Photo: Larry Chen/Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull GRC: Arpin wins opening round of Ottawa doubleheader

Leave a comment

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.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
1 Comment

SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).