GLOBAL RALLYCROSS RACE REPORT: LOS ANGELES ROUND 12
Photographer: Sean Maynard
It was a banner weekend for Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross,
as Scott Speed clinched his third consecutive driver championship title and
Volkswagen won their second manufacturer championship, both in four years of
Red Bull Global Rallycross competition, while Tanner Foust won the Round 12 Los
VARX kicked off the weekend with two practices and qualifying, with all three sessions led by either Speed or Foust. Asserting his dominance early while working toward his third consecutive championship, Speed led first and final practice while Foust claimed his fifth pole this season after qualifying ahead of the field while Speed finished second.
Heat 1B saw Speed and Foust line up side-by-side, starting first and second to kick off Saturday’s season finale race day. Crossing the finish line first, Foust beat Speed to the line, finishing second.
Once again lining up in the same heat, Foust took the pole for Heat 2B while Speed started third with Sandell between. Getting the jump over Sandell on the launch, Foust crossed the finish line to take the win while Speed finished third.
Taking to the track for Heat 3B, Foust once again started from pole while Speed started fifth. Finishing fourth, Speed crossed the finish line after passing Bigham midway, while Foust won his third heat race of the day.
Launching from pole in Semifinal A, Foust led the five-lap contest from green to checkers after a clean start, crossing line two seconds over Cabot Bigham in second.
Starting second, Speed opted to use his one Joker Lap during the heat race midway, going from third to first to take the lead and Semifinal B win.
Taking to the starting gate in Row 1 together for the Round 12 Final, Tanner Foust looked to get the jump over the competition from pole while Scott Speed lined up alongside in second. Leading start to finish, Foust easily took the checkered flag over the field to win his fifth race of the season and once again retain being the winningest driver in GRC history at 16 career wins.
For Speed, he settled in running fourth place after being shuffled back on the start, but fought hard, opting to use his one Joker Lap late in the race to steal back second place to solidly secure his championship win.
Tanner Foust – No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle GRC
Started: 1st // Finished: 1st
Championship 2 / 10 (807 pts.)
“The key is qualifying, so that was the battle – getting qualifying done. That sets you up for success for the rest of the weekend. We snuck that away from Scott [Speed] and then there was a glimmer of hope – we made it through the heats. Scott had a little bit of trouble and we came into the final actually having a chance to win [the championship] if Scott finished eighth or less. I’m not going to lie, that was a big gap in points but I was feeling it. The whole team, we were hungry for that. I saw Scott had a good start and Sandell got in front of him. I thought Scott might have got caught up a little bit, but at that point all I can do is my job and lay down laps. I’m so happy for our team on the Rockstar side of the Volkswagen Andretti tent. Everybody laid it out. We had a tough race in Atlantic City and since then we’ve won everything we’ve driven up to the line to do, and it’s not easy in this group. We’re hopefully going to carry some of that into next year. Again, we’ll go back to school on the car just like all the teams and make it faster and better.”
Scott Speed – No. 41 Oberto Circle K Beetle GRC
Started: 2nd // Finished: 2nd
Championship: 1 / 10 (826 pts.)
“The whole week leading up to the race it was just constantly
thinking of the what-ifs, all of the problems that could happen going in with
such a big lead. My hat is off to everyone – I have the best team out here. I’m
so lucky for them and we have great partners in Volkswagen, Circle K, Oberto,
Expedite Home Loans and Rockstar - it was a team effort!”