10 July 2015

Bull GRC Media Alert // Race Previews: MCAS New River

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The Base - Ken Block Wins Inaugural Red Bull Global Rallycross Event at MCAS New River

Ken Block took a thrilling victory in Sunday’s inaugural Red Bull Global Rallycross MCAS New River, the fourth race of the 2015 Red Bull GRC season. Block, who also won the season opener in Fort Lauderdale, held off Patrik Sandell and Nelson Piquet Jr. for the victory.

 

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“I’m very lucky to have two out of four wins,” Block said. “Today was crazy up and down, so I’m really lucky to be here on top. I’d like to say thanks to everyone who came out—it was great to see everybody and sign autographs last night, and it’s great interacting with the military.”

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The event, which marked the first time that a racing series has ever competed on an active military base, saw the largest course in Red Bull GRC history at .993 miles. The seven-turn layout produced one of the most compelling events in series history, with ten different drivers winning the ten heats contested over the Supercar and GRC Lites classes.

In the Supercar main event, Sandell appeared to be headed to a clean victory off the initial start when an incident with Brian Deegan across the start-finish line necessitated a full restart. In the resulting four-lap shootout, Block grabbed the lead and took the fifth victory of his Supercar career, elevating him to the points lead.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing rookie Alex Keyes won the GRC Lites main event, the first of his career, over Olsbergs MSE’s Oliver Eriksson and DirtFish Motorsports’ Tanner Whitten. Whitten now leads a tight championship battle, with only 14 points separating the top four drivers in the standings.

The next Red Bull Global Rallycross event will take place at Belle Isle in Detroit on July 25-26. Tickets for Red Bull Global Rallycross Detroit are available at http://www.redbullglobalrallycross.com/tickets. The event will be shown live on Saturday, July 25 at 2PM ET and Sunday, July 26 at 4:30PM ET, with both telecasts taking place on NBC.

 

GRC Lites Race Preview: MCAS New River

IN BRIEF: The fourth round of the 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross season is a special one: it marks the first-ever rallycross race on an active military base. MCAS New River in Jacksonville, NC will host 600 horsepower Red Bull GRC Supercars as they compete on the longest course in series history.

TUNE IN INFORMATION:

Wednesday, July 8, 6PM ET on NBCSN and liveextra.nbcsports.com

NBC Sports Group will be offering live streaming of the Global Rallycross MCAS New River race through the NBC Sports Live Extra app via desktop, mobile and tablet.

TICKETS: Admission to Sunday’s events is free and does not require a ticket. Gates open at 10AM local time.

LAST RACE: It was an Olsbergs MSE sweep in Daytona, as Oliver Eriksson earned his first career GRC Lites win in Saturday’s race and Austin Cindric took the top step of the podium on Sunday. Six drivers took podium finishes during the weekend, including three who earned podiums for the first time.

DRIVER CHANGES: The same 11 Lites vehicles that competed in Daytona will race this weekend, but two drivers will make their debuts. Starting this weekend, off-road truck veteran Gavin Harlien will replace Geoff Sykes at Tim Bell Racing for the rest of the 2015 season, while motocross athlete Conner Martell will stand in for Harry Cheung at Rhys Millen Racing.

THE TRACK: At .993 miles, the MCAS New River course is the longest in Red Bull GRC history. With seven turns and a 65-35 pavement to dirt ratio, this will be one of the fastest courses of the 2015 season. Click here for more information on the track.

FERNANDEZ HEADS UP TIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE: AF Racing’s Alejandro Fernandez earned top five finishes in each of the first three races of the 2015 GRC Lites season, good enough to give him 133 points heading into this Sunday’s final in North Carolina. But his lead is anything but safe; DirtFish Motorsports rookie Tanner Whitten sits only six points behind him, with the Olsbergs MSE duo of Austin Cindric and Oliver Eriksson only seven and 22 points behind, respectively.

LITES ROOKIES SHOWING WELL EARLY ON: Through the first three races of the season, the top six drivers in GRC Lites points are an even split between returning drivers from last season and newcomers. Tanner Whitten leads the group of newcomers at second in points, but Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Miles Maroney and AF Racing’s Nur Ali, at fifth and sixth overall, have made strong showings so far. Maroney took third and fourth place results at Daytona, while Ali’s highlight of the early season was a difficult pass on Collete Davis to win the Fort Lauderdale last chance qualifier.

TRIO OF LITES DRIVERS COMPLETE BASIC TRAINING: AF Racing’s Alejandro Fernandez and Olsbergs MSE teammates Oliver Eriksson and Austin Cindric took part in a special basic training session with Marines on MCAS New River on Thursday morning. The drivers completed an 880-meter run, ammo can lifts, and an obstacle course that included everything from full-on sprinting to a fireman’s carry drill completed on fellow drivers. Highlights of the morning will be shown during Sunday’s Supercar race broadcast on NBC, which begins airing at 5PM ET.

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

Alex Keyes, #61 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: “This is cool! This morning when we rolled in we had to go through a security checkpoint. After that, we were driving down and I thought it was just going to be around the corner, but we pretty much drove through a whole entire town. It’s pretty cool here—I’ve never been to a military base, but now I know what it’s like, and I think it’s going to be a pretty cool event this weekend. I had a look at the track, I went out in the grandstands. You can’t see everything, but you can kind of get an idea. And one thing that stands out is definitely the surface that we’re on with this being an airstrip. And then it looks like they have a pretty tight joker that’s dirt, so we’ll see how that works out.”

Miles Maroney, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: “Hopes are high for this Base event. We got our first podium, now we’ve got to get to the top step, so that’s the goal here. It has been from the start, but now it’s a little more real, I feel like. Everybody knows that we can do it and we feel like we can do it this weekend, and yeah, the type of track definitely caters to that a little bit. There’s a decent amount of dirt, not much, but very fast and very flowing, and those are the places where I normally tend to find a good home. So yeah, I’m excited—I think we’ve got a good weekend ahead of us, and I’m happy to be here.”

Tanner Whitten, #15 DirtFish Motorsports: “I definitely looked the track around and gave it a couple laps, and just kind of trying to pick out some lines and some braking points. Because this track, sure, it’s a horsepower track, but it’s going to be all about braking at the end of long straightaways and trying to get the car planted for the next corner. This track is going to be so dependent on the corner beforehand because the straightaways are so long. In the Lites car, we’re easily going to be at the top of sixth gear on these long straightaways, so it’s definitely going to be a lot of planning ahead and a lot of really, really careful line selection to ensure you get the most momentum out of the car. In the dirt sections, it’s a lot like Daytona with tight hairpins into the long dirt straightaway over the big jump, so it should be really similar to the setup in the dirt at Daytona—and we were already set up there really well. I’m looking forward to getting out there and seeing some really, really high speeds out of these cars.”