GRC Supercars Season Review: Brian Deegan
After winning gold at X Games Los Angeles in 2011, and earning a runner-up finish in points the next year, Brian Deegan seemed poised to challenge for the 2013 Global Rallycross title. Unfortunately, his results took a step backwards this season due to some bad luck, dropping him to fourth when all was said and done.
The season started on a somewhat positive note, as Deegan survived a wreck in Brazil that claimed perceived championship rivals Ken Block and Tanner Foust to earn a fifth place finish. But while Deegan proved himself a mainstay of the main event, only missing it once, the podium proved somewhat elusive for a driver whose five point-scoring finishes of the 2012 season were all top three runs.
Sure, Deegan managed to take home hardware three times—he slid by Foust’s ailing car in New Hampshire for his first podium finish, nursed a broken car to third place once again in Bristol, and battled Scott Speed aggressively for the win in Charlotte on his way to a season-best second place.
But Deegan also pulled off early in the second Munich race with mechanical problems, lost a solid third place run in Atlanta with engine trouble, and couldn’t replicate his last chance qualifier magic from last year’s Las Vegas round, missing only his first main event since the 2012 season opener.
The absolute low might have come at X Games Los Angeles, the race he wanted to win the most. Looking to reclaim the gold medal, Deegan earned the top seed, only to lose his heat to Sverre Isachsen. Starting on the second row, Deegan found himself caught in a messy first-lap shunt with Block and Liam Doran, dropping him to seventh place and off of the lead lap when teammate Toomas Heikkinen took the checkered flag. It was a difficult race to deal with for a driver who was as fast as ever throughout most of the season; his average seeding rank of 4.33 was third-best in Supercars, and he only qualified below sixth place a single time all year.
All in all, it was a fourth place season that left the founder of the Metal Mulisha, and the second highest point scorer in Global Rallycross history, somewhat frustrated.
“I come here and want to win races,” Deegan told the press back in July at New Hampshire, “and it still has eluded me this year. So I think I have some homework to do.”
With more than two years between his last victory and the end of the Global Rallycross season, Deegan is sure to be doing his homework in the 2014 offseason. But rest assured—anybody as competitive as him will come back next season with a fire unmatched by most of the competition. Don’t expect another winless season.
Photo credit: Matthew Kalish (1, 3); GRC Staff (2)