Red Bull GRC: Scott Speed on adapting to rallycross

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Scott Speed’s career has taken him to very different worlds, but it’s clear that he’s found a home in rallycross.

The ex-Formula One and NASCAR racer has taken to this new discipline rather nicely. In his first Red Bull Global Rallycross outing last year at X Games Brazil, he won the gold medal driving the series’ Star Car.

He would go on to claim another win at Charlotte and finish fifth in the GRC standings despite also committing himself to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series duties with the small Leavine Family Racing team.

This year, his full focus is on GRC and so far, he’s the early frontrunner after back-to-back wins at Barbados and X Games Austin.

So how does this compare to his exploits in F1 and NASCAR?

In a recent interview with Complex Magazine, Speed said that regardless of the car, racing is all about finding the fastest way back to start/finish.

However, GRC does have one key difference.

“The only real difference is four-wheel drive, which makes GRC quite a bit different,” he said. “The four-wheel drive allows you to drive as hard as you want and it fixes a lot of mistakes. You can basically overcome a lot of different problems and keep a car in control that looks like it’s out of control.

“You can basically just point the where where you want and the car will just go there. That’s why those World Rally guys look so impressive going through the trees all sideways.”

As for adapting to the rallycross tracks themselves – compact courses with an array of different surfaces to contend with – Speed says that with the four-wheel drive at his disposal, dirt and tarmac drive relatively similar.

It’s the gravel that makes for, in his words, “kind of an unnatural feel.” Having been brought up in a proper racing background where going forward sideways usually means lost time, Speed has had to learn that going sideways in the gravel is actually a good thing in this form of racing.

“”I’d say that my style out there, if you compare me to a guy like [Andretti Autosport teammate] Tanner [Foust] or Ken Block, is a lot more tidy and looks more in control, which is, I think, better on the dirt and the tarmac,” he said.

“But in the gravel, you actually need to have the car as sideways as you can because the sidewall of the tire digs into the gravel; you’re gaining more grip by adding yaw.”

It may not be what he’s used to, but Speed’s certainly gotten the hang of it as his early-season results can attest.

You can see if Speed goes three-for-three to start the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross championship by watching Volkswagen Rallycross DC this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”