Red Bull GRC: Foust breaks through in Thompson race one

Photo: Larry Chen/Red Bull Content Pool
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Tanner Foust has become the third different winner in as many races to kick off Red Bull Global Rallycross’ 2017 season, for Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, doing so in race one of the Thompson, Connecticut doubleheader.

Foust joins Sebastian Eriksson (Louisville) and Scott Speed (Memphis) having reached the top step of the podium this season.

WATCH: Full Thompson Race One Replay on NBC

The full report from today’s race is below. Tomorrow’s second race will be at 5 p.m. ET on NBC, as today’s was, with Kevin Lee, Anders Krohn and Will Christien on the call.

Tanner Foust on top. Photo: Ryan DeCosta/NBC

Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross driver Tanner Foust took first place in Round 3 of the 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, becoming the third different Supercar winner in as many events. The former Supercar champion led a 1-2 sweep over teammate Scott Speed, while Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE rookie Mitchell deJong completed the podium.

“On paper, this track looked pretty smooth, but the cars took a beating, so hats off to the VARX team for putting everything together!” said Foust. “In every heat, we were fighting for it. This really is a very cool track—it’s a cool piece of American history to come here on the oldest paved oval in the country. Rallycross has been in New England before, but it’s taken a bit of a break, so it’s nice to see a lot of familiar faces from a few years ago!”

Foust executed a flawless day on Saturday, with the pole position in the morning, three heat wins and a semifinal victory in mid-day, and a flag-to-flag lead in the final. It was his first victory since last September at Evergreen Speedway, and his ninth since joining Volkswagen in the 2014 season.

While Speed found himself shuffled to the middle of the pack at the start, he fought his way back to fourth by the end of the first lap, got around Austin Dyne for third, and then found himself on Mitchell deJong’s back bumper. An almighty battle resulted, with the two-time Supercar champion trailing the 2014 GRC Lites champion for much of the race, but the Memphis winner found a way around to trade spaces on the podium.

In GRC Lites, Cyril Raymond became the third different winner of the season, and the second new race winner in as many races, after taking his own win from pole on Saturday. Christian Brooks took second place to become the new points leader, while Travis PeCoy got the best of a wild battle behind them that saw nearly half the field contend for the podium.

Full Supercar results from Red Bull Global Rallycross New England (I) are as follows:

  1. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross
  2. Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross
  3. Mitchell deJong, #24 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE
  4. Steve Arpin, #00 Loenbro Motorsports
  5. Austin Dyne, #14 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  6. Patrik Sandell, #18 Subaru Rally Team USA
  7. Chris Atkinson, #55 Subaru Rally Team USA
  8. Cabot Bigham, #2 Bryan Herta Rallysport
  9. Oliver Eriksson, #16 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE
  10. Sebastian Eriksson, #93 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE

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.”