Nelson Piquet Jr. will not win the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship in his first full season in the series.
Piquet, who was fourth in the standings, suffered a gearbox problem in the second semifinal of tonight’s season finale in Las Vegas and came to a stop off-course early on.
The subsequent seventh-place finish set up Piquet for a trip to the Last Chance Qualifier, where he would’ve had to finish in the Top 4 to advance to the final.
But while his SH Rallycross team worked to repair the gearbox on his No. 07 Ford Fiesta ST, Piquet did not make the start of the LCQ and his bid to win the title ended.
Despite the crushing end to his season, Piquet kept things in perspective.
“We led most of the championship and as a rookie team, as a rookie driver, we never expected that,” he said during tonight’s live-stream broadcast from Vegas. “…It’s been a tough year. We learned a lot and as rookies, we made a lot of mistakes that we’re not gonna repeat next year.
“I don’t have anything guaranteed for next year, whether it’s going to be here or not. But if we stick together next year with this great team, [I’d be] really looking forward to it because I love the series, I love [team owner James] “Sulli” [Sullivan] – great sponsors to deal with. It couldn’t be better.”
Points leader Joni Wiman, second-place Ken Block (-10 points behind Wiman), and third-place Scott Speed (-27 points behind Wiman) will settle the fight for this year’s GRC championship in tonight’s final, which goes off at 10:35 p.m. ET.