GLOBAL RALLYCROSS RACE REPORT: NEW ENGLAND ROUND 3
Photographer: Peter Minnig
The first race of the weekend’s first double-header at
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for Red Bull Global Rallycross New England
saw Tanner Foust (No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle GRC) nabbing his first
win of the season, domination each heat he raced, Semifinal and Final events. Debuting
his color-changing No. 41 ORAFOL Beetle GRC for the New England and Ottawa race
weekends, Scott Speed finished runner-up to his VARX teammate, battling back
from a first-lap incident with a competitor.
Earlier in the day, the pair qualified first (Foust) and seventh (Speed), setting up Foust to start Heat 1B first and Speed second in Heat 1A. Finishing his heat first, Foust set himself on a path to a near-perfect weekend in Thompson. Speed on the other hand, started second but found himself shuffled back during Heat 1A, fighting his way to a third-place finish.
Heat 2 saw both VARX drivers starting and finishing first in their respective heat, setting both drivers up for racing in Heat 3B together. With Foust on pole and Speed in second, they finished where they started in the third heat, earning pole position for both drivers in Semifinal A and B. Foust led Semifinal A from start to finish, with Speed doing the same in Semifinal B.
Race 1’s Final saw Foust on pole with Speed starting second next to him. After the start, contact with a competitor in the first turn saw Speed shoved into a barrier, bringing out the red flag. Restarting the 10-lap race with Speed maintaining his second-place starting position while the competitor making contact started in the rear, green flagged waved. During the Final, Foust took off, eventually giving himself a nearly five-second lead over second-place VARX teammate Speed. Coming to the checkered flag, Foust earned himself his 12th career Red Bull Global Rallycross official competition win, with Speed bringing his Beetle in second.
Taking to the track tomorrow, Foust and Speed will once again battle it out in Race 2 at the historic oval and road course facility, taking to the 0.895-mile dirt, gravel and paved track for Round 3.
Tanner Foust – No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle GRC
Started: 1 // Finished: 1
“I definitely made some mistakes today, but on paper it did look pretty smooth. Like Scott [Speed] said, these cars really take a beating on this track. Hats off to the [Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross] VARX team really putting everything together. Every heat, we’re fighting for it, all of these guys are. When you cruise through the pits and see the mechanics thrashing at it, even though it doesn’t seem like that much didn’t happen on track, there’s just a lot going on. It really is a very cool track, it’s a cool piece of American history, to come here on the oldest paved oval in the country. In 1940, they started racing here. Many of us haven’t been here before, rallycross has raced in New England but it’s taken a bit of a break, so it’s great to see a lot of familiar faces. To bring a totally different sport to this historic venue, it’s great. You use multiple parts of the track, use the lawn up the hill, the whole deal. We’re using every drip we could possible get out of this venue. It’s been a great day, so hopefully we’ll put on a great show for tomorrow!”
Scott Speed – No. 41 ORAFOL Beetle GRC
Started: 2 // Finished: 2
“It was an exciting day. We had a lot of action on the track all day, battling in pretty much every single race we were in, which is great experience for tomorrow. I now know how the track races. It’s going to be great info. A big shout-out to our team, going 1-2 again. The track is awesome. It’s a bit of a minefield out there, and these cars have taken a beating. It’s really amazing that all of these cars finished the race, but it’s a testament to all of the teams and how much they’ve done to these rallycross cars. Ours managed to stay together and made it a great show.”