Joel Eriksson snatched pole position for Saturday’s qualifying race ahead of the Macau Grand Prix after a thrilling fight with McLaren youngster Lando Norris and Ferrari junior Callum Ilott.
Norris headed into the second stage of qualifying on provisional pole after lapping almost a second faster than any other driver in Thursday’s first opening session, and remained in contention early in Q2.
Norris was the first driver to dip into the 2:10s with a time of 2:10.744, only for Eriksson to go 0.024 seconds faster minutes later and snatch pole away.
Despite a later effort to try and reclaim pole, Norris was unable to improve his time, and opted to remain in the pits for the final five minutes of the session after using up his allocated tires.
Ilott was the final driver to put in a serious bid for pole position, falling 0.09 seconds short with his final qualifying lap to sit third on the grid for the qualifying race.
Maximilian Gunther claimed fourth place for Prema Powerteam ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Dan Ticktum, with Mick Schumacher taking P7.
Yuhi Sekiguchi wound up eighth despite a late crash that brought out a red flag, while Sergio Sette Camara and Guanyu Zhou completed the top 10 positions in qualifying.
Saturday’s qualifying race will help form the grid for Sunday’s main event, the 64th Macau Grand Prix.
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.