Red Bull GRC: Tanner Foust sweeps Phoenix to kick off 2016

Photo: Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross
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It was a dream start to the 2016 Red Bull Global Rallycross season for Tanner Foust and the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park outside Phoenix.

In case you missed today’s coverage on NBCSN, the full event replay is linked here.

Series-issued from the weekend are linked below, in chronological order:

Saturday Round 1

Two-time Red Bull Global Rallycross champion Tanner Foust kicked off the 2016 season with a statement victory at Red Bull GRC Phoenix, the series’ inaugural event at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. The Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross (VARX) driver held off Bryan Herta Rallysport’s Patrik Sandell and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Brian Deegan for the victory.

“I like the track!” Foust said after capturing his record-setting eighth Supercar victory. “It’s a real Jekyll and Hyde kind of a track. You’ve got the road course, where you need to be real buttery smooth, and you’ve got that chaotic gravel when you are coming over the jump with tire stacks at 80 miles per hour. So there is a lot of the fun factor and technical spots!”

VARX dominated the preliminary rounds, with Foust and Scott Speed winning two heats apiece. From there, Foust won the first semifinal over the brand new Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE entry of Joni Wiman, while Speed held off Sandell to win the second semifinal. In the main event, Foust led from flag to flag, withstanding early challenges from Sandell and Speed to establish a comfortable lead. A late-race issue ended Speed’s podium hopes, dropping him from second to fifth.

New manufacturer Honda put both of its Civic Coupes in the main event, with Joni Wiman finishing second in his semifinal and Sebastian Eriksson placing second in the last chance qualifier. Wiman, now in his third year with Olsbergs MSE, earned a sixth-place result in the event.

In GRC Lites, Miki Weckstrom of Olsbergs MSE X Forces took the victory in his first-ever start in the series, holding off DirtFish Motorsports’ Conner Martell and AF Racing’s Christian Brooks, who made a last-lap pass of Alex Keyes. All three claimed their first-ever Lites podium in the event.

Red Bull Global Rallycross Phoenix (I) results are as follows:

  1. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
  2. Patrik Sandell, #18 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST
  3. Brian Deegan, #38 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
  4. Steve Arpin, #00 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
  5. Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
  6. Joni Wiman, #31 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe
  7. Jeff Ward, #07 SH Rallycross/DRR Ford Fiesta ST
  8. Rhys Millen, #67 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
  9. Sebastian Eriksson, #93 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe
  10. Austin Dyne, #14 AD Racing Ford Fiesta ST
  11. Sebastian Saavedra, #77 AD Racing Ford Fiesta

Sunday Round 2

Tanner Foust extended his Red Bull Global Rallycross career win record by taking Sunday’s Red Bull GRC final in Phoenix. Foust, who also won Saturday’s main event, took the ninth victory of his Red Bull GRC career over Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teammate Scott Speed.

“It’s going to be a great season—obviously it’s a great way to start the season for Volkswagen,” the two-time Supercar champion said from the podium. “But different cars have different skills on different tracks, so it’s going to be a mix up. A lot of the new cars out there are extremely fast, and it’s going to be a great season!”

As with Saturday, the Beetles were dominant in the preliminary rounds, with both Foust and Speed sweeping their respective heats and semifinals. Brian Deegan, coming off a third place finish in Saturday’s main event, won the last chance qualifier but only made his way up to sixth in the main event. In the final, Foust beat Speed in a drag race off the line and never looked back with a dominant performance.

New manufacturer Honda took the first podium of its foray into rallycross in only its second race, as Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE driver Sebastian Eriksson placed third. Eriksson, last year’s runner-up, held offSaturday runner-up Patrik Sandell in a thrilling battle that lasted for the entire 10-lap final.

Full results from Red Bull Global Rallycross Phoenix II are as follows:

  1. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
  2. Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
  3. Sebastian Eriksson, #93 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe
  4. Patrik Sandell, #18 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST
  5. Steve Arpin, #00 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
  6. Brian Deegan, #38 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
  7. Austin Dyne, #14 AD Racing Ford Fiesta ST
  8. Jeff Ward, #07 SH Rallycross/DRR Ford Fiesta ST
  9. Rhys Millen, #67 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
  10. Joni Wiman, #31 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Civic Coupe
  11. Sebastian Saavedra, #77 AD Racing Ford Fiesta

2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona: Schedule, TV info, start times, entry lists, notable drivers, more

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The new year brings the start of a new era for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which will open the 2023 schedule with the 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

A new premier class for prototypes is the overriding story entering the 24-hour endurance race that unofficially kicks off the major-league racing season.

The new Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) cars of the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) top category will re-establish a bridge to the 24 Hours of Le Mans while bringing a new layer of engine electrification to IMSA.

With at least a few of the cars on the grid at Daytona also slated to race at Le Mans in June, it’s possible for the first time in decades (since the “Ford vs. Ferrari” battles) to have the same car win the overall title at Daytona and Le Mans.

The GTP category will feature four manufacturers, two of which are new to IMSA’s premier division. Porsche Motorsport (with Team Penske) and BMW (with Rahal Letterman Lanigan) will be fielding LMDh prototypes, joining (now-defunct) DPi category holdovers Acura (Meyer Shank Racing, Wayne Taylor Racing) and Cadillac (Chip Ganassi Racing, Action Express Racing).

Here’s what else you need to know ahead of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener Jan. 29-30 at Daytona International Speedway:


NOTABLE DRIVER ADDITIONS 

The Rolex 24 will feature 10 active drivers from the NTT IndyCar Series, including the IMSA debuts of Team Penske drivers Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin, who will be teamed in an LMP2 entry (teammate Will Power unfortunately had to withdraw from this debut).

Colton Herta will move into the GTP category with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud return with Meyer Shank Racing to defend their overall 2022 Rolex 24 victory. Scott Dixon also returns in the premier category with Chip Ganassi Racing for his 20th Rolex 24 start and third consecutive in the No. 01 Cadillac.

Other IndyCar drivers in the field: Romain Grosjean will make his debut in GTD Pro with Iron Lynx Racing (as a precursor to driving a GTP Lamborghini next year); Devlin DeFrancesco (Rick Ware Racing) and Rinus VeeKay (TDS Racing) are in LMP2; and Kyle Kirkwood will return in GTD with Vasser Sullivan.

Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric also will return, teaming with DeFrancesco in an LMP2 entry for Rick Ware Racing.


CAR COUNT

The Rolex 24 field was capped at 61 cars, matching last year’s field (which was the largest since 2014). The field was capped because of the space limitations for the LMDh cars of GTP in the pits and garages.

Click here for the official 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona entry list.


STARTING LINEUP

Tom Blomqvist captured the first pole position of the GTP era, qualifying defending race winner Meyer Shank Racing in first with the No. 60 ARX-06 Acura that he shares with Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud.

The No. 7 Porsche 963 of Porsche Penske Motorsports will start second.

Click here for the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona starting lineup


RACE BROADCAST

The 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona will be streamed across the NBC Sports AppNBCSports.com and Peacock, which will have coverage of the event from flag to flag.

Broadcast coverage of the race coverage will begin Saturday, Jan. 28 at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC and move to USA Network from 2:30-8 p.m. and then will be exclusively on Peacock and IMSA.TV from 8-10 p.m. Coverage will return to USA Network from 10 p.m. to midnight and then move to Peacock/IMSA.TV until 6 a.m.

From 6 a.m. until noon on Sunday, Jan. 29, Rolex 24 coverage will be available on USA Network. The conclusion of the Rolex 24 will run from noon through 2 p.m. on NBC.

HOW TO WATCH IMSA ON NBC SPORTS: Broadcast schedule for 2023

Other events that will be streamed on Peacock from Daytona during January (all times ET):

Jan. 21: IMSA VP Racing Sports Car Challenge, 2:05 p.m.

Jan. 22: IMSA VP Racing Sports Car Challenge, 12:20 p.m.

Jan. 22: IMSA Rolex 24 qualifying, 1:25 p.m.

Jan. 27: BMW Endurance Michelin Pilot Challenge, 1:45 p.m.


ROLEX 24 COVERAGE FROM NBC SPORTS

Wayne Taylor Racing takes a step up to the next level with Andretti Autosport

Austin Cindric seeks to join legendary club of Rolex 24-Daytona 500 winners

Helio Castroneves recalls “Days of Thunder” moment in 2022 Rolex 24 victory

The “Bus Bros” tackle the “Bus Stop” for Rolex 24 at Daytona debuts

Romain Grosjean adds Rolex 24 at Daytona to his crown jewel career

Tom Blomqvist beats the clock to win Rolex 24 at Daytona pole position

GTP cars make debut in “Gymkhana”-level traffic

Five things to watch in the new GTP class as a golden era of sports cars returns

Cadillac unveils paint schemes for LMDh cars

Austin Cindric, Devlin DeFrancesco, Pietro Fittipaldi teaming up in LMP2

IndyCar drivers in the 61st Rolex 24


ROLEX 24 DAILY SCHEDULE, START TIMES

Here’s a rundown of everything happening at Daytona International Speedway over the last two weeks in January, starting with the Roar test session. Rolex 24 start times and full schedule:

Wednesday, Jan. 18

7 a.m.: GTP garages open

4 p.m.: Non-GTP garages open

4 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship haulers load-in (park only)

6:30 p.m.: Non-GTP garages close

9:30 p.m.: GTP garages close

Thursday, Jan. 19

7 a.m.: Garages, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship haulers open

8:30 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship safety inspection

10 a.m.: Rolex 24 Media Day

2 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge driver and team manager briefing

3 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver and team manager briefing

5:15 p.m.: Track walk

7:30 p.m.: Non-GTP garages close

9:30 p.m.: GTP garages close

Friday, Jan. 20

7 a.m.: Garages open

8:45-9:15 a.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge practice

9:30-10:45 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

1:45-2:15 p.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge practice

2:30-4 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

4:15-6 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice (GTD/LMP3/LMP2 4:15-5:45; 4:30-6: GTD Pro, GTP)

8 p.m.: Non-GTP garages close

9:30 p.m.: GTP garages close

Saturday, Jan. 21

7 a.m.: Garages open

8:40-9:15 a.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge qualifying

9:30-11 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

2:05-2:50 p.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge, Race 1 (streaming on Peacock)

3:10 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

4:30-5:30 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

6:30-8:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

10 p.m.: Garages close

Sunday, Jan. 22

7 a.m.: Garages open

10:15-11:15 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

12:20-1:05 p.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge, Race 2 (streaming on Peacock)

1:25-3 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 qualifying (streaming on Peacock)

8:30 p.m.: Garages close

Wednesday, Jan. 25

6 a.m.: Garages open

7:30-10 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship safety inspection, non-GTP

8 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 load-in

10-11:30 a.m.: Track walk

10 a.m.-noon: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship car photos

11:30 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge team manager briefing

Noon: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team manager briefing

12:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship new driver briefing

Noon-2 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship safety and technical inspection, non-GTP

1:45-2:30 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

2:45-3:45 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

2:30-7:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship safety inspection, GTP only

4-5:30 p.m.: Track walk

6:45 p.m.: Garages close

Thursday, Jan. 26

7 a.m.: Garages open

9-9:30 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

9:45-10:45 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

11:05 a.m.-12:35 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

12:55-1:10 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 qualifying

2:25-3 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge qualifying

3:20-5:05 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice (3:20-5:05: GTD, LMP3, LMP2; 3:35-5:05: GTD Pro, GTP)

5:30-6:15 p.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 1

7:15-9 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

10:15 p.m.: Garages close

Friday, Jan. 27

7 a.m.: Garages open

9:25-9:55 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

10:15-11 a.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 2

10:30 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge driver and team manager briefing

11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

1:45-5:45 p.m.: BMW M Endurance Challenge at Daytona (Michelin Pilot Challenge; streaming on Peacock)

8:45 p.m.: Garages close

Saturday, Jan. 28

6:30 a.m.: Garages open

9:45 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver and team manager briefing

12:30-12:40 p.m.: Rolex 24 engine warmup

1:30-1:40 p.m.: Rolex 24 formation laps

1:40 p.m.: The 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona (starting on NBC; streaming flag to flag on Peacock)

Sunday, Jan. 29

1:40 p.m.: Finish of the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona

7:30 p.m.: Garages close