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Red Bull GRC: Team seasons to date heading to Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS – The Red Bull Global Rallycross season concludes this week in Las Vegas, bringing to an end a season that has stretched just over five months since the opening round in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. at the end of May.

Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross will win the Supercars driver’s championship, with Scott Speed and Tanner Foust the only two drivers mathematically eligible to win the title.

Here’s theirs, and the rest of the teams’ seasons-to-date heading into the final round:

VOLKSWAGEN ANDRETTI RALLYCROSS

  • 41-Scott Speed (1st, 412 points, two wins), 34-Tanner Foust (2nd, 376, three)

In the team’s first full season with the VW Beetle, they’ve found consistency to match pace, particularly in the second half of the season. Of the team’s five wins in the previous 11 races this year, the last four have come consecutively at the Los Angeles (Speed) and Barbados (Foust) doubleheaders. Foust can overtake Speed to win his third GRC title but he’ll need a bit of help to do so.

OLSBERGS MSE

  • 93-Sebastian Eriksson (3rd, 351, one), 31-Joni Wiman (8th, 316, best finish third)

The veteran Ford Fiesta squad hasn’t quite dominated this year. Eriksson has been a revelation with a win earlier this year in Daytona, while Wiman heads into his final race as defending champion, still in search of his first career Supercars final win.

SH RALLYCROSS

  • 07-Nelson Piquet Jr. (4th, 351, one)

Piquet finally broke through in Washington, D.C. for his first GRC win of his career but has endured a roller-coaster season. Fifth and third in Barbados marked the first time he banked back-to-back top-fives all year.

HOONIGAN RACING DIVISION

  • 43-Ken Block (5th, 338, three)

Block started hot with three wins in the first five finals, but has been in a mini-slump since Detroit race two. He hasn’t banked a podium since D.C. and has failed to advance to the finals in two of the last four races.

BRYAN HERTA RALLYSPORT

  • 18-Patrik Sandell (6th, 326, one), 14-Austin Dyne (9th, 255, best finish second)

Sandell has been fast but unlucky for most of the season, while Dyne’s quick start has perhaps inadvertently coincided with the change in livery from a primarily yellow, orange and green Castrol GTX MAGNATEC livery to a black, Cuttwood e-liquid livery. Herta’s team concludes its first season in the series this week.

CHIP GANASSI RACING 

  • 00-Steve Arpin (7th, 318, best finish third), 38-Brian Deegan (10th, 195, best finish second)

CGR looks to conclude its first season in GRC with its first win. Arpin seeks first podium since Daytona, while Deegan was second in L.A. race two.

SUBARU RALLY TEAM USA

  • 11-Sverre Isachsen (11th, 133, best finish fourth), 81-Bucky Lasek (12th, 71, best finish, seventh), 75-David Higgins (no final round)

Nightmare season for Subaru has included a couple missed rounds and only a handful of final round appearances, with no podiums. Three-car lineup hopes to play spoiler in Las Vegas.

Pat Moro (No. 59 PMR Motorsports Chevrolet Sonic) rounds out the field of 14 Supercars in Las Vegas, and like Higgins, seeks to make his first final round appearance in Vegas.

2014 at LAS VEGAS

Ken Block concluded the 2014 season with a win, while Joni Wiman emerged at the head of a several-driver scrap to secure the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross Supercars championship (Wiman reflected on the season and what’s next after the fact).

FINAL RESULTS

43-Ken Block
31-Joni Wiman
81-Bucky Lasek
77-Scott Speed
11-Sverre Isachsen
34-Tanner Foust
27-Emma Gilmour
00-Steve Arpin
38-Brian Deegan
18-Patrick Sandell

LCQ RESULTS

11-Sverre Isachsen
38-Brian Deegan
34-Tanner Foust
27-Emma Gilmour
59-Pat Moro
14-Austin Dyne
67-Rhys Millen
07-Nelson Piquet Jr.

Mario Andretti says Colton Herta could be next American star in F1

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Mario Andretti’s last Formula One victory is also the last by an American driver in more than 42 years on the international open-wheel road racing series.

If you had told Andretti that while he was celebrating on the Grand Prix of the Netherlands podium on Aug. 27, 1978 at the Vandzoort circuit, he wouldn’t have believed it.

“Absolutely not,” Andretti told Kyle Petty during the most recent “Coffee With Kyle” episode (video above). “It’s a shame. Somehow we have so much talent here, and either there’s no invitation or something there. But I think it’s time to give some of this young talent that, in my opinion, is absolutely capable.”

The Dutch GP was the last of Andretti’s 12 victories in F1 and came during his championship season. No one since has come close to matching his success in F1.

Mario Andretti drives his Lotus-Ford to victory in the 1978 Grand Prix of the Netherlands (Bernard Cahier/Getty Images).

Andretti’s son, Michael, took a full-time ride with McLaren in 1993 but left with three races remaining in a season marred by crashes and mechanical problems.

Scott Speed was the last American to run a full F1 season in 2006, and Alexander Rossi made the most recent F1 start by a U.S. driver in 2015. Rossi has said he has no desire to return to racing in Europe after winning the 2016 Indianapolis 500 and becoming an IndyCar championship contender.

But Mario Andretti believes Andretti Autosport has another rising star with F1-caliber ability.

“Colton Herta is one that comes to mind,” Mario Andretti said. “As a young lad, his dad sent him to Europe, he was doing Formula 3, and he knows most of the circuits there. He’s trained. He’s showed in his rookie season and won some premium races at COTA (and Laguna Seca), beat two of the very best Indy has to offer (in) Will Power and Scott Dixon.

“This is one kid I’d love to see him get a break over there to fly the U.S. colors again.”

Herta, 20, seems interested in exploring an F1 leap over the next few years. After winning Sept. 13 at Mid-Ohio from the pole position (his third career victory in the NTT IndyCar Series), the No. 88 Dallara-Honda driver is ranked fourth in the standings in his sophomore year and regarded as one of the series’ top prospects.

Herta recently told RACER.com “I’d love to give Formula 1 a crack” but said he also would be happy driving in IndyCar and IMSA.

A naturalized U.S. citizen who told Petty about spending several years with his family in an Italian refugee camp before coming to America, Mario Andretti said F1 brought an enormous sense of patriotic pride.

“Formula One is like the Olympics in a sense,” he said. “You’re in a different country, a different continent. When you earn that highest step of the podium, they play your national anthem. That’s when you take nothing for granted. You feel like I’m representing my country, and the proudest moments are those.

“I’d just like to see some other American drivers experience that. It’s time.”

Mario Andretti with four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton before the Nov. 22, 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).

During the “Coffee With Kyle” conversation, Andretti also discussed:

–His versatility as a winner in IndyCar, sports cars, NASCAR and Formula One;

–His 1967 Daytona 500 victory and how he enjoyed racing with crew chief Jake Elder at the famed Holman-Moody team;

Mario Andretti Colton Herta
Mario Andretti and Kyle Petty saluted “The King” by wearing their Richard Petty-style hats during the latest “Coffee With Kyle” (NBCSN).

–Why he delayed his entry to F1 for a few years because of his earnings power in IndyCar. “I always say I’d race for free, but at the same time, you’re thinking of family and the future,” he said. “It was in the back of your mind that you can’t give up the earning power of IndyCar. That kept me from going full time in Formula One, but I always said that sometime in my career, I’d have to devote a period to Formula One.”

–On what it was like racing in an era when driver deaths were more prevalent. “If you’re going to do this, you’re not going to dwell on those negatives,” Andretti said. “There’s no way. You knew it was present. Especially in the ‘60s at the beginning of the season at the drivers meetings, you couldn’t help but look around and say, ‘I wonder who is not going to be here at the end of the season.’ We’d lose four to five guys. In ’64, we lost six guys.

“It’s something if you dwell on that, you’re going to take on a different profession. It’s a desire and love to want to drive that overcame all that and then the confidence it’s not going to happen to me. And then you pray.”

Watch the full “Coffee With Kyle” episode in the video above or by clicking here.

Mario Andretti looks on before the 103rd Indianapolis 500 on May 26, 2019 (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).