Red Bull GRC: MCAS New River Preview

Tanner Foust
Tanner Foust leads the 2016 Red Bull Global Rallycross series standings

IN BRIEF: After an incredibly successful debut event in 2015, Red Bull Global Rallycross expands its visit to Marine Corps Air Station New River to a doubleheader in 2016. Hosting Rounds 6 and 7 of the season, the event will serve as the halfway point for drivers as well as the fourth event on the schedule in only seven weeks.

TUNE IN INFORMATION:

Saturday, July 2, 5PM ET on NBC
Sunday, July 3, 5PM ET on NBC
Sunday, July 3, 5:30PM ET on Red Bull TV

LAST RACE: At Daytona International Speedway, a chaotic, rain-affected Saturday final ended with DNFs for Tanner Foust, Patrik Sandell, and Scott Speed, while Steve Arpin and Chip Ganassi Racing took advantage of the opportunity to take their first Red Bull GRC victory ahead of teammate Brian Deegan. Sunday was back to normal for Foust and Speed, who finished 1-2 for the second time this year. Sebastian Eriksson continued his perfect podium streak at Daytona by finishing third on both days.

DRIVER CHANGES: Subaru Rally Team USA returns to the Red Bull GRC grid for the first time in 2016, with series mainstays Sverre Isachsen and Bucky Lasek beginning their fifth season as Supercar teammates. Lasek gave the team a victory in the last chance qualifier at this event last year.

THE TRACK: Three major changes define this year’s Red Bull GRC MCAS New River layout: a switch to a shorter, counter clockwise layout; an extended and more complex dirt section; and a Joker Lap that leaves the dirt but runs longer than the main course. Click here for more information on the track.

ARPIN, GANASSI FINALLY BREAK THROUGH IN DAYTONA: On a weekend where Chip Ganassi Racing made history by giving the Ford GT a victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Steve Arpin made sure that the team had something to celebrate on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean with a win in Daytona. The win was Arpin’s first in 35 career Red Bull GRC starts, as well as the first for the team; Brian Deegan’s runner-up result also gave the team its first 1-2 finish.

SUBARU RALLY TEAM USA MAKES LONG-AWAITED RETURN: A fan favorite in the Red Bull GRC paddock, Subaru Rally Team USA skipped the first three events of the 2016 season to focus on extended testing of its WRX STI. This weekend, drivers Bucky Lasek and Sverre Isachsen finally return to the grid with all-new rides; with five years on the squad apiece, they are the series’ longest-tenured drivers with a single race team.

VOLKSWAGEN AIMING FOR REDEMPTION AT NEW RIVER: Last year’s MCAS New River final saw Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross sitting on the sidelines, as both Tanner Foust and Scott Speed saw their race end early due to mechanical failures. This year, Foust and Speed enter the North Carolina round at first and third in Us; while reliability issues have plagued Speed as of late, both drivers are as quick as anyone on this weekend’s entry list.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross MCAS New River:

Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle: “Daytona was a difficult weekend from everyone, but the VARX team rally showed what it was made of, getting us back to the top step of the podium on Sunday. With that sort of effort and determination, we’re capable of anything, so I’m looking forward to a less stressful event."

Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle: “Once again we proved how quick we are in Daytona. Without the sort of gremlins we’ve been having, our results would look very different, so I’m ready to get things sorted and turn the corner for a better second half of the season. I’m honored to be carrying the SOWF colors this weekend as we compete at this awesome venue, honoring our troops over the holiday weekend. VARX is looking forward to raising awareness for this important organization, and we’ll be doing our best to bring home a great result for them."

Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI: “New River has been awesome with the support of the military and the fans. It’s one of the best events because of all the heart and passion with motorsports that the military personnel. Aside from that, the track is fast and that’s always nice. It did give us our only class win last year, so that was awesome. I think all in all it’s just a great event and it’s for the right reasons—we are here to support the troops this weekend, and the patriotic weekend that it is, it seems fitting to be here."

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GRC Lites Race Preview: MCAS New River

IN BRIEF: GRC Lites enters this weekend’s doubleheader at Marine Corps Air Station New River with one of its most impressive racing fields of all time. Four winners in the first five races of the year have kept the championship close, while drivers in their first full Lites season make up four of the top six spots in the standings.

TUNE IN INFORMATION:

Thursday, July 7, 4:30PM ET on NBCSN
Sunday, July 3, 5:30PM ET on Red Bull TV

TICKETS: Free admission to public on Sunday; click here for premium seating options

LAST RACE: Oliver Eriksson and Tanner Whitten picked up where they left off in Dallas during a wild doubleheader at Daytona International Speedway two weekends ago. Saturday’s final, a wet race that marked the only race session of the day for the first two rows of the grid, saw Eriksson slide around the outside of the field in turn one to claim victory. On Sunday, polesitter Whitten held firm on the inside to grab his first victory since Detroit last July.

DRIVER CHANGES: Whitten steps out of his Dreyer & Reinbold Racing ride until Seattle, with defending New River winner Alex Keyes returning to the seat. Fresh off a podium in its Lites debut in Daytona, CORE autosport will miss this weekend due to a schedule conflict; Colin Braun and Jon Bennett will return to the grid in Washington DC.

THE TRACK: Three major changes define this year’s Red Bull GRC MCAS New River layout: a switch to a shorter, counter clockwise layout; an extended and more complex dirt section; and a Joker Lap that leaves the dirt but runs longer than the main course. Click here for more information on the track.

DEFENDING CHAMPION ERIKSSON RECLAIMS POINTS LEAD: With three consecutive podium finishes, Olsbergs MSE X Forces driver Oliver Eriksson is the new Lites points leader by 16 over DirtFish Motorsports’ Conner Martell and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Cabot Bigham. Eriksson, last year’s champion, mitigated a pair of frustrating finishes in Phoenix with finishes of first, first, and second in main events in Dallas and Daytona.

KEYES RETURNS TO SITE OF FIRST LITES VICTORY: Alex Keyes claimed three victories in last year’s Lites championship, the first coming at New River over eventual champion Oliver Eriksson. After sitting out Dallas and Daytona due to a ride-sharing program with Tanner Whitten, Keyes returns to the grid to defend his victory for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and build on the momentum of two poles and a podium finish in Phoenix in May.

2016 LITES FIELD ON PACE TO BE DEEPEST IN HISTORY: Of the 19 drivers to register at least one Lites start so far in 2016, 16 of them have made it to a main event—only five short of the 21 to do so through all of last year. Likewise, the class already boasts four winners and six podium finishers in five races, compared to five winners and eight podium finishers in all of 2015.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross MCAS New River:

Travis PeCoy, #3 AF Racing Team: “Ever since I was a kid, I just loved the military and everything like that. I’ve been on a couple of bases and battleships and I love it. It’s really an honor to be able to come here and race. I couldn’t be any happier, especially to shoot the guns in the simulator, and check out the hangar. It’s a great time—they are so welcoming here too, so it’s a lot of fun."

Miki Weckstrom, #45 Olsbergs MSE X Forces: “I’ve never seen anything like this. This base is huge in comparison. I did my military service in Finland for six months, and our barrack was probably 1/10 of the size of this place. It’s a really special week ahead of us, it’s totally something different than all the other events. I am really looking forward to it."

Cabot Bigham, #2 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: “I come from a military family. Being to be able to support my country and watch the people who do it on the front lines is going to be huge. I would love to put on a good show for these guys."

Red Bull Global Rallycross

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