Red Bull GRC going long for Saturday’s race at Daytona

1 Comment
source:
The 13-turn, .924-mile Red Bull Global Rallycross course for Saturday’s event at Daytona International Speedway will be the longest of the year so far. Credit: Red Bull GRC/DIS

After a mid-season break, Red Bull Global Rallycross will return to action in a big way this weekend at Daytona International Speedway.

For their visit to the “World Center of Racing,” the GRC racers will tackle a 13-turn, .924-mile layout that’s the longest such course they’ve faced in 2014.

The layout will also be somewhat familiar to avid Rolex 24 watchers, as it’s built mostly within the International Horseshoe section of the Daytona road course.

However, it has its quirks. Instead of a runoff area, drivers will start from the layout’s actual frontstretch and will come across the joker before the first turn.

The layout then flips to a dirt surface for the next three turns. In this part of the course, the series’ signature dirt jump will be situated ahead of the left-hand Turn 3.

At Turn 5, the surface returns to pavement before drivers twist through a rhythm section inside the Horseshoe. They’ll head back on to the Daytona road course for the final two turns, with the penalty box positioned coming out of Turn 11.

“The joker is in a very unique spot, which will make for an interesting first lap, because it’s in the first corner,” said Andretti Autosport’s Scott Speed in a series release. “It’s going to be cool to run on some of the Daytona 24 Hours track too. Overall, it should be a great race for the fans to watch.”

Speed is one of several competitors in the Daytona GRC field that have also competed on the track’s legendary 2.5-mile oval, home of NASCAR’s Daytona 500.

Another of those competitors is SH Racing Rallycross’ Nelson Piquet Jr., who currently leads Speed in the championship by 46 points going into this weekend’s Round 6 of the 2014 season.

You can watch Saturday’s final LIVE from Daytona at 2:30 p.m. ET on your local NBC station and NBC Sports Live Extra for online/mobile devices.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Follow@KyleMLavigne