Tag Archives: Brian Deegan

BreakingNews-zXeCupFeatured

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 Preview: X Games Los Angeles

IN BRIEF: X Games Los Angeles will represent the fourth and final opportunity for Global Rallycross drivers to earn medals in 2013, as the event closes out its lengthy history in Southern California before moving to Austin next year.

TUNE IN INFORMATION:

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the full entry list.

LAST RACE: Toomas Heikkinen became the first driver in Global Rallycross history to win three consecutive races when he won the Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global Rallycross at Bristol Motor Speedway on July 20. Heikkinen beat Ken Block and Brian Deegan to the finish, while the lapped cars of Sverre Isachsen and Patrik Sandell rounded out the top five.

DRIVER CHANGES: A season-high 18 cars will compete at X Games Los Angeles, including three drivers—Rhys Millen and David Sterckx with Rhys Millen Racing, and Stephan Verdier with Verdier Racing—who will make their season debut. Travis Pastrana will return to the series, enabling Timur Timerzyanov to drive the second Marklund Motorsport Volkswagen Polo alongside the returning Anton Marklund.

THE TRACK: The layout for X Games Los Angeles at Irwindale Event Center is much different than the one that GRC used in its inaugural race at the track in 2011. The eight-turn course begins with a sweeping banked turn, as in Bristol, before ducking into the infield and negotiating a tight dirt section.

HIGH-PROFILE DEBUT: Sunday’s race will mark the Global Rallycross debut for DRR-SH Racing, a partnership between IndyCar teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and SH Racing. Dreyer & Reinbold has fielded IndyCars since 2000, while SH Racing was a partner in Tony Kanaan’s Indianapolis 500-winning car this year. They will back Scott Speed and the #77 Ford Fiesta Star Car alongside OMSE2.

THREE FOR THREE: In the first year of multiple Global Rallycross competitions at X Games Events, three different drivers have won gold medals in the three events so far. Scott Speed won at X Games Foz do Iguacu, Liam Doran won at the first X Games Munich race, and Toomas Heikkinen won the second Munich gold. Heikkinen is the only driver to win medals in each event, taking silver at Foz do Iguacu and bronze in the other Munich race.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of Sunday’s Global Rallycross event at X Games Los Angeles:

Anton Marklund, Driver, #92 Marklund Motorsport Volkswagen Polo: It’s the first time I’m in the US, and it has been a great experience so far. This is the biggest event you can do in a rallycross car, so I’m very excited to be here. I’ve been very quick at the other events. I had second place in Brazil before the red flag, and then I had a puncture, and I was fourth in Munich, so the speed is there. I just need to be a little more lucky, and I’ll have the podium finish—that’s my goal for this race, to finish on the podium.

David Sterckx, Driver, #14 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster: I’m here to do a good impression. I’m hoping to be at least in the middle of the field. That will be really good, considering the knowledge I have of the car and GRC. Everything is new (for me)—rallycross is new, GRC is new, the car is new, the team is new. So there are a lot of new things.

Bryce Menzies, Driver, #99 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart: I’m really looking forward to this race. My first race for Global Rallycross last year was this race, so coming back to it I feel a lot more confident. We’re still struggling a little bit with the cars, but we’re getting there. We’re pushing the cars more and starting to figure some stuff out. We jam pack it all into one day on Sunday—we’ve got practice, then qualifying, then heat races, so it’ll be one busy day. But I’m really looking forward to getting back into the Dodge Dart, and hoping to put it back on the box this weekend.

Dave Mirra, Driver, #40 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI: I’m just excited to be out here in LA, competing in the Global Rallycross event, and hopefully I’ll bring home something substantial. I’d love to get back in the medal count again—it’s been a long time, but hopefully our Subarus are good and put on a good fight.

DRIVER POINTS:

  1. Toomas Heikkinen, 96
  2. Brian Deegan, 62
  3. Tanner Foust, 61
  4. Patrik Sandell, 60
  5. Ken Block, 58

MANUFACTURER POINTS:

  1. Ford, 186
  2. Subaru, 60
  3. Dodge, 59

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

X Games Los Angeles Boasts Storied Rallycross History

This year’s X Games represents the eighth year of rally car competition at the famed action sports event, with Los Angeles playing host to the event each year. In that time, some of the greatest drivers in motorsport have chased the glory of a gold medal—but only a few have succeeded.

It was 2006 when rally events were first introduced to X Games Los Angeles, with the very first event taking place at the Home Depot Center. The event, a super special rally stage, featured drivers facing each other head-to-head in a mad dash to the finish. Travis Pastrana, already well-established in X Games competition as a freestyle motocross star, switched to cars and defeated former World Rally champion Colin McRae, after McRae rolled his car just short of the finish.

The early years of X Games rallying were dominated by Tanner Foust, who won gold in 2007, and Pastrana, who reclaimed the title in 2008. But the ever-expanding event drew interest from more and more faces from around the world of motorsports. Eventually, in 2009, X Games saw its first driver from another form of racing come in and take gold: Kenny Brack, the 1999 Indianapolis 500 champion, in his first race after retiring from IndyCar.

2010 saw a change of venue, with rally car racing heading to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the introduction of rallycross as a second event. Foust would defeat Brian Deegan in both races, with drifting star and stunt driver winning the bronze medal in rallycross.

In 2011, X Games Los Angeles became the season finale for the Global Rallycross season, a two-day event on the streets of Los Angeles that featured head-to-head competition one day and an eight-car rallycross final on the second. Liam Doran, competing in his first X Games, won the head-to-head finale over World Rally legend Marcus Gronholm, while Deegan would avenge his loss from the previous season and win gold in the rallycross finale. The next year, fellow World Rally legend Sebastien Loeb would dominate in his X Games debut, beating Ken Block and Deegan.

2013 will see Global Rallycross and X Games Los Angeles compete at Irwindale Speedway, the same venue that hosted the first-ever GRC race in 2011. Whoever wins the gold medal on Sunday will have the distinction of taking the last one from X Games Los Angeles—and closing out one of the most significant chapters in the sport’s history.

Photo credit: QBA/QNIGAN.com

Global Rallycross Mid-Season Review: OlsbergsMSE

There’s not much more to say about OlsbergsMSE than the obvious: they’re still the class of the field in Global Rallycross—although their best driver so far this year may have been a surprise.

The four OMSE Ford Fiesta STs rank in the first four spots in points through five races, with Toomas Heikkinen the surprise name on top. But not only is he leading, he’s also doing it by a wide margin: with 96 points, the Finnish driver has a 34-point advantage over teammate Brian Deegan, who ranks second in points.

With five consecutive podium finishes since the start of the season, Heikkinen is only the third driver in Global Rallycross history to accomplish that feat. After winning the second X Games Munich round, plus the first two United States races in New Hampshire and Bristol, he has also become the first driver to ever win three consecutive Global Rallycross events. He was also the only driver to win each of his heat races through New Hampshire, before a slow qualifying session and difficult heat group at Bristol put an end to that streak.

Deegan and two-time defending champion Tanner Foust, the series’ top two drivers last season, have been their usual selves so far as well. Each driver has made all five main events, with Foust taking bronze at X Games Munich and leading most of the New Hampshire main event, and Deegan scoring two consecutive podiums heading into X Games Los Angeles.

Patrik Sandell, in his first season in Global Rallycross, has also posted strong results. With two runner-up finishes at X Games Foz do Iguacu and New Hampshire, plus two heat wins at Bristol, he is fourth in the series standings, only two points behind Deegan for second and one behind Foust for third.

OMSE heads to X Games Los Angeles looking to make amends on a 2012 main event that saw two drivers suffer injuries and only Deegan on the podium. The last time GRC raced at Irwindale Speedway, OMSE won both races with ex-driver Marcus Gronholm, meaning there’s some strong history to build upon.

Global Rallycross Race Recap: Bristol Motor Speedway

IN BRIEF: Toomas Heikkinen became the first driver to win three consecutive Global Rallycross events when he took the checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway, beating Ken Block and Brian Deegan to the victory.

HEAT RECAPS: Global Rallycross returned to a two-heat system in Bristol, with Ken Block winning his heat pair and Patrik Sandell doing the same. But while Scott Speed won the first heat for the third group, a persistent Sverre Isachsen stole the second heat. Toomas Heikkinen, Liam Doran, and Steve Arpin also advanced from the heats; a star-studded last chance qualifier saw Brian Deegan, Tanner Foust, and Timur Timerzyanov advance.

MAIN EVENT RECAP: A rough-and-tumble first lap saw Block lose his top seed and lane advantage to Heikkinen for the second race in a row, though Isachsen also threatened to hold the lead. Heikkinen and Isachsen would make it out of the bottleneck first, though Block would regain second place quickly.

The rest of the race saw what was left of the field attempt to catch Heikkinen to no avail, as Block, Deegan, Isachsen (with a busted exhaust) and Sandell would be the only other finishers. Arpin, Foust, Timerzyanov, and Doran all suffered too much damage to continue beyond the race’s initial laps.

RESULTS: The results of today’s Sylvania Silverstar zXe Global Rallycross at Bristol Motor Speedway:

  1. Toomas Heikkinen, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  2. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
  3. Brian Deegan, #38 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  4. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
  5. Patrik Sandell, #18 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  6. Steve Arpin, #32 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
  7. Tanner Foust, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  8. Timur Timerzyanov, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
  9. Liam Doran, #33 LD Motorsports MINI Countryman
  10. Bryce Menzies, #99 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
  11. Dave Mirra, #40 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
  12. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
  13. Scott Speed, #77 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta

QUOTES: A collection of quotes from after today’s Sylvania Silverstar zXe Global Rallycross at Bristol Motor Speedway:

Toomas Heikkinen, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: I just tried to get a good start on the grid, and after that I chose the tight line on the inside corner, and that made the difference. Then I didn’t have mirrors on my car! (The win) feels alright, but I still have to concentrate on every race. Like I’ve said before, many times, we have to concentrate race by race. Of course there’s pressure, but I think my gap is quite good.

Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST: Topi came from the second row, didn’t qualify well, didn’t have great heats, and just got through the first turn. It’s just the crapshoot of rallycross. I did everything possible to win, and I just got booted around in the first turn. No matter how much effort you put in, it can still turn out completely the opposite. I’m very confident in what I’m doing in the car—the car is absolutely dialed and my team has worked really hard. The car is working for me perfectly, doing everything I want it to do, and I’m able to find the lines. As long as we can keep doing that, hopefully I can still be in the top range of qualifying, and I’ll keep doing everything I can.

Brian Deegan, #38 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: It was a battle, you know? We had the toughest qualifier. We had (Ken) Block, (Tanner) Foust, and (Toomas) Heikkinen, so it was like a main event. In the second round, we went out there, ended up going with Topi, had a go a few times, and busted up the car. We cracked the frame. I ended up across the finish line third and had to go to the last chance, but the mechanics fixed it up super quick and I went down there. They said to take it easy on the car, so I hung in there, cruised it, and won the last chance qualifier into the main event. That was my first goal. My second goal was, “if I can top three from the back row, I’ll be stoked.” So I came into the start on the inside, battling each other, and it’s kind of who’s the luckiest in the first turn. I came out in fourth or fifth, and I just started being consistent, trying to keep the car alive because it was shaking so bad—I was in survival mode. Guys started falling off, and I got up to third. There will be more wars to battle, X Games is coming up, and that’s the one I want to win. I know I have the speed to do it, it just comes down to a lot of luck.

Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI: I was first for about five meters! That was the difference in the final. But somebody hit me quite hard in the rear and broke my exhaust. So I was in the lead, but the car was not running well. All of the other guys see that we’re coming up now, and trying to push the limit every time. The team is working really hard now, and doing the best we can do with this car. It’s getting better and better in every race. And to stay in the first row in the main is very good.

FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from today’s Sylvania Silverstar zXe Global Rallycross at Bristol Motor Speedway:

DRIVER POINTS:

  1. Toomas Heikkinen, 96
  2. Brian Deegan, 62
  3. Tanner Foust, 61
  4. Patrik Sandell, 60
  5. Ken Block, 58

SYLVANIA SILVERSTAR ZXE CUP POINTS:

  1. Toomas Heikkinen, 41
  2. Ken Block, 32
  3. Patrik Sandell, 31
  4. Brian Deegan, 30
  5. Sverre Isachsen, 25

MANUFACTURER POINTS:

  1. Ford, 186
  2. Subaru, 60
  3. Dodge, 59

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

zXe Cup Proven to Produce Exciting Global Rallycross Action

New Hampshire Motor Speedway brought the announcement of the Sylvania SilverStar zXe Cup, a four-race championship within the nine-race Global Rallycross schedule that will award the winner a $20,000 prize. Toomas Heikkinen took the initial victory at NHMS, with races at Bristol Motor Speedway on July 20, Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 10, and Charlotte Motor Speedway on September 22 completing the four-round slate.

Last year, Global Rallycross offered a similar program, with the driver scoring the most points in three races earning a cash bonus of his own. In 2012, the races took place at Texas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with each race presenting its own challenges to the field.

Marcus Gronholm opened the challenge at Texas, beating OlsbergsMSE teammates Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan to the line and earning the early lead. But Travis Pastrana would win the second race of the challenge over Samuel Hubinette and Deegan, with Foust falling to fourth in that race after briefly stalling on the elevated hairpin.

The battle would come down to Las Vegas, with Foust and Deegan tied for the championship lead at 32 points, followed by Hubinette with 28, Pastrana with 23, and three drivers tied with 21. Foust and Deegan would both win their heat races, setting up a winner-take all battle in the main event.

Foust would start the final on the inside, with Deegan on the outside. They would run neck-and-neck through the first corner, but Deegan slid to the outside on corner exit, allowing Toomas Heikkinen to sneak by as Foust grabbed hold of the lead. Both drivers would take the shortcut immediately, but the lead would never change hands, as Foust would win his first race of the season and the cash bonus.

GRC TV: New Hampshire Recap

The first American round of the nine-race Global Rallycross season took place at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11. The thrilling event wasn’t settled until the final corner, when Toomas Heikkinen made the pass on Tanner Foust as he spun into the elevated hairpin. GRC TV’s Kate Osborne was there with a recap of all the action, including interviews with podium finishers Heikkinen, Patrik Sandell, and Brian Deegan.

Today in GRC History: July 14

The fourth round of the 2012 Global Rallycross season took place at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a mere two weeks after Sebastien Loeb had schooled all comers in a dominant victory at X Games Los Angeles. After an injury to points leader Marcus Gronholm, Tanner Foust would bring the points lead into the second half of the season, while a first-turn heat race accident left Travis Pastrana reeling and last in the final results.

There wouldn’t be more of the same in New Hampshire. Foust and Brian Deegan would win two of the three heat races for the dominant OlsbergsMSE team, but Pastrana qualified third and held off a hard-charging Samuel Hubinette for the victory in his heat. A destructive second heat saw Ken Block tangle with Andy Scott, the same driver who made contact with Pastrana at X Games, necessitating significant repairs for Block’s Ford Fiesta between the heat and last chance qualifier.

The ten cars that made the main event included Dave Mirra for the first time since the Charlotte season opener, but he pulled off immediately with damage. From the start, the race was Foust’s to lose, but a stall on the track’s crossover bridge meant that he was a sitting duck for both Pastrana and Hubinette.

From there, the same battle raged on in the final as had gone on in the heats, with Hubinette attempting to force his way around Pastrana’s Dodge Dart. But it wasn’t meant to be, as Pastrana would take his first Global Rallycross victory. Deegan would eventually slide by Foust for third, giving him his third consecutive podium after a mechanical failure in Charlotte.

GRC Race Recap: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

IN BRIEF: Toomas Heikkinen won his second consecutive Global Rallycross race, taking the Sylvania Silverstar zXe at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after a last-corner accident ended Tanner Foust’s dominant run toward the finish.

HEAT RECAPS: Ken Block, Heikkinen, and Foust won the three heat races, while Brian Deegan, Patrik Sandell, and Sverre Isachsen also advanced directly to the main event. Defending race winner Travis Pastrana, X Games Brazil gold medalist Scott Speed, and Bucky Lasek, advanced via the last chance qualifier.

MAIN EVENT RECAP: Foust and Heikkinen pinched Block at the first corner, with Foust and eventually Sandell making it through the squeeze and over the jump first. The rest of the field would settle in behind them, with every driver making it through at least one lap.

From there, it was Foust’s event to lose, as he pulled away from the quarreling vehicles of Sandell and Heikkinen. A flat tire ended Pastrana’s hopes of defending his victory, while Lasek’s engine blew on the eighth of ten laps in the final.

But as Foust raced toward the checkered flag, he slammed into the outside guardrail on the elevated hairpin, losing the lead in the main event for the second year in a row. Heikkinen, Sandell, and Deegan snuck by to finish first, second, and third, while Foust would have to settle for a fourth place run at New Hampshire for the second year in a row.

RESULTS: The results of today’s Sylvania Silverstar zXe Global Rallycross at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:

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

QUOTES: A collection of quotes from after today’s Sylvania Silverstar zXe Global Rallycross at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:

Toomas Heikkinen, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “I think it was difficult for everyone, with the raining and drying. There were a lot of different things. For all of us, we had a tough day—it was tricky to change your setup every time. Even the qualification was a little bit different for everybody. But all in all, it was a great day.”

Patrik Sandell, #18 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “When we had the drawing for the seeding, I was in the last group, and it was raining a lot before. Then it started to dry up, and dry up. Then I put my helmet on, and it starts to rain like crazy! So I knew that after seeding, I would be behind. That was not such a good start of the day, but that’s part of the game. Then I had an okay heat against Topi. In the final, I had a good start—we were able to do some good driving in the first two corners to pass some cars. I was hunting Tanner, but he did a really, really good job—I’m sorry for him that he had a crash at the end. Then Topi was driving really good. But at the end of the day, I’m super happy with being second.”

Brian Deegan, #38 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “It was a good race, I just ran my pace. I was kind of just hanging out there, and going ‘man, nothing’s going to happen up front, these guys are running pretty clean.’ Then I saw Tanner hit the wall on the last turn, so I just tried to sneak it in there. We almost came together, and had a little battle. I was able to come across the line in third, which is okay—a podium’s always good. But I come here and want to win races, and it still has eluded me this year. So I think I have some homework to do.”

Tanner Foust, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “That was a tough way to end the race—that’s never fun! Topi was pressuring for the whole race, and then on the very last straightaway, it seemed like he had a little bit of a run. So I thought I’d play it safe—my spotter said he had a chance on the inside, so I played it safe and hit the brakes on the inside corner to protect the turn. But there’s just gravel from all the rain, dragging that mud out. As soon as I touched the brakes, I knew I was in for a pretty wild ride. The car just rotated, went straight into the wall, and then was face-to-face with Brian coming in at 100 miles per hour! The first events of the year, the first six seconds have been the most exciting, and this one, it was the last six. I don’t know what hurts more, but it was a pretty exciting day. Hopefully it was a good show.”

FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from today’s race at New Hampshire:

DRIVER POINTS:

  1. Toomas Heikkinen, 76
  2. Tanner Foust, 51
  3. Brian Deegan, 47
  4. Patrik Sandell, 46
  5. Liam Doran, 43

MANUFACTURER POINTS:

  1. Ford, 147
  2. Dodge, 43
  3. Subaru, 41

Global Rallycross Quickly Becoming a Race of Champions

The Race of Champions is one of motorsports’ most prestigious international events, pitting drivers from every corner of the world and every racing discipline against one another to determine who is the greatest driver of all; in that regard, it’s a lot like Global Rallycross.

But with the addition of Mattias Ekstrom to the field at X Games Munich, the two events share more than just similarities in scope.

“I would rank (GRC) on the same level as the Race of Champions, because it’s a similar event,” Ekstrom said. “But the competition is way better than it is in ROC because all of the drivers are specialists in their own cars.”

A total of nine current or former GRC drivers have been selected to appear at ROC events, with at least one future GRC driver making an appearance every year from 2001 to 2011. In 40 combined selections, they have taken nine Champion of Champions awards and been a part of three Nations’ Cup victories, while two Champion of Champions finals would feature future GRC competitors competing head to head.

Ekstrom brings three Champion of Champions titles to the table, having won in 2006, 2007, and 2009, and a Nations’ Cup from 2005 as a part of the Scandinavian team. He has been selected to compete in the event six times, most of any driver in the field at Munich; Tanner Foust ranks second with three selections, while Brian Deegan and Scott Speed have one apiece.

Though Travis Pastrana won’t be racing in Munich, the GRC owner/driver has been a staple of ROC events through the past decade. Pastrana boasts eight ROC selections, including seven in a row from 2005 to 2011, and competed for the Nations’ Cup on his own in 2006.

Three drivers to make race appearances last season have all taken home the Champion of Champions trophy. Marcus Gronholm, who won the first two GRC races of 2012, won the event in 2002, while defending X Games Los Angeles gold medalist Sebastien Loeb boasts victories from 2003, 2005, and 2008. Loeb also finished second in 2010 to Filipe Albuquerque, who raced at Texas last year as a teammate to Pastrana.

The full breakdown of driver statistics is below:

Current/Former GRC Drivers to Earn Race of Champions Selections

Current/Former GRC Drivers to Win Champion of Champions

Current/Former GRC Drivers to Appear in Champion of Champions Final

Current/Former GRC Drivers to Win Nations’ Cup

Photo credit: Simon Bradley