Scott Speed drives Andretti VW to victory in AC

It wasn’t an easy fight in the final, but Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross’ Scott Speed churned out his third consecutive Red Bull Global Rallycross victory during the series’ inaugural visit to Atlantic City. After a hectic last lap, Patrik Sandell and Brian Deegan found their way onto the podium in second and third.

HEAT RECAPS: As with many races this year, Speed and teammate Tanner Foust were the class of the field in heats and semifinals–but the real story was how close Foust’s winning streak in preliminary rounds came to ending. A last-lap pass by Brian Deegan in the first round was penalized for being too rough, and Foust’s semifinal was red-flagged for an incident including Nelson Piquet Jr. with the points leader in fifth. He would take full advantage of the restart, however, to climb back to victory. Sebastian Eriksson would win the last chance qualifier.

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MAIN EVENT RECAP: Speed and Foust traded the lead three times on the first lap of the eight-lap final, with Foust eventually taking the top spot and extending a gap. However, as the race wound down, Speed was able to close the gap and pass his teammate for the top spot when Foust found himself running on only three tires.

That opened the door for a wild final lap. Patrik Sandell pounced on the Joker Lap to jump from the middle of the pack to second place, barely getting in front of Foust as the two lanes of the course merged. Meanwhile, Deegan had muscled his way around Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Steve Arpin for fourth before catching Foust in third; in redemption from last month’s race in Washington DC, where Foust would get past Deegan on the final lap, this time it was Deegan’s time to take the final spot on the podium.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: The results from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City, the ninth round of the 2016 Red Bull GRC season:

  1. Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
  2. Patrik Sandell, #18 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST
  3. Brian Deegan, #38 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
  4. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
  5. Steve Arpin, #00 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
  6. Sebastian Eriksson, #93 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe
  7. Austin Dyne, #14 AD Racing Ford Fiesta ST
  8. Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
  9. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
  10. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
  11. Chris Atkinson, #55 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
  12. Joni Wiman, #31 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe
  13. Kevin Eriksson, #96 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe

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QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City, the ninth round of the 2016 Red Bull GRC season:

Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle: "This track has definitely been my favorite. We’ve never been to a track that rutted up like this did, where we really had to be careful and pick our lines. As we saw in the race, that really played out in my favor, but it definitely made it interesting! What a great city to have a race in–Atlantic City has been amazing, and I love being here. I’m super pumped about the track, it’s been really great to be here. A huge thanks to our sponsors–BFGoodrich make the best tires on earth!"

Patrik Sandell, #18 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST: "This was a fantastic track to drive on with a lot of people out there, and the backdrop was insane. Overall, it was a really good race weekend that GRC put together, so we’re really pleased with that. Bryan Herta Rallysport has done a fantastic job to give me a really fast car this weekend, and they always put their best foot forward to help me out. I had kind of a rough first lap in the final where I was kind of a ping-pong ball in the middle of a lot of cars, but my car was still great and I could still push with it. My spotter did a fantastic job to give me feedback on times all the way through, and what position we could get up to by taking the Joker at the end. It took us all the way up to second, so I’m super happy for the team."

Brian Deegan, #38 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST: "In the end, it was an awesome race. I just want to thank everyone from Ganassi, they work really had to give us a car that was competitive. We were in the game the whole time, and that makes it so much more fun. I want to thank all the fans for coming out–this is a good stop, and the backdrop here, everything is beautiful. I had a lot of fun, and this is probably the most fun racetrack because it swept really well. It was racy, and the dirt was really rough, so you had to pick your line. That’s rallycross–when cars start bouncing in the air, parts are breaking and people are flying over each other, that’s rallycross. And that’s what I felt here. You didn’t have to get the start to win it, you could actually make some passes. So hopefully we get some more tracks like this and head back to Atlantic City, thanks for having us!"

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FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City, the ninth round of the 2016 Red Bull GRC season:

  • Scott Speed earned the 10th victory of his Red Bull GRC career on Sunday at Bader Field. It was Speed’s third win of the season, all of which have come from the pole position. The victory also enabled Speed to take the points lead for the first time this year.
  • Patrik Sandell took his fourth podium finish of 2016 by placing second in Saturday’s final. It was Sandell’s second straight runner-up finish to Speed, after doing the same last month in Washington DC.
  • Brian Deegan returned to the podium for the first time since July at MCAS New River by placing third. Deegan now has four podium finishes this season.
  • Tanner Foust continued to extend his record for heat and semifinal victories in a single Red Bull GRC season with wins in all three of his preliminary rounds. Foust’s season-long total is 22 heat and semifinal wins, all of which have come consecutively.
  • Chris Atkinson and Kevin Eriksson each made their Red Bull GRC Supercar debut in Atlantic City. Atkinson made the main event via the semifinal, but fell out of the final early with a puncture and was classified 11th. Eriksson missed the final and was listed in 13th.
  • Subaru Rally Team USA placed multiple cars in the main event for the first time in 2016. All three of the team’s entries earned spots in the final. Sverre Isachsen led the team with a ninth place result.

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UNOFFICIAL DRIVER POINTS:

  1. Scott Speed, 409
  2. Tanner Foust, 400
  3. Steve Arpin, 357
  4. Patrik Sandell, 352
  5. Brian Deegan, 345
  6. Sebastian Eriksson, 259
  7. Joni Wiman, 240
  8. Austin Dyne, 165
  9. Jeff Ward, 134
  10. Rhys Millen, 96
  11. Nelson Piquet Jr., 45
  12. Bucky Lasek, 34
  13. Sverre Isachsen, 19
  14. Chris Atkinson, 6
  15. Kevin Eriksson, 4
  16. Sebastian Saavedra, 3

UNOFFICIAL MANUFACTURER POINTS:

  1. Volkswagen, 37
  2. Ford, 32
  3. Honda, 27
  4. Subaru, 6

Photo credit: Louis Yio

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