… The home of the Islanders, that is. Red Bull Global Rallycross set up camp at Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum on the weekend of July 19-20. Just outside of New York City outerborough borders, the overcast Sunday finals saw some exciting racing as well as some shocking disappointments for quite a few drivers. The New York course was very similar to last year’s Championship in Las Vegas with the Joker Lap on the turn just after the table jump, but a bit tricky for the drivers that had driven the Vegas course as it was a bit wider.
Aussie Sarah Burgess debuted over the weekend in a Chevy Sonic, but some mechanical issues ultimately kept her from racing on Sunday. Hyundai’s Emma Gilmour didn’t make the finals via the Last Chance Qualifier, though team mate Rhys Millen raced in the final. After the United States National Anthem was sung by Ken Block’s trainer Kit Cope, the Supercars were ready to go.
Before the first lap was even half finished, a group of cars got banged around before the table jump and Olsbergs MSE’s Patrik Sandell in a Ford Fiesta got the worst of it. The red flag came out, and all drivers went back to the pits. Sandell had too much damage to continue.
At the restart, Subaru’s Sverre Isachsen was first out, but as he headed into the turn, was immediately T-boned by Tanner Foust. Another red flag, and an extremely unhappy Isachsen was now out of the race after not being able to restart the WRX.
Cut down to six laps, the final proceeded without further significant damage to any car. Tanner Foust won the final in a one-two finish with Volkswagen teammate Scott Speed in second. Nelson Piquet Jr. – relenquishing his Lites car to his younger brother and only competing in the Supercars race – placed third.
However, like the first two starts to the final, this podium line-up didn’t stick – during the first red flag when the drivers took to the pits, Scott Speed’s crew made some fixes that weren’t allowed under a red flag in GRC, so a time penalty was added. Speed’s team quickly responded to fans on social media that they would fight the penalty, but the penalty stuck. Another disappointed driver, Speed was now out of the top three, ceding second place to Piquet Jr., and the ever-popular Ken Block now taking third.
Not to forget the Global Rallycross drivers of tomorrow, making the GRC Lites podium was Kevin Eriksson in first and Mitchell DeJong in second, both driving for Olsbergs MSE. Pedro Piquet came in third with Piquet Sports.
Red Bull Global Rallycross next goes to Florida then heads to the West Coast for the second half of the season. Highlights from the GRC season thus far can be seen in the US this coming Sunday, August 3 at 4 pm.