Red Bull GRC: Whitten set for Supercars debut in LA

Photo: Louis Yio/Red Bull Content Pool
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Tanner Whitten will step up from Red Bull Global Rallycross’ GRC Lites division into Supercars for the season finale at the Port of LA this week.

See the release below for more information.

SH Rallycross/DRR announced today that Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites driver Tanner Whitten will be promoted to drive in the RBGRC Supercar division this weekend for both season-ending events at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, CA.

Whitten, 23, will fill-in for Nelson Piquet Jr. and pilot the #07 WIX Filters Ford Fiesta ST for SH Rallycross/DRR on October 8, and the #07 MetRX Ford Fiesta ST on October 9. A native of Illinois, Whitten will become the first GRC Lites driver to be promoted to a full-time Supercar team in the same season that he ran in Lites.

“We are pleased to announce that Tanner will be driving the SH Rallycross/DRR car in Los Angeles,” said Dennis Reinbold, co-owner of SH Rallycross/DRR. “The opportunity presented itself with Nelson having a Formula E conflict, and we felt this was the perfect opportunity to promote a young, deserving driver up to Super Cars. We look forward to a successful weekend for both the team and our sponsors, WIX Filters and MET-Rx.”

One of the inaugural Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites test drivers in 2012, Whitten has had an impressive Lites career. He made his RBGRC Lites debut in 2015 making 12 starts finishing on the podium three times with one win and five heat race victories and a top-five spot in the standings. For 2016, he responded by earning three more podiums including a win, seven heat race victories and three straight poles. During his Lites career, Whitten has made a total of 16 starts with six podium performances including two finals wins and 12 heat victories.

“I want to thank everyone in the SH Rallycross/DRR organization for this opportunity,” said Whitten. “It is an honor to be working with the team for the season finale. Los Angeles is an amazing location to make my Supercar debut and I feel humbled to be competing at the highest level of the sport.”

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.