GRC to wrap season at legendary Lydden Hill, birthplace of rallycross racing

Photo courtesy Lydden Hill
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Even though the 2018 Red Bull Global Rallycross season is still three months away, the series is already thinking ahead to the season finale in late October.

To that end, GRC announced Tuesday that the last two rounds of the season – and the eighth race overall – will be held Oct. 27-28 at Lydden Hill in Kent, England.

Acknowledged as the birthplace of rallycross racing, the mile-long Lydden Hill is one of the most well-known and challenging courses for rally racing in the world.

In addition to regular competitors on the GRC circuit, series officials announced Tuesday in a media release that there will be “a number of select ‘wildcard’ entries as the UK takes on the USA for the first time in Red Bull GRC history.”

“Bringing Red Bull Global Rallycross to Lydden Hill’s historic venue makes perfect sense for the series’ long-awaited return to Europe,” said Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne. “Our teams and drivers are looking forward to battling it out for the championship on the circuit where the sport first began, so fans will be sure to see some of the most intense racing of the year over this double-header weekend.”

This will mark the GRC’s return to Europe since its last appearance across the Atlantic Ocean in 2013.

Among series regulars expected to take part include prior Lydden Hill race winner Tanner Foust, as well as three-time defending GRC series champion Scott Speed.

“Lydden has been at the forefront of rallycross for more than 50 years and we’ve invested in the sport throughout that time,” Lydden Hill owner and former rallycross racer Pat Doran said. “It’s fitting therefore that the GRC’s return to Europe is here, where rallycross fans will get the opportunity to see the best GRC has to offer, including the series’ signature 70ft table top jump, on our purpose-built rallycross track.

“We always receive great support from the motorsport fraternity, and I’m sure the fans will be out in force once again as we pull out all the stops to ensure the GRC season-finale is a sell-out success.”

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III