Global Rallycross Season Review: Guiga Spinelli
As Global Rallycross attracted international superstars from diverse racing backgrounds in 2013, off-road veterans were among those to give rallycross a try. One of those names that might have flown under the radar was Guiga Spinelli, a two-time top-10 finisher in the Dakar Rally, who would fill in for Nelson Piquet at X Team Racing in a handful events.
Spinelli would make his rallycross debut in 2013, appearing at a pair of X Games events. Though he wasn’t expected to outperform his Formula 1 veteran teammate, it would be the Rally dos Sertoes legend who would score the team’s best finish of the season.
Though Spinelli wouldn’t have the chance to race in his home country of Brazil, he would make his first Global Rallycross appearance by heading to Barcelona as part of the second X Games race of the year. Unfortunately, the rain would prove too much for the event to go on, and he wouldn’t even have the chance to make it to the track.
X Games Munich would then serve as Spinelli’s de facto series debut. The first race saw him work to adapt to a new car and driving style; he would earn the 13th seed and finish fourth in his heat. A fifth-place finish in the last chance qualifier would give him the 13th overall finishing position at race’s end.
Fortunately, Munich served as a doubleheader to make up for the Barcelona cancellation, and Spinelli would take full advantage. Though his seeding performance was actually worse (16th out of 17 drivers), he would finish third in his heat to earn a front-row spot in the last chance qualifier. After avoiding the troubles of more experienced competitors in the LCQ, Spinelli finished second in the LCQ and made his way to seventh in the final.
For now, Spinelli’s focus remains on rally raid; the longtime Mitsubishi driver will compete in the Dakar Rally for the sixth time in January. But he proved that the older-model Evo could be a competitive car in 2013, and that’s a great positive for X Team.
Photo credit: GRC Staff