Ken Block seizes opportunity, wins Red Bull GRC at MCAS New River

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One energy drink-sponsored car’s crash led to another energy drink-sponsored car’s opportunity in the fourth round of the season sponsored by an energy drink.

Ken Block, in the No. 43 Monster Energy Ford Fiesta ST for Hoonigan Racing Division, took his second win in four Red Bull Global Rallycross races this season at the MCAS New River military base in Jacksonville, N.C.

Block seized his opportunity following a restart from a red flag, after an accident for Brian Deegan, in the No. 38 Rockstar Energy Drink Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST, with four laps to go following the Turn 2 right-hand kink on the 0.993-mile circuit.

That brought out the red flag in the eight-lap Supercars final and forced a restart of the order. Patrik Sandell had led 2014 GRC Supercars champion Joni Wiman and Block prior to the red.

After the restart, Block launched better off the line and moved into the lead. He was not challenged over the final four laps and able to secure the victory.

Wiman was due to finish second, which would have been the best finish of the year for the Olsbergs MSE driver, but a mechanical issue resigned him to an eighth place.

It promoted Sandell back to a season-best second in the No. 18 Kobalt Tools Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST, and Nelson Piquet Jr., the newly crowned FIA Formula E champion, to third in the No. 07 HAUS Vaporizer red-white-and-blue SH Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST.

Austin Dyne and Steve Arpin completed the top five finishers in the final.

Wiman’s issue¬†capped off a brutal day for OMSE, as prior points leader Sebastian Eriksson had a left front issue, either a puncture or suspension, and limped home to a ninth place finish, two laps down.

Deegan, in his first Red Bull GRC regular season start of the year (he had run the X Games in Austin), had pace but the heavy accident resigned him to 10th.

Neither of the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross drivers, Scott Speed nor Tanner Foust, made it into the Supercars final after various issues during the day.

Block and Eriksson split the Semifinal wins; Bucky Lasek of Subaru took the Last Chance Qualifier win.

Eriksson had led Block by nine points going into the weekend, but Block’s second win will promote him to the championship lead.

The Red Bull GRC season resumes July 25-26 in Detroit, with Rounds 5 and 6 serving as the series’ second doubleheader round of the season and with Round 6 marking the midpoint of the 2015 campaign.