Rallycross: Savior of Motorsports

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By Parker Smith

Motorsports in America are on the brink of extinction. I’ll say it again; motorsports in America are on the brink of extinction. The “hey days” of the 1970’s, 80’s and early 90’s are gone. Kids don’t think about Andretti or Foyt, they think about Johnny Manziel and LeBron James. Why you may ask? Here is why:

Kids do not resonate with motorsports. Back in the day, people had an appreciation for the automobile and how men could push limits of man and machine. Today, kids have technology right in front of them. They don’t want to learn about an engine when they can just go on their phone and watch a machine do the same thing on YouTube. Take it this way, racing is like art. Only so many people will appreciate the “fine points” and the art of racing, and some people will just look at the canvas and see a bunch of cars run around in circle.

Oval racing is the epitome of motorsport death. How do you combat the question “Its not a sport, all they do is turn left”? Here is my answer, Red Bull Global Rallycross.

Red Bull GRC has infused the danger of action sports with the combination of speed and athlete relevance. With global icons like Travis Pastrana, Bucky Lasek, Tanner Foust and Ken Block, GRC is the saving grace of American motorsports.

They don’t just turn left. These 600 horsepower cars go from 0-60 faster than a Formula One car and they race on dirt and asphalt in the same race. That’s not all; they throw in a 65-foot dirt jump for the cars to go side-by-side and race in the air. Holy Shit.

One big name has already made the jump into Red Bull GRC, Michael Andretti. Andretti fields the Andretti Rallycross team with drivers Scott Speed and Tanner Foust. Not only is this team winning on the track, they are winning in the boardroom.

Andretti saw Red Bull GRC has an opportunity to lure in potential clients and existing clients into investing more because his team can now cater to every sponsor demographic. The largest fan base in Red Bull GRC are millenialls, every sponsors dream target. In IndyCar, they have the middle-age college educated man with a family. And in Formula E, they have aligned themselves with the future of auto racing with cars powered by batteries.

Within three years, every major motorsports team will want a piece of the pie in Red Bull GRC, because GRC is young, innovative… and a better product.

IndyCar Rumor Mill: Alexander Rossi

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By Parker Smith

Here we are, the silly season. It’s the hot stove edition as I feature the best driver who is creating the biggest rumor for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Tis the season for a 23 year-old California Kid who has F1 experience… six years of it.

This American climbed the racing ladder in Europe. He has been overseas since 2008, and he is only 23 years old! From Formula Renault, to GP3 and GP2 all the way to competing in (Free) Practice 1 in the United States Grand Prix, Rossi was in command to drive for Caterham in the 2015 Formula One season. Then, Caterham found out they are bankrupt, so that has left Rossi out of an opportunity to pilot an F1 car. Now Rossi has set his sights on landing an IndyCar ride for 2015.

“For 2015, I’m very excited about the prospects in IndyCar, and I’m not the first person to say it’s some of the best racing on the planet. It’s something I’m working to make happen every day, and I’m looking forward to being part of a successful campaign.” Rossi said in an interview on IndyCar.com Monday.

“I want to be in a competitive car, and after coming up the European ladder and being able to win races in all the championships I competed in, I feel I’m ready to do the job at home and compete straight away.”

This California Kid could land a seat Andretti Autosport or Chip Ganassi after meeting with them two weeks ago. Believe me, he is the real deal and he will make an impact in his first year in the cockpit because of his road racing ability and talent. He has raced with the best in the world, he is a young American who has won in Europe, and he is a competitor. IndyCar will see him take the series by storm come March.

Scott is Back to His Normal Self Having Fun.

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By Parker Smith

Scott is fast and drives in a dangerous sport, but he is smarter than you.

Scott Speed drives in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Series in the 7-Up Volkswagen Beetle for Andretti Rallycross. This is Speed’s first full season in Red Bull GRC, but he shouldn’t be known as a rookie.

Speed grew up in Manteca California and started racing go-karts at a young age. Speed and his parents made personal sacrifices to keep funding his go-karting and racing career. Speed kept winning, which got the attention of the energy drink company Red Bull. From then on, Speed’s life changed.

Speed moved to Europe and competed in Formula Renault racing and made his way through the ladder series of Formula One. Speed became a test drive for Red Bull Toro Rosso Formula One team and became the first American to race in Formula One since Michael Andretti in 1993. Speed was on cloud nine.

He later became a full-time driver for the team, and had a multi million-dollar contract traveling the world in Formula One and becoming known as the “American Hope”. Unfortunately, the American hope had a hopeless job. His team had a small budget, which in Formula One means you have zero chance of winning. McLaren and Ferrari have billion dollar budgets devoted to testing and scrutineering their cars to make sure they are the fastest and have the best overall performance. Speed was later fired in the middle of the season, and was forced out of Formula One.

Speed had no ride, and he lost his Red Bull Sponsorship. He was in the dumps, hitting a new low in his career. Speed then spent a couple years around the NASCAR paddock, but he never found a home. Then Michael Andretti called with an offer.

Andretti called Speed regarding plans to field a team in Global Rallycross and have Volkswagen be the official manufacturer. Speed did what he has done his whole racing career, he said hell yes.

Speed joined the 7-Up sponsored team, and his teammate ex-stunt driver and Top Gear host Tanner Foust. Speed has not only found a job, but a home. Speed is enjoying the Red Bull GRC series with his boss, the other ex American Formula One driver. It is not only a common low point in their careers, but it is a common bond amongst them. It is an experience they have both learned from, Speed now is enjoying his driving, and hosts his 2 year-old daughter and wife Amanda at every race. He is relaxed, confident and driving at his very best posting 3 wins on the season, and finishing third in the drivers championship. He is happy, which is why I am writing this blog.

Happiness is found by comfort, not by money. Speed learned the hard way, a way that we all should learn by. People everyday make decisions based on money, not by fun. Speed can now experience racing in its purest form: fast and dangerous.

You can follow Speed and his journey through Red Bull GRC by going to redbullglobalrallycross.com

Waiting on the River Card in Vegas: The Red Bull GRC Finale

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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.