Global Rallycross Race Recap: Las Vegas Strip
IN BRIEF: It took two full seasons, but Ken Block finally cracked the code to winning a Global Rallycross event: stay clean on the start, drive fast, and get a little bit of luck. He inherited the lead from the penalized Tanner Foust to win his first GRC race on the Las Vegas Strip.
HEAT RECAPS: Wednesday’s heat races went to Tanner Foust, Toomas Heikkinen, Ken Block, and Scott Speed, respectively, while Thursday’s events saw the same four drivers earn bonus points. In the last chance qualifier, Rhys Millen coasted to the victory as Nelson Piquet Jr. spun Sverre Isachsen to take second on the final lap; Isachsen was reinstated to the final when Piquet was disqualified.
MAIN EVENT RECAP: From the get-go, GRC’s biggest names ran 1-2-3 up front, with Foust, Block, and Pastrana holding strong at the head of the pack. Speed and Millen pulled off early, while Arpin also lost power in the race’s first laps. Unfortunately for Foust, a jump start penalty dropped him to second on the third lap, yielding the top spot to Block.
As Heikkinen climbed through the field from sixth place, Block continued to extend his lead on Foust with Pastrana trailing. Eventually, Heikkinen would climb to fourth, but couldn’t quite crack the podium. Block crossed the line to a shower of pyrotechnics, while Foust earned his third runner-up placing of the year and Pastrana took his first podium of 2013.
RESULTS: The results from Thursday’s Global Rallycross season finale on the Las Vegas Strip:
- Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
- Tanner Foust, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
- Travis Pastrana, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
- Toomas Heikkinen, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
- Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
- Bryce Menzies, #99 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
- Patrik Sandell, #18 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
- Steve Arpin, #32 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
- Scott Speed, #77 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
- Rhys Millen, #67 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
- Pat Moro, #59 PMR Motorsports Chevrolet Sonic
- Stephan Verdier, #4 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
- Brian Deegan, #38 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
- Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
- Nelson Piquet Jr., #12 X Team Racing Mitsubishi Evo
QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Thursday’s Global Rallycross season finale on the Las Vegas Strip:
Ken Block, Driver, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST: “It feels really good. It’s been a bit of a tough year—I’ve had the speed but just haven’t had the luck in the first turn. Today I got a decent start, had some good luck in the first turn, and a battle with Tanner. Unfortunately he jumped the lights, so it gave us free reign for the win. It was fun battling with Travis earlier, fun battling with Tanner, but my team works incredibly hard, and it’s great to finally give me and my team a win.”
Tanner Foust, Driver, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “I like to drive in the gravel, and I think the Fiestas are really great in the gravel—they change direction really fast. But I think it’s a testament to OlsbergsMSE that this weekend the car was so good on the tight corners, and we made it the fastest car on the asphalt. It was definitely a lot of fun, it was nice racing door to door on the asphalt a little bit, and it was a lot less maintenance for the guys working on the crew, which was nice. It made for a lot of close bumper to bumper racing.”
Travis Pastrana, Driver, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart: “It was a surprisingly good race! We were slowest in qualifying, made a lot of adjustments. We actually took the same car setup—went back on all the springs, all the race setup that we had from New Hampshire a year and a half ago. And with a passenger that we had taken on a media ride, and we were 1.3 seconds faster with them in the car than I was in my qualifying! Dirtfish has done such an awesome job, and I can’t say enough for the team.”
Sverre Isachsen, Driver, #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI: “For the weekend, to take fifth place is really good for us. It’s almost a small victory. We struggled a little bit with the setup for the car, but we are pushing hard. The LCQ was hard—I was leading and I was spun around, but after all these things the mechanic made the car ready for the final. The car had small problems on every lap in the final, but we finished fifth anyway, and I’m really, really happy.”
FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Thursday’s Global Rallycross season finale on the Las Vegas Strip:
- This was the first main event victory of Ken Block’s Global Rallycross career. He had previously earned four of nine possible top seeds in 2013, as well as 11 of 13 possible heat wins. Block has now earned four podium finishes in his GRC career.
- Tanner Foust earned his third runner-up finish of the 2013 season in Las Vegas. Foust also earned the top seed for the first time in the 2013 season; his previous best seeding results had been a pair of third places at Brazil and Charlotte.
- Travis Pastrana earned a podium finish for the first time since scoring the race victory in New Hampshire in July 2012. It was the best finish of the season for Pastrana Racing, whose previous best finish of fifth came in Atlanta with Timur Timerzyanov behind the wheel.
- Toomas Heikkinen missed the podium for the first time this Global Rallycross season. He finished fourth to equal his result in the first Las Vegas race of 2012.
- Sverre Isachsen earned his fourth top five finish of the season in Las Vegas, and his second top five in three starts in the city.
- Local favorite Bryce Menzies made it to his first final of the 2013 season, and first final since this race last year. He finished a career-best sixth place.
- Brian Deegan missed the main event for the first time since competing at Charlotte in May 2012, ending a streak of 13 consecutive main event appearances.
- Dave Mirra pulled out of Thursday’s event after suffering an engine failure in the first practice session on Wednesday. It would have been Mirra’s second event with Prodrive after the combination debuted in Charlotte in September of this year.
- Toomas Heikkinen, 169
- Tanner Foust, 123
- Ken Block, 115
- Brian Deegan, 106
- Scott Speed, 94
- Patrik Sandell, 89
- Sverre Isachsen, 86
- Steve Arpin, 79
- Liam Doran, 59
- Travis Pastrana, 56
- Bucky Lasek, 49
- Dave Mirra, 36
- Bryce Menzies, 35
- Timur Timerzyanov, 34
- Anton Marklund, 26
- Mattias Ekstrom, 26
- Stephan Verdier, 23
- Rhys Millen, 20
- Nelson Piquet Jr., 17
- Townsend Bell, 16
- Guilherme Spinelli, 14
- Pat Moro, 12
- Buddy Rice, 7
- Henning Solberg, 7
- Mauricio Neves, 5
- Eduardo Marques, 3
- David Sterckx, 1
- Ford, 344
- Subaru, 144
- Dodge, 131
Photo credit: Matthew Kalish