Photo: Larry Chen/Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull GRC: Sweep in Seattle delivered by Foust, Andretti

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Tanner Foust fought back in the latest weekend of Red Bull Global Rallycross at Evergreen Speedway in Seattle, with a dominant doubleheader sweep to get back into the championship chase.

In Saturday’s race one, Foust completed a perfect day with a pair of heat race wins and a semifinal win before a pristine, lights-to-flag victory in the 10-lap final aboard his No. 34 Volkswagen Beetle GRC.

Foust, who delivered the 25th final race win for the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team, led a 1-2 finish over teammate Scott Speed, who retained his points lead. Foust cut the gap in points to 31 behind Speed, 687-656, following his nightmare weekend in Atlantic City.

RACE ONE REPLAY (via NBC Sports App)

“The last weekend in Atlantic City was so rough; less for me than for the guys. These guys have been rebuilding this car every time. To bring it home clean after two days of driving is so good, especially with a doubleheader. These guys can go home and have a beer after this one. It feels so good,” Foust told NBC’s Will Christien after the race, his 14th Red Bull GRC final win.

“It’s pretty high-speed here on the front straight, driving into the oval there’s a focus on brake release. Then there’s little potholes to avoid. Then it’s complete ice but there’s one patch of grip you have to get. It’s almost like snow driving. The last corner is all about saving tires. This entire track has something special you have to focus on.”

Chris Atkinson posted his first final round podium of the year in his Subaru with Steve Arpin in fourth. With two races left, Arpin fell to 54 points off Speed in the championship hunt, with all others 130 or more points behind.

On a sunnier Sunday, the result repeated itself with Foust leading Speed home for a second straight 1-2 finish. Speed won two heats and a semifinal earlier with Foust only winning only one heat. Foust closed one more point to a 30-point gap (756-726), but Speed still has a significant margin heading into the single race finale in Los Angeles next month.

RACE TWO REPLAY (via NBC Sports App)

“It’s true – Scott could have swept the title this weekend. We held him off from that, but more importantly we held off [Steve] Arpin from gaining points,” Foust said.

“Finishing 1-2 twice, that puts [Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross] in the championship 1-2 with Scott [Speed] leading. It was just an amazing effort from all the guys – Kyle, Brett, Pricey, Graham, Boomer – everybody put in everything. Especially with Atlantic City, this is sort of pay back for them because they rebuilt the car so many times there. Here, it stayed virtually clean the whole time – I’m happy and can’t tell you what a relief it is. So happy for the whole team.”

Patrik Sandell was third in his Subaru, extending Subaru’s podium streak, while Atkinson incurred a post-race penalty that provisionally knocked him down the order, promoting Austin Cindric to an impressive fourth place finish for Bryan Herta Rallysport in his first Supercars weekend and second race start.

Red Bull GRC concludes its 2017 season in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 14, with coverage slated for 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Pirelli reveals new super-hard, hyper-soft F1 tires in Abu Dhabi

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Pirelli has confirmed it will add two new tires to its range for the 2018 Formula 1 season, launching the ‘super-hard’ and ‘hyper-soft’ compounds in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Pirelli currently makes three of its five dry compounds available to teams for each race weekend, and despite varying selections across the course of the season has struggled to offer much in terms of strategy options, with one-stop races being the norm.

The hope is that the addition of two new tire compounds and a re-alignment of their durability will offer teams more choices in races.

Pirelli confirmed plans to introduce a new softest tire below the current ultra-soft earlier this month, inviting fans to pick a name.

The pink-colored compound will be known as the ‘hyper-soft’ from next year, with the arrival of a new ‘super-hard’ (colored ‘ice blue’) also being confirmed at a launch event in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“Compared to this year, when the tires grew by 25% to fit a brand-new generation of cars, the changes for next year are less far-reaching,” Pirelli head of car racing Mario Isola said.

“However, we’re pleased to present some important innovations with softer and faster compounds across the range: including the new hypersoft.

“We realized that, under the unique circumstances of this year, some of our 2017 compounds were perhaps conservative: the tires we have created for 2018 addresses this, in line with the objective of having around two pit stops at most races.

“However, the fundamental design concept of the tires hasn’t changed next year, preserving the attributes that all drivers have appreciated this year and allowing them to push hard from the start to the finish of each stint.

“The new range consists of faster tires that should lead to even harder and more spectacular racing in 2018.”

Besides the seven dry compounds made available, there will be the two rain tires – wet and intermediate – taking it to a total of nine for the 2018 season.