Red Bull GRC: Layout, entry list set for L.A. doubleheader

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A big weekend awaits in La-La-Land for Red Bull Global Rallycross.

In addition to the return of action sports icon (and former NASCAR racer) Travis Pastrana to GRC competition, the series will stage a pair of full-points races on Saturday and Sunday at the Port of Los Angeles. If you recall, the series added a second round in the City of Angels after its Detroit event, originally set for Aug. 2-3, couldn’t come off.

A nine-turn, .586-mile circuit will be the battleground this weekend. Drivers won’t encounter dirt until they hit the right-hand Turn 6, which will also mark the start of the joker.

The dirt jump will be positioned between Turn 6 and 7, but the joker is perhaps the signature feature of this course, as it wraps around the final three corners – making it the longest joker of the 2014 GRC season.

After finishing eighth in last weekend’s inaugural Formula E race in Beijing, Nelson Piquet Jr. is back in his familiar Ford Fiesta this week and holding a 40-point lead over Ken Block in the championship.

Block has been on a tear as of late with three consecutive podium finishes (which includes a Round 5 win at Charlotte), the longest active streak in GRC.

In the last race at Daytona, Block was runner-up behind Rhys Millen, who bagged his first series victory for himself and for Hyundai. However, Millen was penalized 50 championship points and fined $5,000 after his No. 67 Hyundai Veloster was found equipped with speed sensors in post-race inspection. The sensors were deemed as not having given the car a performance advantage.

Both GRC finals from Los Angeles will air LIVE Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m. ET on NBC-TV and NBC Sports Live Extra.

SUPERCARS ENTRY LIST – RED BULL GRC AT LOS ANGELES
00-Steve Arpin, Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada, Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford
07-Nelson Piquet Jr., Brasilia, Brazil, SH Racing Rallycross Ford
11-Sverre Isachsen, Hokksund, Norway, Subaru Rally Team USA
14-Austin Dyne, Los Angeles, Barracuda Racing Ford
18-Patrik Sandell, Ostersund, Sweden, Olsbergs MSE Ford
27-Emma Gilmour, Dunedin, New Zealand, Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing
31-Joni Wiman, Pohja, Finland, Olsbergs MSE Ford
34-Tanner Foust, Dana Point, CA, Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross
43-Ken Block, Park City, UT, Hoonigan Racing Division Ford
67-Rhys Millen, Huntington Beach, CA, Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing
77-Scott Speed, Mt. Holly, NC, Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross
81-Bucky Lasek, Dundalk, MD, Subaru Rally Team USA
199-Travis Pastrana, Annapolis, MD, Subaru Rally Team USA

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).