Speed chats with NBC's Kristen Kenney after New River win. Photo: Larry Chen/Red Bull GRC

Speed seeks second straight Red Bull GRC crown in LA

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Scott Speed will enter this year’s Red Bull Global Rallycross finale as the hunter rather than the hunted compared to his Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teammate Tanner Foust.

A year ago, Speed held the edge going into the 2015 finale at Las Vegas. Rain and nightmarish conditions greeted Red Bull GRC’s field of contenders, but Speed emerged on top for his first professional championship, and the first for the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team.

Now, Speed has a 13-point deficit to overcome as he looks to retain his crown. But he’s headed to a perfect site to do it – in Los Angeles last year, Speed won both races of the doubleheader.

This weekend marks Rounds 10 and 11 of the season, Red Bull GRC Los Angeles Presented by Honda (3 p.m. ET, NBC) and Speed, who has three wins this year to Foust’s four, will seek an encore of his 2015 performance and capture the title back.

Even though he’s keen to beat Foust, Speed has spoken highly of the mutual respect the two of them have had for each other throughout their stint as teammates.

“We have enough mutual respect to race each other clean,” Speed told NBC Sports. “Three years now, we’ve never really run into each other… or at least not intentionally! So that goes a long way. Clean weekends, less failures, and it’s nice.”

Speed finished off the podium last race out in Seattle and that cost him the points lead after his midseason run of three consecutive race wins at MCAS New River, Washington, D.C. and Atlantic City.

“We’ve had the short end of the luck stick recently but it’s turning around right now,” Speed said after the Atlantic City win. “We’ll look forward to continue to rattle off the pole positions, and having clean qualifyings, because that hurt us in the beginning of the year.

“Even Phoenix the start of season was a disaster. We were lucky to qualify second when we did. We broke in one of the finals. Ending fifth or sixth, we were lucky to finish with a broken car. Lots of little gremlins at start of year but knock on wood, it’s been clean since then.”

Speed has spoken highly about racing in Los Angeles and looks forward to the opportunity to deliver there.

“We’ve been strong all year and as long as we stay clean in LA, I’m confident that the team can grab some more great results to wrap up the season,” Speed said.

“It’s always exciting to come out to LA and I’m looking forward to putting on a great show for some passionate rallycross fans.”

Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship unlikely to run this season in U.S.

Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship
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The US-based Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship circuit has reportedly parked itself and the pending 2018 season. According to various reports including AutoWeek, AutoSport.com and Motorsport.com, the Red Bull-sponsored GRC has suspended operations.

MotorSportsTalk reached out to a GRC spokesman for comment and further details.

It appears that all GRC-related websites, including its home page, as well as the site to order tickets to races this season, are unavailable. The series’ Twitter account @GRCseries remains, but hasn’t tweeted since April 13.

New York’s Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway, which was to host the GRC’s season-opening event (the original Louisville opener in mid-May was cancelled), issued a statement on its Twitter account:

Several GRC teams said at the end of last season that they would not return to the series, including teams from Honda, Volkswagen and Subaru.

It is expected that the GRC Europe series will continue working on its 2019 campaign.

It’s unclear whether teams that are no longer with the GRC U.S. series will move to a new series backed by IMG known as “Americas Rallycross Championship.” The ARC is slated to kick off as part of next month’s World Rallycross event at Silverstone in Great Britain.

Other ARC events, also tied into WRC events, will be at Trois-Rivieres in Canada on August 4-5, and at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 29-30. A fourth event is still in the works.

Follow @JerryBonkowski