Tag Archives: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

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:

  • This was the second victory of Toomas Heikkinen’s Global Rallycross career, and his second in a row. He has finished on the podium and won his heat in all four races so far this year, the only driver to do so.
  • This was the third win of the season for OlsbergsMSE, following Speed’s victory at X Games Brazil and Heikkinen’s win at X Games Munich. This was also the team’s second podium sweep of the season, after Brazil.
  • Fords have now swept the top five at two Global Rallycross events this year: Brazil and New Hampshire.
  • Patrik Sandell scored his best career Global Rallycross finish by placing second at New Hampshire. He now has two podium finishes in four career GRC starts.
  • Brian Deegan finished third for the second year in a row at New Hampshire. This was his first podium of the season, and his best finish since placing second in last year’s season finale.
  • Tanner Foust and Ken Block both scored top five finishes for the second year in a row at New Hampshire. Foust finished fourth in both races, while Block finished fifth each year.
  • Only four drivers—Deegan, Foust, Block, and Travis Pastrana—have made it to both finals at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Dave Mirra, who placed 10th last year, did not advance past his heat race and finished 13th.
  • Subaru placed two drivers in a main event for the second time this season, after the second X Games Munich event. Sverre Isachsen placed sixth and Bucky Lasek finished eighth, both season-best runs.


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


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

GRC Lites Race Recap: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

IN BRIEF: After a hard-fought battle, Joni Wiman defeated Sebastian Eriksson for the victory in the first-ever GRC Lites race, held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

HEAT RECAPS: The two heat races were won by Sebastian Eriksson and Wiman, respectively, with Kevin Eriksson and Mitchell deJong also advancing directly to the final. Alexander Westlund won a rough-and-tumble main event, as Austin Dyne managed to avoid Harry Cheung’s accident in the chicane

MAIN EVENT RECAP: Six cars started the first-ever GRC Lites final, which took place between the Supercar LCQ and main event. Sebastian Eriksson took the lead initially over Joni Wiman, leaving the rest of the field to fight for third place.

Wiman shadowed Sebastian Eriksson for the first three laps of the ten-lap event, taking the joker on the fourth lap. Eriksson would take the joker lap soon thereafter, as Wiman caught up and made what would be the winning pass.

Sebastian Eriksson would continue to challenge, but Wiman would hold him off for the first victory in GRC Lites history. Kevin Eriksson, son of GRC Lites mastermind Andreas Eriksson, finished third after making a gutsy pass in the outside groove on the dirt section.

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

  1. Joni Wiman, #93
  2. Sebastian Eriksson, #37
  3. Kevin Eriksson, #39
  4. Mitchell deJong, #24
  5. Alexander Westlund, #55
  6. Austin Dyne, #99
  7. Halid Avdagic, #4
  8. Geoffrey Sykes, #65
  9. Harry Cheung, #88


  1. Joni Wiman, 21
  2. Sebastian Eriksson, 18
  3. Kevin Eriksson, 15

Drivers Prepare For Busiest Segment of Global Rallycross Season

Thursday’s Global Rallycross race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is the first of six American-based races on this year’s schedule. But it’s also the first of four races in the next five weeks, comprising the most action-packed section of the 2013 season.

After racing at New Hampshire, drivers will compete in the inaugural event at Bristol Motor Speedway on July 20, followed by X Games Los Angeles on August 4 and another first-time race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 10.

That means that drivers like Patrik Sandell, who have been competing in numerous other events during GRC off weeks, will be well prepared for a greater workload.

“I feel super confident,” Sandell said, after racing in his native Sweden last weekend. “I was racing the full weekend, and I’ve been racing almost every day since Munich, it feels like. From Munich, we went home Monday and Tuesday, got back in the car and tested on Wednesday, had media day on Thursday, free on Friday, and raced Saturday and Sunday.

“I’m confident with the car, and confident with the team. I just need to go out there and enjoy it, and I think we can have a great result here. The only thing I need to figure out is how to stay out of trouble in the first corner.”

Two-time defending Global Rallycross champion Tanner Foust is himself a veteran of busy schedules. After competing in multiple rallycross championships last season, he has a level of insight on maintaining success during a busy schedule that few of his competitors can match.

“We have so many cars on our team, and so many races, that you’re really carrying the same car event to event,” Foust explained. “So it’s going to be important to look after your machine, and remember the things that you wanted to adjust, keep track of, or change, from one event to the next—to keep diligent notes on that so you’re not relearning the car every single event.”

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

GRC Race Preview: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

IN BRIEF: Global Rallycross returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the second time on July 11, for the fourth event of nine on the 2013 series schedule.


  • Thursday, July 11, 5:30 PM ET on ESPN 3
  • Saturday, July 13, 7:30 PM ET on ESPN

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the full entry list.

LAST RACE: Toomas Heikkinen broke through at Munich for his first-ever X Games gold medal, beating Liam Doran and Tanner Foust for the victory. It was the second leg of a doubleheader in Germany, after Doran, Ken Block, and Heikkinen finished 1-2-3 in the first race.

DRIVER CHANGES: Two drivers who competed at Brazil, Travis Pastrana and Nelson Piquet Jr., will return to the seats of their respective cars after missing the Munich round. Pastrana will drive the #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart that Timur Timerzyanov handled in Germany, while Piquet will replace Guiga Spinelli, who took the #12 X Team Racing Mitsubishi Evo to its first main event appearance in the second Munich race.

THE TRACK: New Hampshire features a 60-40 split of pavement and dirt, as well as a set of new and unique challenges. Unlike most Global Rallycross tracks, the joker lap at NHMS actually features a longcut, while an elevated hairpin serves as the last of eight turns on the layout.

IF YOU WANT TO WIN, EMPLOY A FINN: Toomas Heikkinen’s early season dominance has him on the path to a record-setting year. He became the first driver since Tanner Foust (in 2011) to score podium finishes in each of his first three starts, while he and Samuel Hubinette (in 2012) are the only drivers to score bonus points in each of their first three races of a season. Furthermore, Heikkinen’s 55 points are the most ever scored by a driver through three rounds of Global Rallycross competition.

FAMILIAR FACE, FRIENDLY PLACE: Travis Pastrana returns to Global Rallycross in New Hampshire after missing the X Games Munich doubleheader. The first round of the US-based schedule was good to Pastrana last year: after finishing last at the previous round, Pastrana won his heat race and the final, taking his only victory of the season in the process.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of Thursday’s GRC Lites event:

Toomas Heikkinen, Driver, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “Of course, it’s always nice to come to the US, and I’m so happy that we lead the points. But we have to concentrate, because the series is so long. We have nine races, six left, and we have to concentrate on the races, go race by race.“

Tanner Foust, Driver, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “We’re using some different parts of the track—some places more, some places less. There’s more dirt, and maybe less distance. But either way, this will be our first SMI return visit. I’m excited to see how much repeat business we get from last year’s show.”

Bucky Lasek, Driver, #81 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI: “New Hampshire has been the best venue for the US. They really stepped it up this year with the track, bringing a good dirt jump, added to it. It looks like long straights, there’s going to be some good passing. I’m looking forward to getting in my Subaru STI and showing some speed.”

Patrik Sandell, Driver, #18 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “For me, it’s good to be here. I’ve never been on a track like this, never seen anything like this. It’s a big track. I think the way they’re building the tracks now is good because we have a way to show the sport, and a bit of everything—we have some dirt, we have the jump, and we have long straightaways, so I think we will have some good action.”


  1. Toomas Heikkinen, 55
  2. Liam Doran, 43
  3. Tanner Foust, 37
  4. Scott Speed, 32 (tie)
  5. Brian Deegan, 32 (tie)


  1. Ford, 109
  2. Dodge, 27
  3. Subaru, 21

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

GRC Lites Race Preview: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

IN BRIEF: The long-awaited GRC Lites class makes its debut at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, kicking off a six-race schedule.


  • Thursday, July 11, 5:30 PM ET on ESPN 3
  • Saturday, July 13, 7:30 PM ET on ESPN

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the full entry list.

THE TRACK: New Hampshire features a 60-40 split of pavement and dirt, as well as a set of new and unique challenges. Unlike most Global Rallycross tracks, the joker lap at NHMS actually features a longcut, while an elevated hairpin serves as the last of eight turns on the layout.

THE CONCEPT: GRC Lites are designed to be the natural step before stepping into a Global Rallycross Supercar: they handle similarly to the series’ premier class, but feature about half the horsepower and are not turbocharged. The cars are identically built by OlsbergsMSE in conjunction with Avitas Motorsport, in order to emphasize driver skill over mechanical advantage.

THE DRIVERS: GRC Lites drivers have been making a name for themselves throughout the world of motorsport. The class will feature nine drivers at New Hampshire, with experience in every discipline of racing from stock cars to sports cars to off-road:

  • Halid Avdagic, a Turkish stage rally veteran;
  • Harry Cheung, the sixth place finisher in last year’s Ferrari World Challenge;
  • Mitchell deJong, the defending TORC Pro Buggy Champion and Rookie of the Year;
  • Austin Dyne, last year’s K&N Series West Rookie of the Year;
  • Kevin Eriksson, currently fifth in the European Super1600 standings;
  • Sebastian Eriksson, currently fifth in the Swedish Klass 1 standings;
  • Geoffrey Sykes, last year’s National BMW Club Racing runner-up;
  • Alexander Westlund, a veteran of the Swedish folkrace circuit;
  • and Joni Wiman, the 2010 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Winter Series runner-up and protégé of Global Rallycross veteran Marcus Gronholm.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of Thursday’s GRC Lites event:

Andreas Eriksson, Team Principal, OlsbergsMSE: “I’m really looking forward. I tested the cars a lot, but I’ve never seen them run against each other with these different drivers. I know they work fine, but we’ll see how it goes when they race each other. I’m pretty confident that they will like it.”

Mitchell deJong, Driver, #24 GRC Lites: “I’m really looking forward to going out and mixing it up with these guys. It’s a completely new car, it’s new to me—I’ve never driven anything like it. But it’s such a fun car and so competitive, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Geoff Sykes, Driver, #65 GRC Lites: “There’s definitely a lot of stuff to learn. I’m going to have a lot of stuff to learn going out with the launch control, and especially the jumping—I’ve never jumped anything before. So the first practice session is going to be a huge learning curve for all of us, I think. So I look forward to seeing all of the other drivers driving their cars, and seeing how we all compare right off the bat.”

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish