Red Bull GRC: Series confirms Ottawa for Canadian date in June

Photo: Larry Chen/Red Bull Content Pool
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Red Bull Global Rallycross has confirmed its Canadian date, which was listed as a TBA on the schedule release earlier this year. The series will visit the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa for a doubleheader on June 17-18.

The full release from the series is below:

For the first time in its seven-year history, Red Bull Global Rallycross will head to Canada for a championship event in 2017. On Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18, Red Bull GRC will visit Ottawa, the country’s capital, for two rounds of action at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. The event is part of the Ottawa 2017 calendar, a year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.

“Ottawa represents a perfect fit for Red Bull GRC as we return to international competition in 2017,” said Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne. “We’ve been fortunate to see many Canadian fans at our events in the United States over the years, and we’re looking forward to bringing our racing formula north for the very first time, and to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. As Ottawa 2017 celebrates the 150th anniversary of Canada, we can’t think of a better way to join the celebration than by staging an event in the nation’s capital.”

The museum is easily accessible off of the Sir George Etienne Cartier Parkway, with the double header event utilizing portions of the Rockcliffe Airport. The course will feature long straightaways and wide-open corners, allowing the 600-horsepower Supercars to reach top speed. The paved main course and Joker Lap will merge leading into the dirt section, just before cars fly over the finish line on the series’ signature 70-foot jump. With grandstands set throughout the dirt section and up to the finish, fans will be up close to some of the most exciting moments of the 2017 season.

This year, as Canada celebrates its sesquicentennial, a record number of Canadians and visitors will gather in the nation’s capital to join in the festivities planned throughout 2017. Ottawa 2017 is presenting 12 full months of big, bold and immersive experiences that will complement national celebrations and annual events and festivals. Residents and visitors from Canada and abroad are invited to explore Canada’s history and culture through vibrant events that will spark the imagination and inspire for the future.

“As the nation’s capital, we’re happy to welcome this exciting event to Canada for the first time. Red Bull Global Rallycross will thrill participants and viewers across the country and around the world, while showcasing our city in a new and dynamic way, said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “In support of Ecology Ottawa’s One Million Trees project and to further support this important legacy of the sesquicentennial year, the series’ organizers have committed to planting 10,000 trees in Ottawa.”

“Red Bull Global Rallycross will be yet another legacy of the Ottawa 2017 celebrations, with the opportunity for the event to return in subsequent years. It’s one of the bold new events we are helping to bring to Canada’s capital with the support of partners like CIBC and Ottawa Tourism. We’re equally happy to engage our federal partners at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum to showcase this important institution on an international scale,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau.

Featuring the sport’s biggest stars and factory-supported race teams, Red Bull Global Rallycross has a long and storied history of international events and competitors. In 2013, it became the first rallycross series to visit three continents in a single season; last year, Supercar drivers represented 10 different countries, including Canada. Fort Frances, Ontario native Steve Arpin was among last year’s five race winners and is expected to join international stars like Tanner Foust, Scott Speed, Chris Atkinson, and many others.

 

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”