In a thrilling final in Round 7 of the Red Bull Global Rallycross season, the No. 07 car finally got on the board.
Nelson Piquet Jr. added a Red Bull GRC win to his incredible 2015 season after a flag-to-flag triumph at Washington, D.C. in the No. 07 HYDROXYCUT/The Vitamin Shoppe Ford Fiesta ST for SH Rallycross.
The win is both Piquet’s and the James “Sulli” Sullivan’ SH Rallycross team’s first in the championship.
Piquet got the jump off the line and held off a race-long attack from Patrik Sandell, in the No. 18 Kobalt Tools Ford Fiesta ST for Bryan Herta Rallysport.
Sandell made slight contact with Piquet at Turn 8 on the second-to-last lap, nudging Piquet’s left rear tire to create a tire rub, however the Brazilian was able to hang on until the finish.
“This goes to Sulli and the team for working so hard,” Piquet told NBC’s Kristen Kenney in victory lane. “This is about the respect we’ve built on the track. This year was the same thing. We had the hit in the back, but it was so good to the finish.
“We just needed to maintain calm,” he added. “We knew we were quick enough to win. We had to pretend nothing was happening. It’s about time.”
Sullivan told Kenney, “We’re super stoked. Been fighting so hard for this. Yeah exactly right. We got everything but a win. We finally got a first.”
Both Piquet and “Sulli” add this to their war chest and trophy case in 2015.
Piquet is the inaugural FIA Formula E Champion; Sullivan’s KVSH Racing team has also won twice in the Verizon IndyCar Series this year with Sebastien Bourdais.
Piquet was in an IndyCar on Thursday at Sonoma for Team Penske, then turned around, headed to the East Coast and delivered this performance in a rebuilt car.
For Sandell, who pressed the entire race, he praised the clean battle he had with Piquet.
“It was a clean final,” Sandell told Kenney. “Me and Nelson are really good friends. We always race clean. I was waiting for a mistake but he was super good. He deserved this win.”
Ken Block finished third in the No. 43 Monster Energy Ford Fiesta ST for Hoonigan Racing Division.
Steve Arpin and Tanner Foust completed the top five.
Block leads rookie Sebastian Eriksson, who finished sixth, by 41 points heading to the doubleheader round in Los Angeles next month. Piquet, with his win, moves up to third in the championship, 68 points back.