All things racing are happening in Long Beach, California this week around the Toyota Grand Prix. On the eve of the first practice sessions, Red Bull Global Rallycross held their pre-season press conference with quite a few announcements.
In the hours before the presser, Rhys Millen Racing announced that Jackie Heinricher will race a full schedule with GRC Lites. Having previously raced in karting and a season in the Ferrari Challenge, as well as HOLY COW SHE’S DONE TED TALKS, she’s one of two women signing on to Lites for 2015. Also joining GRC Lites this year is Ali Nur, joining Alejandro Fernandez’ AFRacing. Nur brings 17 years of experience racing across multiple series.
Bryan Herta Rally Sport has formed a new team with GRC Supercar veterans Patrik Sandell and Austin Dyne. Collette Davis, newly on board within 72 hours of the press conference, is still waiting for her Lites car to show up – and will be the second woman in the GRC “feeder” program. Sandell and Dyne will continue racing in M Sport Ford Fiesta STs.
Announced in March, Steve Arpin and Brian Deegan have been added to Chip Ganassi’s racing stable. Both drivers are pretty excited to be joining the prestigious team, with access to racing tech that is the “next level.” Arpin and Deegan both race Ford Fiestas.
Nelson Piquet Jr., fresh off his Formula e win in Long Beach two weeks ago, was on hand with SH Racing to show off new livery and a new sponsor in Hydroxycut.
Subaru Rally Team drivers Bucky Lasek and Sverre Isachsen will be racing in new WRX STis this year. Isachsen commented that the new car takes a lot more punishment, and the WRX gives the team the perfrect chance to bring the car to the top. Both he and Lasek are impressed with how strong the car is after testing in Florida the previous week. Lasek – “It’s go time.”
Mitchell DeJong, last year’s Lites champion, is moving up to Supercars this year. He joins Joni Wiman on the Olsbergs MSE team, both drivers in Ford Fiesta STs.
New for GRC itself this year is international distribution; the series will be broadcast in eight regions globallly to a total of 99 countries. In 2014, viewership was increased by 248%, grabbing the attention of over 10 million sets of eyes. The first race of 2015 will take place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on May 31.