IndyCar teams still full speed ahead on Red Bull GRC prep for 2016

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Most of the Verizon IndyCar Series teams who’ve been in the Red Bull Global Rallycross are in full prep mode ahead of the IndyCar season starting next week in St. Petersburg, but they also aren’t overlooking their respective GRC efforts either.

All of Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, Bryan Herta Rallysport and SH Rallycross are working through their offseason programs ahead of formal team announcements.

Chip Ganassi Racing also stated plans at the end of 2015 to continue into 2016 (team features one and two linked here from November), but is currently focused on all its various other programs in NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA and the FIA WEC. Any announcements of its 2016 program and scale should come later.

Starting with the defending champions, Andretti’s Volkswagen Beetles have gone back to Europe for a tune-up over the winter.

“We haven’t done (testing) any yet,” Andretti Autosport team principal Michael Andretti told NBC Sports.

“We sent the cars back to Europe because they were so beat up from the season. Basically getting back together, and we should be getting going by March sometime.”

Herta, meanwhile, has his Ford Fiesta STs plus a GRC Lites car still in his existing shop.

“We do (the rebuilds) ourselves,” Herta told NBC Sports. “So they’re still going back together in our shop, and the engines are coming back. We’ll start testing there in the next month or so. That season doesn’t start for a while. We have a little bit more time.”

Rather humorously, as Andretti and Herta are partners on the IndyCar side of things, they’ll likely be sworn enemies in the Red Bull GRC paddock.

“That remains separate,” Herta noted. “It’s funny. Michael and I are partners on IndyCar, but we’re mortal enemies in GRC. We’ll hang out together all the time here, but we won’t talk to each other at GRC races!”

Herta said he hopes to have the same format of two Supercars and one Lites car for 2016, although announcements remain a ways off.

“You know me. I tend to hold things back until we’ve got everything in place,” Herta said. “But we’re in good shape for Rallycross.”

James “Sulli” Sullivan of SH Rallycross has confirmed that team’s return for 2016, with further program details likely to come in the next month or so.

“Everything we have going on over there is extremely positive,” Sullivan told NBC Sports. “We will be back 100 percent. It’s a matter of if it’s one car or it’s two.

“Our stance as a team right now, hasn’t changed from where it was last year, we’re only going to do the second car if it is adding value to the overall focus of the organization, which is no longer to win races, but to win a championship.

“We’ve won races there, two years in a row we’ve been in the hunt for the championship and we’ve lost it. So our driver situation is something that’s going to be nailed down and announced in the next 45 days and that’s a good deal. And Jimmy (Vasser) is going to be intimately involved in that program moving forward.”

SH Rallycross has had Nelson Piquet Jr. the last two years, although Andreas Bakkerud filled in for Piquet at last year’s X Games with Piquet unavailable due to his FIA Formula E Championship commitments.

Given there are four IndyCar/GRC weekend conflicts, it’s interesting to see where selected IndyCar personnel will be on those weekends. Andretti noted IndyCar takes precedence, while with multiple team co-owners, Vasser and Sullivan can split races slightly easier.

“IndyCar takes precedence for me because I’m actively involved in the calling of race, so I have to be at them. I fit the other ones in the off weekends,” Andretti said.

“TZ (John Tzouanakis) does a good job. Rob Arnott who does FE, and Roger Griffiths, its in good hands over there. So when I go to those races, I’m not too involved. Here, I directly am.”

“Sulli” added, “The way we’re going into it is we’re going to go wherever we’re needed. But it makes the most sense obviously for us not to both be at one place is the idea.

“So the plan is I’m going to get the KVSH 11 qualified on Saturday (at Indianapolis 500 qualifying, May 21), jump on a plane and get to Phoenix and run the first two rounds there and probably miss the second day of Indy 500 qualifying. As far as the other two (races), we haven’t figured that out yet. That’s as far as we’ve gotten.”

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Seattle


The final results from the Monster Energy Supercross race in Seattle suggests the season is turning into a two-rider battle as Eli Tomac scored his sixth win of the season to tie Cooper Webb for the points’ lead and Chase Sexton crashed in yet another race.

Tomac downplayed the neck strain that caused him to lose the red plate for two weeks, but without that holding him back, it would appear it might have been a bigger problem than he admitted. Despite finishing on the podium in Detroit, Tomac has not shown the late-race strength everyone has come to expect. He was in a slump after scoring a season-worst in Indianapolis and described his sixth win as a “bounce back”.

With this win, Tomac tied James Stewart for second on the all-time list with 50 career Supercross victories. Six rounds remain and there is no sign that Tomac is slowing down. Jeremy McGrath’s 72 wins remains untouchable, for the moment at least.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

Cooper Webb was disappointed with second-place, but he recognized the Supercross results at Seattle could have been much worse. He rode in fifth for the first nine laps of the race, behind Tomac and Sexton. When Sexton crashed from the lead and Tomac took the top spot, Webb knew he could not afford to give up that many points and so he dug deep and found enough points to share the red plate when the series returns in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona for a Triple Crown event.

Justin Barcia scored his third podium of the season, breaking out of a threeway tie of riders who have not been the presumed favorites to win the championship. Barcia scored the podium without drama or controversy. It was his fourth consecutive top-five and his 10th straight finish of eighth or better.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Jason Anderson kept his perfect record of top-10s alive with a fourth-place finish. Tied for fourth in the standings and 49 out of the lead, his season has been like a death of a thousand cuts. He’s ridden exceptionally well, but the Big Three have simply been better.

Sexton rebounded from his fall to finish fifth. He entered the race 17 points out of the lead and lost another five in Seattle. Mistakes have cost Sexton 22 points in the last three races and that is precisely how far he is behind Tomac and Webb. Unless those two riders bobble, this deficit cannot overcome.

The rider who ties Anderson for fourth in the points, Ken Roczen finished just outside the top five in sixth after he battled for a podium position early in the race.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

The 250 West riders got back in action after four rounds of sitting on the sideline and Jett Lawrence picked up where he left of: in Victory Lane. Lawrence now has four wins and a second-place finish in five rounds. One simply doesn’t get close to perfection than that.

Between them, the Lawrence brothers have won all but two races though 11 rounds. Jett failed to win the Anaheim Triple Crown and Hunter Lawrence failed to win the Arlington Triple Crown format in the 250 East division. In two weeks, the series has their final Triple Crown race in Glendale. When he was reminded of this from the top of the Seattle podium, Jett replied, “oof”.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

RJ Hampshire finished second in the race and is second in the points. This is fourth time in five rounds that Hampshire finished second to Lawrence. If not for a crash-induced 11th-place finish in the Arlington Triple Crown, he would be much closer in the points standings. With that poor showing, he is 23 points behind Lawrence.

Cameron McAdoo made a lot of noise in his heat. Riding aggressively beside Larwence, the two crashed in the preliminary. McAdoo could never seem to get away from Hampshire in the Main and as the two battled, the leader got away. It would have been interesting to see how they would have raced head-to-head when points were on the line.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

The Supercross results in Seattle were kind to a couple of riders on the cusp of the top five. Enzo Lopes scored his second top-five and fourth top-10 of the season after crossing the finish line fourth in Seattle.

Tying his best finish of the season for the third time, Max Vohland kept his perfect record of top-10s alive. Vohland is seventh in the points.

2023 Results

Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 10: Chase Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s