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Red Bull GRC: Las Vegas finale notes, entries, track map, event primer

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This week, the Red Bull Global Rallycross season comes to a conclusion in Las Vegas, for both the Supercars and GRC Lites.

Andretti Autosport – as Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross – will win the championship either way, as Scott Speed leads Tanner Foust by 36 points going into the 12th and final round of 2015.

Here’s what’s on tap, or other items of note, going into the final round of the season:

POINTS BREAKDOWN

While the Andretti pair have the championship locked down, second to eighth still has a wide range of potential variation from the points going into the race. Here’s the full breakdown, via the GRC website.

TRACK MAP

The venue for the finale is the Village Lot of the Las Vegas Strip. It’ll be a 0.814-mile course (0.770 when taking the Kobalt Tools Joker Lap), with a long front straight, a difficult and corner-heavy dirt section and a double-apex right-hander back onto the front straight.

GRCvegastrack

ENTRY LISTS

A 14-car Supercars field is its biggest of the season. There’s three Subarus (David Higgins joins full-season drivers Sverre Isachsen and Bucky Lasek), and Pat Moro’s Chevrolet Sonic joining the usual full-season 12 cars.

Meanwhile in GRC Lites, the Buhl Sport Detroit team debuts, Olsbergs MSE adds three new cars, and Rhys Millen Racing adds two new cars with drivers TBA. That produces a 14-car Lites field, as well.

The Supercar entry list is as follows:

No. Driver Hometown Team
00 Steve Arpin Fort Frances, ON Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
07 Nelson Piquet Jr. Brasilia, BRA SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
11 Sverre Isachsen Hokksund, NOR Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
14 Austin Dyne Los Angeles, CA Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST
18 Patrik Sandell Ostersund, SWE Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST
31 Joni Wiman Pohja, FIN Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
34 Tanner Foust Denver, CO Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
38 Brian Deegan Omaha, NE Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
41 Scott Speed Mt. Holly, NC Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
43 Ken Block Park City, UT Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
59 Pat Moro Dublin, OH PMR Motorsports Chevrolet Sonic
75 David Higgins Trefeglwys, WAL Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
81 Bucky Lasek Dundalk, MD Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
93 Sebastian Eriksson (R) Hagfors, SWE Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST

The GRC Lites entry list is as follows:

No. Driver Hometown Team
07 Collete Davis (R) San Francisco, CA River Racing
4 Augie Lerch Tucson, AZ Buhl Sport Detroit
15 Tanner Whitten (R) Rochester, IL DirtFish Motorsports
16 Oliver Eriksson Osmo, SWE Olsbergs MSE
24 Miles Maroney (R) Topanga, CA Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
28 Gustavo Menezes (R) Los Angeles, CA Olsbergs MSE
42 Nur Ali (R) Trophy Club, TX AF Racing
51 Sandra Hultgren (R) Charlottenberg, SWE Olsbergs MSE
61 Alex Keyes (R) Folsom, CA Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
77 Austin Cindric Mooresville, NC Olsbergs MSE
89 Andreas Wernersson (R) Kvanum, SWE Olsbergs MSE
126 Alejandro Fernandez Bogota, COL AF Racing
TBA TBA TBA Rhys Millen Racing
TBA TBA TBA Rhys Millen Racing

LIVE STREAMING ON RED BULL TV

With the abnormal Tuesday/Wednesday schedule for the finale, the usual same day, close to live NBC show changes a bit this weekend.

Live coverage of the race will take place via Red Bull TV, starting at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET) on Wednesday. Toby Moody and Ricky Johnson will call the race from the booth, with Will Christien in the pits.

NBCSN broadcasts will be as follows:

  • Supercar final, Sunday, November 8, 3:30 p.m. PT, 6:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN
  • GRC Lites final, Wednesday, November 11, 1 p.m. PT, 4 p.m. ET, NBCSN

TONY COCHRANE JOINS AS SPECIAL ADVISOR

Veteran motorsports executive Tony Cochrane, the former Executive Chairman of the V8 Supercars Series from 1996 until 2012, when he sold the business for a $300 million plus valuation, has joined Red Bull Global Rallycross as a Special Advisor to the Board. He serves as Director of International Entertainment Consulting (iEC).

“Having access to Tony’s deep experience in managing one of the world’s premier motorsports series will be a great asset to the series,” Red Bull Global Rallycross CEO Colin Dyne said in a release. “He is a true innovator, which perfectly compliments the GRC series as we continue to disrupt the traditional motorsports landscape.”

VEGAS SCHEDULE

There’s on-track activity from about 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday (practice only), and from 11:10 a.m. to when the gates open to the general viewing public at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The schedule below, on Wednesday, is a list of sessions after the gates open to the general public:

Wednesday, November 4
  • 3:40 PM // Supercar Heats 2A-2B
  • 4:20 PM // Lites Heats 2A-2B
  • 5:15 PM // Driver Introductions
  • 5:55 PM // Supercar Semifinals
  • 6:35 PM // Lites Last Chance Qualifier
  • 7:00 PM // Supercar Last Chance Qualifier
  • 7:25 PM // Lites Final
  • 8:00 PM // Supercar Final

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”