Red Bull GRC: Arpin wins opening round of Ottawa doubleheader

Photo: Larry Chen/Red Bull Content Pool
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The first driver to two wins in Red Bull Global Rallycross’ 2017 season isn’t from one of the three primary manufacturer efforts.

Instead, it’s privateer Steve Arpin, in the fused and new Loenbro Motorsports Ford Fiesta ST, that is one of the Supercars’ smallest teams and has continued to overachieve.

Arpin, who won his first race of the season in race two at Thompson Raceway Park a couple weeks ago, has now won the first of two races in Red Bull GRC’s maiden trip to Canada, in Ottawa at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Even cooler for Arpin is that he wins in his home country; he was born in Fort Francis, Ontario.

Arpin rocketed away from the start in his No. 00 JCB Ford and was never headed in the 10-lap final.

In one of the two Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross’ Volkswagen Beetle GRCs, Tanner Foust made it through to second in his No. 34 Rockstar Energy car, after using his Joker lap on the last lap to end just 1.445 seconds behind Arpin.

Mitchell DeJong was third in his No. 24 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Honda Civic Coupe, with the past GRC Lites champion making his second Supercars podium appearance. He was third at Thompson, race one.

Chris Atkinson in his No. 55 Subaru and Austin Dyne in his No. 14 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Ford completed an abnormal top-five result, ahead of Sebastian Eriksson, Cabot Bigham and Oliver Eriksson.

Neither Patrik Sandell nor Scott Speed was able to start the final.

Race two of the weekend airs Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on NBC.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”