Tag Archives: Atlanta Motor Speedway


25 Days of GRC

For the past 25 days, we at Global Rallycross have been spotlighting some of the best stories of the 2013 season, both on and off the track, on our Instagram account under the hashtag #25DaysofGRC. Today, we recap all 25 story selections with this handy rundown.

Top 10 GRC Moments: Heikkinen Completes Record Win Streak in Atlanta

In anticipation of the 2013 Global Rallycross season finale, held on the Las Vegas Strip on November 6-7, Global-Rallycross.com looks back on the 10 most significant events in the series’ three-year history. These stories will appear on Global-Rallycross.com once a day from Monday-Friday on the weeks of October 21-25 and October 28-November 1. Click here to purchase tickets for the 2013 Global Rallycross season finale.

DATE: August 11, 2013

LOCATION: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA

IN BRIEF: Toomas Heikkinen established himself as a force to be reckoned with early in the 2013 Global Rallycross season, nearly winning the season opener at X Games Brazil and earning his first event win in the second half of the X Games Munich doubleheader. From there, the rest of the field couldn’t keep up with the young Finn, as he added wins at New Hampshire, Bristol, and X Games Los Angeles.

In Atlanta, it was more of the same. Heikkinen overcame aggressive driving from Sverre Isachsen in the heats to claim a front row spot in the final, then dodged contact on the first lap to open up a lead that would stand for the duration. Heikkinen’s fifth consecutive race victory, taken over Tanner Foust in second and Isachsen in third, stands as one of the most impressive marks in the GRC record book.

EFFECTS: For Heikkinen, the drive to the 2013 championship didn’t take him all the way to the season finale in November—he wrapped up OlsbergsMSE’s third consecutive title at Charlotte in September. He’ll race in the 2013 finale simply for pride, and to attempt to become the first driver to podium in every race of a GRC season.

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish



Heikkinen Wins Third Consecutive Race of Sylvania SilverStar zXe Cup

Toomas Heikkinen’s dominance of this Global Rallycross season has been well documented, with his five consecutive victories and seven consecutive podiums the biggest story of the 2013 season. In that span, Heikkinen has also opened up a dominant lead in the Sylvania SilverStar zXe Cup, bringing him to the cusp of a $20,000 bonus to be awarded on September 22 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

In Saturday’s Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global Rallycross at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Heikkinen won the third race of the program, beating Tanner Foust and Sverre Isachsen in a repeat of the X Games Los Angeles podium.

It was Heikkinen’s third win in three zXe Cup events, the others coming at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11 and Bristol Motor Speedway on July 20. With 63 points, he holds a dominant 20-point lead in the four-race chase.

Ken Block, who had entered Saturday’s event only nine points behind Heikkinen, maintained second place in the standings with 43. He and Heikkinen qualified first and second, and each won both of their heat races, setting up a great challenge in the final. But a broken hose clamp at the start of the main event forced Block to pull off immediately, relegating him to eighth place.

Four drivers—Heikkinen, Block, Tanner Foust, and Brian Deegan—remain mathematically eligible for the zXe Cup in Charlotte. Foust finished second in Atlanta, chasing down Heikkinen until a flat left front tire with three laps to go mitigated his chances. Deegan ran third for most of the final until a mechanical failure ended his race after five of 10 laps.

Full Sylvania SilverStar zXe Cup standings, after three of four races, are as follows:

  1. Toomas Heikkinen, 63
  2. Ken Block, 43
  3. Tanner Foust, 42
  4. Brian Deegan, 42
  5. Sverre Isachsen, 40
  6. Patrik Sandell, 37
  7. Steve Arpin, 24
  8. Scott Speed, 23
  9. Dave Mirra, 23
  10. Timur Timerzyanov, 21
  11. Bucky Lasek, 19
  12. Bryce Menzies, 13
  13. Travis Pastrana, 10
  14. Liam Doran, 8
  15. Henning Solberg, 7
  16. Nelson Piquet Jr., 7

Global Rallycross Race Recap: Atlanta Motor Speedway

IN BRIEF: If you think you’ve heard this one before, you may be right—for the second race in a row, Toomas Heikkinen, Tanner Foust, and Sverre Isachsen comprised the podium in Saturday’s Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global Rallycross at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

HEAT RECAPS: Heikkinen swept both heat 1A and 2A, earning two bonus points, while Scott Speed earned the second transfer spot from 2A. Ken Block swept heats 1B and 2B as well, taking Steve Arpin with him into the final. Tanner Foust earned a front row spot by winning 2C, while 1C winner Brian Deegan also transferred. In the last chance qualifier, Dave Mirra passed Timur Timerzyanov to take the victory, while Sverre Isachsen earned the final transfer spot.

MAIN EVENT RECAP: Heikkinen’s quick start may have been overshadowed by Block’s failure to launch, a mechanical problem that relegated him to one lap completed. From there, Foust attempted to chase down his OlsbergsMSE teammate to no avail, as Heikkinen’s pure pace and a flat tire kept the defending series champion at bay.

Deegan seemed like a lock for third place until a late mechanical failure sent him off, yielding the final podium spot to Isachsen. A persistent Mirra, in his first final of the year, held on for fourth, with Timerzyanov in fifth. The cars that failed to finish belonged to Deegan, Speed, Block, and Arpin.

RESULTS: The results from Saturday’s Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global Rallycross at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

  1. Toomas Heikkinen, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  2. Tanner Foust, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  3. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
  4. Dave Mirra, #40 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
  5. Timur Timerzyanov, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
  6. Brian Deegan, #38 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  7. Scott Speed, #77 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
  8. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
  9. Steve Arpin, #32 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
  10. Henning Solberg, #99 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
  11. Patrik Sandell, #18 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  12. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI

QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Saturday’s Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global Rallycross at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

Toomas Heikkinen, Driver, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “I think the pressure is gone right now. We have a long holiday after this one, and I think I’ll just go home and relax and test. The team has done good work, and that’s why I’m here. Without Andreas Eriksson, this is not possible. I want to win every race!”

Tanner Foust, Driver, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “I was on the outside of the front row. I kept thinking of this quote that somebody told me from Mike Tyson, which is ‘everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.’ That sums up, I think, turn one in rallycross pretty well. My plan was to go big on the outside and hopefully not the outside barriers. It worked, but I basically blocked for Topi while everybody tried to hit him! Then I followed Topi for a little while. I started catching him—I think he was getting stuck in the gravel, and we were getting a line behind him that was pretty good. I thought I had something had for him, but then with three laps left I got a puncture on the front left. Then it became total survival mode—I can’t believe nobody passed me, really, because we overshot so many turns trying to slow down. It must have been mayhem behind. Three laps on a front flat, especially, we’re pretty lucky to finish on the podium as well. I’ll take it.”

Sverre Isachsen, Driver, #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI: “I’m really happy right now. Today was extra good, because we had to go through the LCQ, and in the final I was completely last on the grid. So it was even better for me personally to fight, and it was really a hard fight the whole way, of course. Third place this weekend as well is perfect. If you come to the final, everything can happen.”

Dave Mirra, Driver, #40 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI: “I got spun in the corner after the jump, but I fought back. Things happen in rallycross. I was very, very happy with my pace—I know in the LCQ I was reeling people in in that section, the whole dirt section, so I felt like I showed that I could drive at a fast pace. The crew really, really work hard to get that car dialed, and I’ve been sitting back waiting. Now that it’s here, it’s fun to go out and drive a car that you know is reliable and fast, and you know that you can put some times down. I’m very excited. The Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team did really well. They’re awesome, they work hard, and they get the credit—then I get the car and get to drive it. It’s pretty awesome.”

Timur Timerzyanov, Driver, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart: “That was a difficult race. We started with one setting in the morning and then we changed the car around, and actually had some problems with the clutch on the drive today. After that, we tried to keep that on. We were lucky that we had a brilliant start today in the two heats, and in the final we didn’t have a good start. Ken Block was stuck in the front and we had to wait to go from the line. The problem was in the gravel—the gravel section was good for us when we were in a fresh one, but after a few laps the gravel was gone and there was tarmac. And the car is so long that we can’t keep turning all the way around the corner.”

FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Saturday’s Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global Rallycross at Atlanta Motor Speedway:


  1. Toomas Heikkinen, 139
  2. Tanner Foust, 96
  3. Brian Deegan, 84
  4. Ken Block, 80
  5. Patrik Sandell, 75
  6. Sverre Isachsen, 65
  7. Scott Speed, 63
  8. Liam Doran, 59
  9. Steve Arpin, 58
  10. Bucky Lasek, 35
  11. Timur Timerzyanov, 34
  12. Travis Pastrana, 32
  13. Dave Mirra, 31
  14. Mattias Ekstrom, 26
  15. Anton Marklund, 26
  16. Bryce Menzies, 21
  17. Townsend Bell, 16
  18. Guilherme Spinelli, 14
  19. Nelson Piquet Jr., 13
  20. Rhys Millen, 13
  21. Buddy Rice, 7
  22. Henning Solberg, 7
  23. Mauricio Neves, 5
  24. Stephan Verdier, 5
  25. Edu Marques, 3
  26. David Sterckx, 1


  1. Ford, 264
  2. Subaru, 109
  3. Dodge, 94

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish


GRC Lites Race Recap: Atlanta Motor Speedway

IN BRIEF: Once again, Finnish phenomenon Joni Wiman came out on top of the GRC Lites race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, winning his fourth consecutive event in only four starts. Mitchell deJong fought Sebastian Eriksson tooth and nail to secure second place, with Eriksson coming home third.

HEAT RECAPS: Wiman and Sebastian Eriksson won their heat races, with Westlund also transferring from the first race and deJong from the second as Kevin Eriksson suffered a late mechanical failure. In the last chance qualifier, Reinis Nitiss and Kevin Eriksson would coast to the final two transfer spots in the final.

MAIN EVENT RECAP: Initially, Wiman’s streak of GRC Lites victories looked to be in jeopardy, as Sebastian Eriksson took the lead on the start and through the joker. But by the halfway point, Eriksson’s lead was gone, as he and Wiman traded the point multiple times until finally the Finn pulled away.

From there, Sebastian Eriksson was forced to defend second place from both deJong and Kevin Eriksson, who pushed forward despite starting last in the six-car final. On the very last lap, deJong finally made it past for good, securing his second consecutive runner-up finish.

RESULTS: The results from GRC Lites at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

  1. Joni Wiman, #93 Set Promotion GRC Lites
  2. Mitchell deJong, #24 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites
  3. Sebastian Eriksson, #37 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites
  4. Kevin Eriksson, #39 Set Promotion GRC Lites
  5. Alexander Westlund, #55 Set Promotion GRC Lites
  6. Reinis Nitiss, #15 Set Promotion GRC Lites
  7. Geoff Sykes, #65 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites
  8. Austin Dyne, #99 AD Racing GRC Lites
  9. Harry Cheung, #88 Cohesive Front Racing GRC Lites
  10. Tyler Benson, #4 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites


  1. Joni Wiman, 84
  2. Sebastian Eriksson, 62
  3. Mitchell deJong, 55
  4. Kevin Eriksson, 53
  5. Alexander Westlund, 52
  6. Austin Dyne, 44
  7. Geoff Sykes, 40
  8. Harry Cheung, 35
  9. Halid Avdagic, 29
  10. Reinis Nitiss, 23
  11. Tyler Benson, 7

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

Global Rallycross Drivers Visit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

GRC TV: Drivers Visit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Global Rallycross drivers Tanner Foust and Steve Arpin visited Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to hang out with some deserving children on the day before their race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. From doing a radio appearance to playing with the kids, Foust and Arpin brought happiness to all before strapping back into their 600 horsepower machines.

Global Rallycross Race Preview: Atlanta Motor Speedway

IN BRIEF: Global Rallycross will end a stretch of six races in seven weeks at Atlanta Motor Speedway, making its debut at the Georgia track, while Toomas Heikkinen attempts to win his unprecedented fifth race in a row.


ENTRY LIST: CLICK HERE for the full entry list.


LAST RACE: For the fourth straight event, Toomas Heikkinen walked out of the paddock with the biggest trophy—or, in this case, the most valuable medal. He won X Games Los Angeles after inheriting the lead from Sverre Isachsen, whose jump start forced him to sit in the penalty box. Isachsen would recover to win bronze, while Tanner Foust finished second to win silver.

DRIVER CHANGES: Both Pastrana Racing cars will feature different drivers than at X Games Los Angeles. Timur Timerzyanov, fresh off a guest drive in the second Marklund Motorsport Volkswagen Polo, will take over Travis Pastrana’s #199 Dodge Dart, while World Rally veteran Henning Solberg replaces Bryce Menzies in the #99.

THE TRACK: Atlanta’s ten-corner layout runs clockwise, utilizing much of the tri-oval and pit road sections of the oval. The tabletop jump returns to the oval frontstretch, while two long straightaways mean that cars with higher horsepower may have an advantage.

A POTENTIAL CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT: Points leader Toomas Heikkinen’s dominance has been so all-encompassing thus far, that he can actually clinch the season championship in Atlanta. He currently leads Tanner Foust by 39 points, with a maximum of 66 available in the next three races; if he leads by 44 or more after Atlanta, the championship will have been settled.

A NATURAL FIT: Though he may be making his Global Rallycross debut in Atlanta, Henning Solberg has connections throughout the garage. His crew chief, Ian Davies, worked with him in five non-consecutive World Rally Championship seasons. Earlier this year, he raced in European rallycross events, one of which saw X Games Los Angeles bronze medalist Sverre Isachsen serve as his team boss. He made it to the final there after beating current Pastrana Racing teammate Timur Timerzyanov for the last transfer spot in their semi-final, finishing fourth overall.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of Saturday’s event at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

Henning Solberg, Driver, #99 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart: “Everything can happen in rallycross. It can be a crash, it can be everything. I will try to come to the final, that’s my target, and I will see from there. (Toomas) Heikkinen has been very fast for four or five rounds. But it’s not easy to beat anyone, so we will see.“

Timur Timerzyanov, Driver, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart: “The season is not yet finished for the Dodge team, and I think we’re trying to develop something special. This track is more of a close track for up. It’s going to be the best track we have for this car, because there are long straights here.”

Tanner Foust, Driver, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “This is an event where we have very little time on the track, and those events usually benefit me because I have so much time in the car. But there’s possible rain, and there are some other cars in the paddock that have a little bit better rain setup than we do. It’s going to come down to a little bit of weather, and it’s going to come down to just figuring out, really quick, where you need to prioritize on the track to make up time.”


  1. Toomas Heikkinen, 117
  2. Tanner Foust, 78
  3. Brian Deegan, 72
  4. Ken Block, 70
  5. Patrik Sandell, 69


  1. Ford, 224
  2. Subaru, 81
  3. Dodge, 75

GRC Lites Race Preview: Atlanta Motor Speedway

IN BRIEF: GRC Lites begins the second half of its season at Atlanta Motor Speedway, as drivers attempt to top Joni Wiman and become only the second winner in class history.


ENTRY LIST: CLICK HERE for the full entry list.


LAST RACE: Joni Wiman’s dominance of the GRC Lites class continued at X Games Los Angeles, as he ran away with his third straight victory and a gold medal hanging around his neck. Mitchell deJong cruised to the silver medal, while Sebastian Eriksson—who had to give up second place due to a stop-and-go penalty—inherited third place when Alexander Westlund crashed in the race’s late stages.

THE TRACK: Atlanta’s ten-corner layout runs clockwise, utilizing much of the tri-oval and pit road sections of the oval. The tabletop jump returns to the oval frontstretch, while two long straightaways mean that cars with higher horsepower may have an advantage.

DRIVER CHANGES: Tyler Benson, son of former Super Bowl champion and NFL Pro Bowl selection Brad Benson, will take over for Halid Avdagic in the renumbered #60 car. Benson brings to GRC Lites a wealth of motorsports experience, from power boats to ATVs, and was trained by the Skip Barber Racing School at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of Saturday’s GRC Lites event at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

Tyler Benson, Driver, #60 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites: “I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. But being my first race, I’m going into it more as a learning type experience. I don’t expect to be in the back, but in reality I don’t expect to be in the front—I want to go out and learn what these cars are about, because I haven’t had a chance to get any seat time in them yet. I just want to get acclimated to the car, so that way, for the next race, I’m ready to keep progressing and pushing it harder.”

Geoff Sykes, Driver, #65 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites: “I did a little bit of training from X Games until now. I went to RallyPro at The Firm and spent a couple of days there fine-tuning my off-road skills, so I’m hoping to come in faster than I’ve been previously. I did a quick track walk and we’re going to have a lot of consistency changes with the asphalt—with the drag races here, it’ll be sticky asphalt on the inside, the regular NASCAR track on the outside, the grass on the inside. So there are going to be a lot of different changes here that we won’t see, so that’s going to be a lot of learning quickly. The schedule’s going to be a lot easier on us, so we are going to get a little bit of time to make changes on the car. The biggest change that I’m making in myself is that the easiest way to get time out of the car is the driver. Hopefully I’ve got a little bit more honed skills in off road and we’ll come in ready to battle.”


  1. Joni Wiman, 63
  2. Sebastian Eriksson, 46
  3. Kevin Eriksson, 41
  4. Alexander Westlund, 39
  5. Mitchell deJong, 38

Battle for SYLVANIA SilverStar® zXe Cup Heats Up as Drivers Get Ready for Atlanta

ATLANTA, GA., August 6, 2013 –Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen may hold the lead in the chase for the SYLVANIA SilverStar® zXe Global Rallycross Cup challenge after winning the first two races, but it will undoubtedly be a tight competition as some of today’s best rallycross drivers attempt to knock Topi out of the No. 1 spot in Atlanta. Drivers like Ken Block, Brian Deegan and Patrik Sandell are hot on Heikkinen’s tail in point standings and anything goes as drivers prep for the third of four races for the SYLVANIA zXe Cup series.

New to GRC in 2013, the SYLVANIA zXe Cup and its $20,000 prize will go to the driver that earns the most championship points in four of the series’ U.S.-based events this season. The first of the final two races for a shot at the SYLVANIA zXe Cup kicks off this Saturday, August 10, at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN 2. The last race in SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting’s four-race chase takes place in Charlotte on September 22.

Heikkinen perhaps has been the biggest surprise, setting records in the overall GRC series and taking home his second gold in the X Games. But drivers like Ken Block and Brian Deegan are not trailing far behind and have been on the podium in recent races. Patrick Sandell and fan favorite Tanner Foust have consistently posted strong results and are notable competitors entering into this next race.

On the manufacturer side, Ford has swept the podium in both of the first two SYLVANIA zXe Cup races.  While it may not sit well in garages of the other teams, it will add some flavor to the competition in Atlanta.

“It’s impressive that Topi swept the first two races in the chase for the SYLVANIA zXe Cup, but we’ve also seen some heated competition. GRC is so unpredictable that there is certainly some vulnerability for Heikkinen in that no. 1 spot,” said Joe Verbanic,  Sales and Marketing Director, SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting. “Nothing intimidates these drivers, and I’m expecting they will lay it on the line in Atlanta as they position themselves for the finals in Charlotte.”

To see photos from each event and follow the point standings battle for the SYLVANIA SilverStar® zXe Cup, visitwww.facebook.com/SylvaniaAutomotive or Racer’s special SYLVANIA-sponsored Global Rallycross news section. For more information on SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting products, visit www.sylvania.com/auto.

2013 SYLVANIA SilverStar® zXe Cup Point Standings after the Second of Four Events

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish


Global Rallycross Confirms 2013 Schedule Featuring International Expansion

Los Angeles, Calif. (June 11, 2013) – Global Rallycross (GRC) confirms its 2013 schedule will total nine rounds including races on three different continents in conjunction with Global X Games events in Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil), Barcelona (Spain) and Munich (Germany).

As one of the fastest growing forms of motorsport, rallycross combines the best aspects of circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition.

The series is made up of four Global X Games events and five GRC events to total nine rounds that will culminate in the crowning of both a driver’s champion and manufacturer’s champion.

The 2013 championship features live broadcasts on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 available in over 198 countries. With more than 15 hours of primetime live content on major networks, the telecast package comprises the most expansive television coverage that the sport of rallycross has ever seen.

The series’ star drivers include Ken Block, Brian Deegan, Travis Pastrana, Scott Speed and 2011 and 2012 GRC Champion Tanner Foust.

The 2013 Global Rallycross schedule:

April 21: GRC at X Games: Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
May 19: GRC at X Games: Barcelona, Spain
June 29 & 30: GRC at X Games: Munich, Germany*
July 11: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon NH
July 20: Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol TN
August 04: GRC at X Games: Irwindale Speedway, CA
August 10: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Atlanta, GA
September 22: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte, NC
November 07: Las Vegas, NV

*Barcelona rainout makeup race on June 29

Photo credit: Alison Merion Padron