Day 1 of Red Bull Global Rallycross delivered on all of the unpredictability that defines this type of racing. From traffic filled first corner shunts, to last minute Joker Lap passes for the win, GRC is known as a series where anything can happen during a race, and A LOT happened on Saturday.
A monsoon sized rain delay pushed back the final heats of the day and added a new element for the drivers to deal with on track. With no practice heats left and only a single recon lap to scope the grip of the track, the racing was guaranteed to be hectic.
Tanner Foust (VW), Joni Wiman (Honda), and Steve Arpin (Ford) slotted in to the front row for the final heat of the day – 10 laps around a very wet .762 mile circuit. The rain had the cars struggling to find grip on Daytona’s horseshoe, and the transition from tarmac to dirt was a whole other beast with the amount of mud being thrown around.
If Toyota hadn’t lost Le Mans on the last lap, I would say Saturday’s Supercar Final was the most heartbreaking motorsports finish of the weekend. Scott Speed took the lead initially, before Foust used the Joker Lap to reclaim the lead early on. At this point VW looked like they were going to lock-in another win, until Foust spun from first place, also collecting second-place Patrik Sandell.
This put Scott Speed back in the lead, at which point his Beetle caught fire.
Speed drove his flaming bug around for another lap, collecting the white flag, before the fire forced him to retire with one lap to go. In a matter of 4 laps, VW saw their team go from podium finishes to DNF’s.
One team’s heartbreak was another’s joy as Steve Arpin came from behind all the drama to grab the win for Chip Ginassi – adding to the team’s Daytona 500 and Rolex 24 victories here. This was Arpin and Ginassi Racing’s first Red Bull GRC victory.
Over in the GRC Lites division, Oliver Eriksson took home his second consecutive victory at Daytona (a first in GRC history). He fended off Tanner Whitten and Colin Braun who made late pushes for the podium. Braun is a Rolex 24 Hour winner with CORE autosport – both team and driver making their GRC debuts this weekend.
Stay tuned for more action from GRC with us!