Tag Archives: Star Car


Top 10 GRC Moments: Speed Wins in Truly Global Debut

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: April 21, 2013

LOCATION: X Games Brazil, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil

IN BRIEF: 15 cars showed up to the first race of the 2013 Global Rallycross season, taking in the sport’s first event outside of the United States. There were tons of changes afoot, from new cars and new drivers to an almost completely different schedule from the previous season. One of the sport’s newest additions was the Star Car, which would bring in new drivers from other forms of racing to challenge rallycross’ biggest stars.

In Brazil, Formula 1 and NASCAR veteran Scott Speed was the selection for the Star Car, and he didn’t disappoint. Speed adapted well to the mostly dirt-based track, qualifying second and winning his heat race. In the main event, he made a thrilling pass on race leader Toomas Heikkinen just before the final lap to win his first GRC race in his first try.

EFFECTS: For Speed, what had initially been intended as a one-race deal morphed into a full-season ride, with the former Formula Renault champion winning a second race at Charlotte in September to rank fifth in points. Speed’s entry paved the way for numerous other drivers to cross over into rallycross, including Dakar Rally veterans Carlos Sainz and Nani Roma, Indianapolis 500 starter Townsend Bell, and 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch, who tested Speed’s car in Charlotte in September.

Photo credit: Alison Padron


Interview: Buhl Brings IndyCar Experience To Global Rallycross at X Games

Robbie Buhl spent over a decade driving at open wheel racing’s highest level, competing in eight Indianapolis 500s and winning two IndyCar races during his career. Buhl spent his final five seasons behind the wheel as an owner-driver, taking his Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team to victory in their very first race at Walt Disney World Speedway in 2000.

Since then, Buhl’s organization has been an IndyCar mainstay, campaigning dozens of talented drivers through this year’s Indianapolis 500. But on Sunday, DRR will take on a new challenge—racing at X Games Los Angeles with Scott Speed and OMSE2, in partnership with SH Racing.

For Buhl, coming out of Los Angeles with a good finish is just one of the priorities as he seeks to get acclimated with Global Rallycross. Here, he talks about his initial interest in the sport, putting the program together, and how working with Speed has helped ease the team’s learning curve:

When did you first start looking into racing in Global Rallycross? What were your intentions in putting this program together?

It was probably about a year ago, when the GRC guys ran at Texas with IndyCar, we started watching it. Then, from there, we just kept talking to folks. There’s a lot of interest and a lot of buzz around the series, and we said “hey, we’ve got to start paying attention to this.” So we absolutely were looking at trying to do something to run all this year. That didn’t happen, but I’m really glad that we’re here with DRR-SH Racing, with Sulli (James Sullivan), who’s part of KV Racing’s entry with (Tony) Kanaan—they won the Indianapolis 500, so that’s a pretty good pairing with us, and we’ve got great support from Wix Filters and N.O.-Xplode.

This is really our pilot project—we’re here, we’re going to learn, we’re getting our feet wet. You can always watch from the outside, but you don’t really get quite the same perspective with being on the inside and running a car, talking to the driver and hearing the behind the scenes stuff. So this is our pilot project, running here, but what better place to do it than the LA X Games? This is the Indy 500 for GRC, without a doubt. We’re happy to be here with that.

You’re involved with the Star Car project alongside OMSE2. What prompted the decision to align with that program for this race?

It just goes back to the beginning of the year. Back in April or March, I was talking with the GRC folks, and Andreas (Eriksson) and the OMSE guys. That’s when Colin said “hey, we’re going to do a Star Car,” and I said “we’d like to run a car at X Games.” We all worked together, and that’s how it happened. At that time we knew there were a lot of good drivers out there—talk to any driver, and they’re all like “I want to drive one of those cars.” I want to drive one of those cars! Whether or not I’m going to go race one, I definitely want to have one to drive, and have some fun with for sure.

At that time, we didn’t really know who the drivers we’re going to be. We knew Scott ran that first race, and then it turned out that he was going to do the rest of them. I was like “hey, that’s cool with us.” He’s got a great background, winning the first race. But in terms of what he’s done in Formula 1 and NASCAR, there’s just a real appeal to what he’s done up to this point.

You’ve been involved in IndyCar racing as a team owner since 2000. What about Global Rallycross and its fanbase makes the sport a good fit for your team?

As a driver who’s been retired and a team owner in IndyCar, I love IndyCar and I love the Indy 500. But the one thing that just really is exciting about GRC, other than what the racing is, what the lifestyle of what this sport is and what it attracts, is that you talk to potential sponsors and owners and friends, and they say “tell me more about that!”

There’s just a really good interest level—from an auto manufacturer’s standpoint, this is the demographic that they have to get to at a young age. They have to start making an imprint on somebody at the age of 15 where they’re a supporter forever. So Ford wants to get a young person and carry them through the lifestyle of being a Ford customer, from the entry level Fiesta, all the way up to when they want to buy the family sedan, and take them on to Lincoln from there, even.

How has working with Scott Speed been so far? Do you have any hopes or expectations for him this weekend?

We want to learn all about the sport—where its strengths and weaknesses are, where we focus for our next step to be here full time, and how we do that. There are a lot of different options. So obviously we’re taking that all in. But if Scott could come out of here with a medal, that would be fantastic. You always say you want to win—everyone is here to win. But he’s already proven he can be competitive, and we know the cars are competitive. It’s what Tanner (Foust) and (Brian) Deegan drove last year, so it’s a great product, well prepared. If a little bit of luck gets on your side, and you don’t make mistakes…

I think Scott’s way pumped and excited. It’s been a pleasure. I had never really talked with him much until the past couple of days, and he’s been great in terms of telling us about how he weighs out the intricacies of the sport, what is and what isn’t, what he’s learned, what his learning curve is like—to tap him and say “what do you prioritize, what are the keys as we look forward?” That’s been good. But getting a medal here? Yeah, we’d be happy with that.

Images via DRR-SH Racing

GRC TV: Global Rallycross Star Car

Global Rallycross is all about introducing new and forward-thinking elements to race competition. In the spirit of that innovation, Global Rallycross is proud to announce the implementation of the Star Car, a competitive twist for Global Rallycross.

GRC TV reporter Kate Osborne gets an exclusive look at the Star Car and Scott Speed, the driver behind its debut at the X Games in Foz do Iguacu.

Path to Brazil: Getting to Know Scott Speed, Driver, Star Car

Scott Speed brings a resume (and personality) like no other to Global Rallycross, as he makes his rallycross debut at Global X Games in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. He’s the only driver in the Global Rallycross field to have raced in both Formula 1 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, having competed for Red Bull-owned teams in both.

But while many know Speed’s exploits on the track, not as many might be familiar with the Speed off of the track. In anticipation of his first Global Rallycross event, he sat down and helped us to get to know him a little better:

If I wasn’t a race car driver, I would be:
I think I would try to be an actor.

If someone made a movie of my life, I would be played by:
I’ve been told that I act and look a lot like Seann (William Scott), the guy from American Pie. I think that’d be a pretty accurate portrayal!

Something that most people don’t know about you:
I would say not much, because I’m probably the most open person I know. I’m certainly not hiding anything, but I think my persona and the way I act, certainly with Twitter these days—if I think something I tweet it, which is good and bad for me. But I think it makes it to where there isn’t really any aspect of my personality or life that isn’t out there. I like that openness.

The last car I bought was a:
A Ford Explorer. Awesome.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Clothes. Anything to do with clothes. I like to take my clothes and throw them in the middle of my closet, and when I want to use them I pick them up. I hate having to mess with them in any way, shape or form. So Amanda typically does the laundry side and I do the dishes side. And I have no problem with that, and she really hates the dishes, so it works out well!

If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be?
A cheetah!

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Learning to skateboard.

Oh man, another? We’ve got Bucky Lasek too…
No, no, hold on. Time out. You can’t even put the names in the same sentence there! Totally different level!

When I’m not at the race track, you’ll most likely find me doing this:

My first job was:
My dad is an electrical engineer, and he built electric components for go-karting, so I always worked there. Unfortunately I never received a paycheck, but certainly it was my job. But I got to go-kart race, so it was perfect.

My favorite form of social media is:
Twitter, by a landslide. It’s the only one I have, actually.

Who was your biggest inspiration in racing?
My dad.

My best piece of advice for young drivers is:
I would say to constantly ask questions to anyone, because there’s always someone out there doing it better than you are. Always, no matter what. There’s always some aspect of driving that someone is doing better than you. And when you’re young, it’s necessary—you’re confident, you think you’re the best in the world, and you need that, for sure. But if you have that and the ability to understand and learn new information, I think that’s what sets the guys that make it apart, honestly, that openness to learn from others. I think that was a good trait of mine, a good trait I’ve seen in a lot of people that have made it professionally—especially people that don’t come from money. Because let’s be honest, the percentage of drivers out there who made it that didn’t come from money is very few. So to make that, and to be that good, better than the average, good enough to make it and pay the bills yourself—it’s extremely difficult, and you have to be on top of your game, 100% of the time. So the ability to have that confidence that you are good, but still the ability to learn and ask questions from others, that’s good, I think.

What story does your family always like to tell about you?
Like I said, we’re pretty open, so there’s never really anything we don’t talk about. At the moment, the story that’s being told, because I have an 18 month old and another on the way, is we’re talking about baby stories. And when I was three, I poured a bunch of sand from our backyard into my dresser and made a “terrarium,” I called it. Obviously, the parents got that cleaned up, but the next day I made an “aquarium”—I got all the water from the bathroom and poured it in the dresser. So I pretty much ruined it!

We’ve been talking about how bad I was as a kid, basically. And I wasn’t bad as far as getting into any trouble, I was just bad as in always being curious, ha!

What I like the most about my fanbase is:
I think it’s just (their) understanding for the situation that we’re in at times. Right now, what we have to do in NASCAR, having to start and park races before we can run some, it’s a difficult situation to understand. But I feel like there’s a large majority of my fans that get it, understand the situation that we’re in, and part of that process of growing the team that I’m in. And it’s something as well, that when I announce that I’m doing this rally stuff, I think every one of them for the most part are going to be excited for it. They’re not just in that box of being excited to watch Scott go around in a circle, they’re excited to watch Scott do whatever it is that comes our way.

Path to Brazil: Meet Scott Speed, Driver, Star Car

The Global Rallycross Star Car will make its much-anticipated debut at Global X Games in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, on April 21. Different drivers will take turns racing in the Star Car throughout the year, competing against the best drivers that GRC has to offer.

The first driver to race the Star Car will be Scott Speed, who has driven across the globe in a lengthy career that has seen him reach the upper echelons of motorsports in both Europe and North America. Speed has been successful in both open wheel racing and stock cars, winning two European Formula Renault championships in 2004 and winning his first NASCAR race in 2008.

Speed continues to race in NASCAR, but will fly to Brazil during an off weekend to make his first Global Rallycross start. In the meantime, he sat down to talk about adapting to another form of motorsports and his anticipation for the weekend:

First things first: tell us a little bit about your racing career, and how Global Rallycross now fits into that.
Currently, I’m running a relatively part-time schedule with LFR Racing in the Sprint Cup Series, and with that schedule, there are options to do certain things as I’m not racing every weekend. I’ve always been up for trying different things in racing. When I left Formula 1, Red Bull gave me the option to do whatever I wanted, and I was drawn to NASCAR because it was something totally different. And I enjoyed that process of switching from open-wheel racing to NASCAR racing so much. I’ve always been open to looking for other things I can try. So when this thing came up, obviously the series has grown, it’s gotten bigger and bigger, and I’ve always had my eye on this series and how it’s coming. And when the first race was on one of the off weekends that we had, I immediately began working on something to be able to try it.

How did the opportunity for you to race in Global Rallycross come about, and why was Brazil the right place for you to make your debut?
The opportunity came about because I’ve been able to find a little bit of help. And Global Rallycross have this Star Car that they’re running, trying to get different athletes from other forms of racing in, and it just worked out where I was able to fit that mold.

What makes Global Rallycross unique among all of the different forms of racing you’ve competed in?
For one, there’s jumps, ha! So right away, that’s the one thing that stands out. I think that from a car standpoint, four-wheel drive, lots of power, really, really quick gearbox—zero to 60 in a really, really fast time. There’s not necessarily a lot of top speed, but there’s a lot of acceleration. So I think the four-wheel drive aspect, and the aspect of running on dirt, asphalt, wet—all different kinds of conditions—certainly is a lot different.

You’ll be driving in the Star Car, something new to the series for this season. What do you like about the concept?
I think it’s great for the people watching, to increase the level of respect that they have for the guys that are doing this full-time. When you have someone in racing like myself, that was racing in Formula 1, and has gone into this different form of racing, I’m assuming that it’s going to validate the abilities of the guys that are doing it, the Ken Blocks and Tanner Fousts, those guys where this is what they’ve done. I’m sure they’re really good at it! And someone like myself, having raced Formula 1, coming over there to try it will be interesting. I’m assuming those guys are really going to show me a lot!

Have you had a chance to drive a rallycross car yet? If so, what do you think of it, and if not, what are your thoughts on getting ready to drive one for the first time?
I have not, yet. I’ve talked to a lot of people who have, a lot of guys have been very helpful in that transition as well. But when I get down there, it’ll be my first time in it. So outside of watching videos and speaking with people who have done it, that can help, there really hasn’t been anything. It’ll be a fresh start, which is exciting for me.

Have you given any thought to your strategy for the Brazil race weekend? Are you going to feel out the car at first or push from the beginning?
I’m going to do me, I’m going to do what I’ve always done. I don’t really have a push really hard or play conservative button, so to speak. I just kind of do my thing—I go fast! So we’ll see. Typically, it’s better to drive too hard and back things off than approach on the conservative side.

If things go well for you in Brazil, is rallycross something you’d consider doing more of in the future?
Yes, absolutely. There’s definitely an open mind going into this, and certainly some possibilities and options to do some more in the future. Especially with my schedule being the way it is, it’s very conducive to running something like this, at least occasionally, where there are off weekends for me.

GRC Adds Star Car To 2013 Lineup; Scott Speed To Drive In Brazil

LOS ANGELES, CA. (April 12, 2013) — Global Rallycross is all about introducing new and forward-thinking elements to race competition. In the spirit of that innovation, Global Rallycross is proud to announce the implementation of the Star Car, a competitive twist for Global Rallycross. To debut the Star Car at the X Games in Foz do Iguacu, Global Rallycross brought Scott Speed on board to take the wheel.

“The Star Car idea was sparked initially as means to create an element of surprise and suspense to both fans and drivers for each of the nine Global Rallycross events this season,” said Colin Dyne, Global Rallycross CEO. “But as the idea has become a reality for Global Rallycross, it is an exceptional element that allows for talented drivers like Scott Speed to get a taste of what Global Rallycross really has to offer.”

In each race of the 2013 season, Global Rallycross will select the Star Car driver who will compete against the regular field of Global Rallycross drivers. With that in mind, every Star Car driver is selected specifically, each bringing a different quality to the series.

For Speed, Global Rallycross selected him to debut the Star Car in Brazil because of his personality, driving ability and his overall fit for Global Rallycross. Speed has raced across the globe, winning two European Formula Renault championships before driving 28 races in Formula 1 in 2006 and 2007. Since transitioning to stock car racing, he has won in the Craftsman Truck Series and spent five seasons at the Sprint Cup level.

“I’ve always been open to looking for other racing series I can try,” said Speed. “So when this thing came up, obviously the series has grown, it’s gotten bigger and bigger, and I’ve always had my eye on this series and how it’s coming. And when the first race was on one of the off weekends that I had, I immediately began working on something to be able to try it.”

The Star Car will be run by OMSE2, a satellite operation of defending GRC champions OlsbergsMSE. The Star Car will be the same model of Ford Fiesta that took four race victories and the top two spots in last year’s GRC standings.The Star Car will make its debut at Global X Games in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, on April 21.