Global Rallycross Season Review: Rhys Millen
One would think that, after taking a step back from full-time Global Rallycross competition, Rhys Millen and his venerable Hyundai Veloster would struggle to stay toward the front of the pack in limited appearances in 2013.
But, much as in 2012, when he finished tied for third in points, Millen was a guaranteed lock to make the final at each of his event appearances. In two starts, he earned finishes of fourth and ninth overall, on the way to scoring 20 points and finishing 18th overall.
X Games Los Angeles represented Millen’s return to the series after filming various television and movie parts. The two-car Rhys Millen Racing operation would return as well, with David Sterckx replacing 2012 sixth-place finisher Stephan Verdier in the team’s second car.
As was often the case in the previous year, Millen’s path to the final came through the last chance qualifier. After defeating Scott Speed for the victory and thus third-row lane choice, Millen survived the first-lap carnage to make it into the top five, and even passed Travis Pastrana to snag fourth place.
After fielding Verdier at Charlotte, Millen returned to the fold in Las Vegas looking for another strong run. Once again he dominated the last chance qualifier, but a mechanical issue would limit his efficacy in the main event and necessitate an early trip to the garage.
Millen’s race team is frequently a leader wherever it appears, and GRC has been no exception. The next time the New Zealander pulls onto the grid, expect to see another strong performance—and maybe even another podium finish, a la Vegas in 2012.
Photo credit: Matthew Kalish (1, 2); Larry Chen (3)