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.

Conor Daly honors friend killed Saturday amid Indianapolis unrest

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IndyCar driver Conor Daly posted a poignant tribute to Chris Beaty, a former Indiana University football player and Indianapolis business owner who was killed Saturday amid protests and rioting in the city.

Daly said he got to know Beaty, who owned an event and marketing promotions company, five years ago when he was organizing Indianapolis 500 afterparties.

Daly annually had been involved in Beaty’s parties since then and said Beaty helped get him home earlier this year when Daly’s blood sugar crashed while at an event.

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“The world lost a tremendous person. RIP Chris Beaty,” wrote Daly, who also tweeted “The violence has to stop.”

According to the Indianapolis Star, Beaty died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds during Saturday night’s unrest in downtown Indianapolis. It’s unclear if the shooting was tied to the protests.

Graham Rahal also posted about his interaction with Beaty.

Daly, Rahal and the rest of the IndyCar Series will return to action Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway (8 p.m. ET, NBC).