Turns 1 and 2 after a long day of Red Bull GRC Supercar and Lites competition here at The LINQ in Las Vegas.
Waiting on the River Card in Vegas: The Red Bull GRC Finale
The Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship comes down to the season finale here in Las Vegas. Four drivers are in contention for the championship. Series rookie Joni Wiman leads Hoonigan Racing’s Ken Block, Andretti Rallycross driver Scott Speed and SH Rallycross’s Nelson Piquet Jr. These four drivers are vying for the number one spot, but have traveled different ways to make it to this final round.
Series leader Joni Wiman was a virtual unknown coming into the 2014 season opener in Barbados. Wiman was a participant in Red Bull GRC Lites last season, but got the call from OMSE Racing to drive the Red Bull Ford Fiesta for 2014. Although Wiman has not won a race this season, he has posted three podium results in the last 4 races, proving his consistency and expertise in the latter part of the schedule.
Better known for his YouTube “Gymkhana” video series, Ken Block was known as a driver with more drifting and stunt driving skills rather than his racing background. But as the DC Shoes owner finished first in Charlotte, second in Daytona and second in Seattle, the Red Bull GRC field has now seen that his stage rally and dirt driving expertise fair well to the 40% dirt track in Vegas. “ I think I have the edge when is comes to racing on this dirt surface because our team trains in Nevada, and the dirt compound that has been laid down is what I practice on everyday… I am very comfortable here, its just like racing at home” Block told me after his second practice session. As long Block remains consistent in the heat stages, Block could be a virtual write-in for the championship.
Driver of the 7 UP Andretti Volkswagen Beetle, Scott Speed is on the cusp of competing in his first full season in Red Bull GRC. The former F1 driver started his 2014 campaign with back-to-back wins in Barbados and at X Games. Speed is showing speed and consistency in his first year, with first year team owned by former IndyCar racing legend Michael Andretti. “Our time is now to grab this championship. The team has worked hard all year and its time we grab another championship for Michael (Andretti).” Speed said.
The Brazilian sensation Nelson Piquet Jr. is a force to be reckoned with in his 3rd new series in 3 seasons. The past three years, Piquet has competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Red Bull Global Rallycross. Piquet’s father, Nelson Piquet Sr. is a Formula One racing icon. By winning this championship, Piquet could become one of the best drivers in all-of racing. He must finish on the podium, and have Wiman, Block and Speed finish outside of the top 5.
You can catch all the action-LIVE online at Red Bull TV Wednesday at 8:00 PM EST, and the rebroadcast will be aired on NBC November 16th at 2:30 PM EST.