own, Menzies’ Charlotte round came to an unfortunate end after contact with teammate Pastrana knocked off one of his wheels. But finally, at his home track of Las Vegas, Menzies reached the promised land—convincingly driving into the main event through the heats and then finishing sixth.
Menzies’ struggles in 2013 were the result of a perfect storm of unlucky factors, from running multiple championships that limited his seat time to being drawing heat races against both his teammates and some of the series’ top drivers. If he returns in 2014, expect a different set of circumstances that lead to some better luck.
Photo credit: Matthew Kalish (1); Alison Padron (2, 3)