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