Full recap: Block kicks off Red Bull GRC season with win in Fort Lauderdale

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A year ago, Ken Block opened his Red Bull Global Rallycross season on his roof in Barbados.

On Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, he opened his 2015 campaign in victory lane.

The full release from Red Bull GRC is below. Meanwhile, a separate link out video to Block’s win, via Ford Performance, is linked here on MST.

Ken Block backed up his season-ending win in Las Vegas last year with a victory to kick off the 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross season, taking top honors in the season-opening race at the Bahia Mar Resort in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Block held off strong charges from Formula 1 veterans Scott Speed and Nelson Piquet Jr., who completed the podium.

“Racing these two really talented tarmac drivers was really tough!” Block said after the race. “They really pushed me and our team all weekend, and it was a lot of fun. It came down to starts, and I got lucky—I got quick on the starts, was able to put some good times in, and came out with the win. It’s a great way to start the year!”

Block, who finished third in his first heat after an aggressive overtake attempt on Speed put him into the tire barriers, took second place in the second round and converted the front row starting spot into a victory in his semifinal. In the main event, Block used the Kobalt Tools Joker Lap immediately to grab the lead, then extended his gap over the field to take his fourth career Supercar victory.

In GRC Lites, Austin Cindric took a commanding victory in his first race for Olsbergs MSE, winning every on-track session he competed in. The American driver defeated Colombian Alejandro Fernandez and Swede Oliver Eriksson for the crown, heading home with the maximum 56 possible points.

Unofficial results from Red Bull Global Rallycross Fort Lauderdale are as follows:

1. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
2. Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
3. Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
5. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
6. Austin Dyne, #14 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST
7. Steve Arpin, #00 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
8. Victor Gonzalez Jr., #99 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
9. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
10. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
11. Patrik Sandell, #18 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST
12. Joni Wiman, #31 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST

Red Bull Global Rallycross heads to the Circuit of the Americas next for X Games Austin, a non-points, invitational round on the 2015 schedule. The next points-paying event for Red Bull GRC is a doubleheader at Daytona International Speedway on June 19-21.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.