Los Angeles – Rounds 8 & 9 of the Red Bull Global Rallycross season were contested in the beautiful setting of the Port of Los Angeles. However, it was no day at the beach for the Bryan Herta Rallysport team.
Friday practice presented a number of handling challenges for both Patrik Sandell and Austin Dyne. Both cars struggled to get a handle on the track that was essentially and oval inside another oval track ~with the exception of one slow righthand corner. Overnight, the BHR team made radical changes to both cars in an effort to improve their performance.
Saturday, Sandell raced well: finishing second in both heats and winning his semi-final. Starting anywhere but on the inside was difficult all weekend, and Sandell lined up second in the final. On the start of the final, he slotted into third and ten laps later secured his fourth podium in the last five races.
Sunday, the Kobalt Tools team found more speed in qualifying, but the competition was tighter too. Sandell finished third in his heat and fifth in his semi-final, meaning he’d have to qualify for the final through the LCQ. Sandell easily won the LCQ and would start 7th in the final. Dodging contact on the start, Sandell moved to fourth through the ten lap race. And with Sunday’s fourth place finish, the Kobalt Tools team moved to third in the points.
Patrik Sandell on the LA Event:
“It’s been kind of a hard weekend for us. We didn’t get the car where it needed to be all weekend. We’ve been kind of spoiled the past few races being the fastest car out there for a while now. So, I was very happy with third yesterday and was very close to getting another third today. It’s never good to be outside the podium, but it was very good to get a fourth from qualifying for the final via the LCQ (last chance qualifier).”
“Now the points championship looks better than it did before this weekend. The Kobalt Tools team is definitely in the fight for this championship with three races to go, so that’s what we will bring from this race.”
The Cuttwood E-Cig Liquids team improved the performance of the car on Saturday and were poised to make the final until the transmission broke in the semi. The team worked valiantly to replace it; however, ran out of time before the LCQ.
Sunday, the No. 14 car was even faster, but so was the competition. Racing hard in the final lap of the LCQ, Dyne missed the final by about one-tenth of a second.
Austin Dyne on the LA Event:
“It was a tough weekend all around. The handling was way off on Friday, and we made a lot of big changes. The car was better on Saturday, and we probably would have made the final if the gearbox hadn’t broken in the Semi-Final. The Cuttwood team thrashed as hard as they could, but there wasn’t enough time to change gearboxes between the Semi and LCQ.”
“On Sunday, the we made some more changes to the car and it was way better. The racing was very tight, but we again were in the LCQ and there were nine cars fighting for four spots. We were close, I got 100 percent out of the car, but we came up just a bit short.”
The River Racing GRC Lites team with Collete Davis made steady progress throughout the weekend. On Saturday, she finished eighth in the final after a tight battle with the #21 car. Sunday, Davis was running competitive and looked poised for a top five finish until a spec part on the shift linkage broke.
Collete Davis on the LA Event:
“Rough weekend, with some minor mechanical problems that always crept up at the wrong times. We were making steady progress all weekend with the River Racing car, and I think we would have finished strong in Sunday’s final if the shift linkage hadn’t broken. So, on to Barbados.”