With just 30 points separating the leading drivers in the race for the driver’s championship in the Red Bull Global Rallycross, Saturday’s season-ending finale in Los Angeles will be the decider.
Following a pair of 1-2 wins in last month’s fracas in Seattle, Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross drivers Scott Speed and Tanner Foust find themselves almost neck-and-neck as they complete preparations for the Los Angeles event. Though most acknowledge anything can happen in the slash-and-dice world of rallycross racing, it will take a significant upset to keep Speed or Foust from claiming first place. They are carrying a substantial lead over the third-place team in the race for the championship.
Team drivers have compiled a huge record
During the first 11 races of the season, Speed and Foust have collected a total of 53 heat wins with Speed having five more than Foust at 29 and 24 setup races or heats, respectively. Between them, they have three times more wins than the closest driver. Still, the 30-point difference makes this event to close to call as there are 81 points still up for grabs.
Speed, the pilot of the No. 41 Oberto Circle K Beetle GRC said in an interview that they are entering “the final race with a good lead [in points.] He said his primary job Saturday would be “to keep us in the most protected positions as possible while on the track and keep the tires rolling until the checkered flag. If I can do that, we will have us another championship.”
Speed is in position to secure his third straight driver’s championship, building on his successes in 2015 and 2016. Foust is similarly positioned for his third driver’s championship, having won in 2011 and 2012. Last year, he finished second behind Speed. Volkswagen has already tied down enough points to secure the Manufacturer’s Championship.
Seattle race proves to be a decider
Los Angeles could have turned out to be only a driving exercise for Foust until he jumped back into championship contention with two wins in Seattle. The wins put him back on track for honors following tough races in Atlantic City in August. There, problems had dropped him all the way back to third place late in the season. Seattle Unveils Some New Wrinkles
“We’re ready to put on a good show for the fans in LA this weekend,” Foust, driver of the No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle GRC told an interviewer. “It’s hard to call the San Pedro Pier a home track, but the location and backdrop are certainly one of the most unique in motorsports. This weekend’s GRC season finale should be a blast.”
The track should prove an intense challenge as it is 27 percent dirt and 73 percent pavement. The 0.654-mile Los Angeles venue is “a great track, and it is a home state race for me,” Speed said. “I’ve always felt comfortable here.
NBC to air finale live
The season finale to the Red Bull Global Rallycross will be aired live on NBC at 4:30 p.m. Saturday (Eastern Daylight Time).
Source: Volkswagen, Andretti Team