Scott Speed defends his X Games Gold Medal in Red Bull Global Rallycross

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Today’s X Games at Circuit of the Americas in Austin¬†may not be a points-paying round for the Red Bull Global Rallycross, but it is one of the championship’s signature events.

And for the second consecutive year, Scott Speed of Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross has earned the X Games Gold Medal.

Brian Deegan, in his first start of the season for Chip Ganassi Racing’s new rallycross team, CGR Rallycross, battled OMSE’s Sebastian Eriksson, a Red Bull GRC rookie, to kick off the race.

But Speed, in the No. 41 Shark Week Volkswagen Beetle for VARX, got into medal contention after SH Rallycross substitute driver Andreas Bakkerud spun out of contention.

Speed was past Eriksson by the halfway point and able to pull away from there. CGR’s other driver, Steve Arpin, was able to make it into second with Eriksson holding off Deegan for third and the final podium position.

It gives Speed his first win of the season after winning three points-paying races, plus X Games, in 2014.

“It was a crazy final race, definitely the most gratifying of my career from the fact that it just took so much work, not only from myself, but from the whole Volkswagen Andretti team,” Speed said.

“I’m sure the show for the X Games fans was amazing; I know I cannot wait to get back home and watch it. It was a true testament to the Beetle because it took a beating out there.

“Ideally it would have been nice to just get through Turn 1 on the inside and just check away from the field, but that didn’t happen. I’d much rather win X Games Gold that way, it was a dog fight and when you are able to close on the win after such a battle is an incredible feeling.”

And, for good measure, he won in 2013 at the X Games, too.

It also gives Andretti a win over Ganassi for the second straight week. Call it a reach, but Andretti Autosport banked its first Verizon IndyCar Series win of the year a week ago Saturday in Detroit with Carlos Munoz winning the race and the highest-placed Ganassi driver, Scott Dixon, in fifth place.

Ganassi himself, meanwhile, seemed over the moon with Arpin bringing his Ford Fiesta home in second in only his second race with the team.

As Ganassi is set for his own Triple Crown weekend, with races in Red Bull GRC, IndyCar and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, I coined a term on Twitter to describe his weekend.

As for Red Bull GRC, its next event is a return to points-paying status, at Daytona June 20-21. That will be live at 2 p.m. ET, Sunday June 21, on NBC.

Unofficial results are linked below:

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).