02 June 2015

GRC Lites Race Recap: Fort Lauderdale

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IN BRIEF: Austin Cindric made his first race with Olsbergs MSE count in GRC Lites, taking a commanding victory at the season-opening round in Fort Lauderdale. He defeated fellow Lites sophomore Alejandro Fernandez and teammate Oliver Eriksson to earn the first victory of his
career.

HEAT RECAPS: With only one driver (Eriksson) in the field with a previous Lites heat victory, at least one driver was going to win the first heat of his or her career this weekend. It turned out to be two: Cindric and Fernandez won two heats each—but not before Collete Davis became the
first female driver to lead a lap in Red Bull GRC history in her first heat race. In the LCQ, which saw all four drivers transfer to the main event, Nur Ali nipped Davis on the third of four laps to take the lead and the victory.

MAIN EVENT RECAP: The first attempt at the main event was halted after four laps after a scary incident involving Davis and fellow newcomer Miles Maroney that saw Davis’ River Racing car wedged between the retaining wall and jump. She was unhurt in the incident, and when the restart was pushed back to after the Supercar final, her team was able to repair the car and put her back on track.

The race had initially been halted with Cindric, Fernandez, and Eriksson running in that order, and they re-established themselves in the same spots in the truncated six-lap main event. Tanner Whitten, making his first Lites start after serving as a test driver on the Lites development
car in 2012, placed fourth, and Geoff Sykes rounded out the top five.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: The results from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Fort Lauderdale, the first round of the 2015 GRC Lites season:

1. Austin Cindric, #77 Olsbergs MSE
2. Alejandro Fernandez, #126 AF Racing
3. Oliver Eriksson, #16 Olsbergs MSE
4. Tanner Whitten, #15 DirtFish Motorsports
5. Geoff Sykes, #6 DTV Solutions
6. Nur Ali, #42 AF Racing
7. Miles Maroney, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
8. Jackie Heinricher, #57 Rhys Millen Racing
9. Collete Davis, #07 River Racing
10. Duncker Felix Jr., #61 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Fort Lauderdale, the first round of the 2015 GRC Lites season:

Austin Cindric, Driver, #77 Olsbergs MSE: “It’s really awesome being supported by such a team as Olsbergs MSE. Andreas (Eriksson) has really taken a big risk on me, and I think I made it up to him a bit this week! Hopefully we’ll be up here for the rest of the season.” Alejandro Fernandez, Driver, #126 AF Racing: “Most of our changes from last year are from experience. This year, we really have a good team and are feeling really confident. I just have a whole different mindset—I’m focusing on myself and pushing as hard as I can.” Oliver Eriksson, Driver, #16 Olsbergs MSE: “We need to go faster to beat these guys. We need to be more consistent, get better starts and stay out of trouble. Daytona looks faster and more
open, so I’m looking forward to it and feeling good about the next one.” FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross

Fort Lauderdale, the first round of the 2015 GRC Lites season:


• This was Austin Cindric’s first GRC Lites victory in his eighth career start. Over the course of the weekend, Cindric also earned his first pole position and first pair of GRC Lites heat victories.

• Alejandro Fernandez earned the fourth podium of his GRC Lites career, as well as his first two career heat victories.

• Oliver Eriksson earned the second podium of his GRC Lites career, his first since Charlotte in July 2014.

• Tanner Whitten was the highest-finishing GRC Lites rookie, out of six total, on Sunday with a fourth place finish in the main event.

• Collete Davis became the first female driver in Red Bull Global Rallycross history to lead a lap in any race session in either class when she led the first lap of Heat 1A. Davis led two additional laps in the last chance qualifier.

UNOFFICIAL DRIVER POINTS:

1. Austin Cindric, 56
2. Alejandro Fernandez, 51
3. Oliver Eriksson, 44
4. Tanner Whitten, 39
5. Geoff Sykes, 32
6. Nur Ali, 27
7. Miles Maroney, 22
8. Jackie Heinricher, 17
9. Collete Davis, 12
10. Duncker Felix Jr., 7