Red Bull GRC Returns to Seattle

The Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship Series returns to the Pacific Northwest this weekend, and once again large crowds of spectators are expected.  Two years ago Red Bull GRC was hosted at the DirtFish Rally School in Snoqualmie, Washington just 30 minutes east of Seattle.  The combined promotional efforts of Red Bull GRC, Subaru, and DirtFish brought in a record sold out crowd that was multiple times what other venues had seen.  It proved that there is a thirst for motor racing, especially anything with rally in the name, in the upper corners of the continental US.

 

This time the venue is unfortunately not the DirtFish Rally School (which many including myself have stated as the best multi-surface location used to date), but instead is at the Evergreen Motorsports Park northeast of Seattle. Evergreen’s primary track is a 5/8 mile banked outer oval that was used in NASCAR for many years back in the day.  Today the track has been transformed for multi-purpose racing featuring the bigger outer oval, 2 smaller inner ovals, a figure-eight track, a drag strip, and can be converted to a 3/4 mile road course.  Not quite the natural terrain we saw at DirtFish Rally School, but the track does offer a lot of optional configurations to make an interesting race course.

grc_evergreen_2016

Red Bull GRC’s 0.791 mile course design appears to initially follow one of the banked ovals before diving into the infield where the track will transition to dirt/gravel.  And if this picture is correct, this is some of the best uses of dirt of the series all season.  The normal lap offers lots of dirt in (GASP!) the corners!  Yes, indeed dirt in corners, something the series has lacked a bit in the past.  This should offer some interesting challenges with setups as teams find the best compromise between the tarmac and dirt surfaces.  To add some extra excitement, the great equalizer of rain showers is in the forecast as well.

 

Rally is of course big in the Pacific NW and Subaru Rally Team USA is capitalizing on that with their entries.  Instead of the usual suspects of Sverre Isachsen and Bucky Lasek, SRTUSA have entered newcomer and former Subaru factory WRC driver Chris “Atko” Atkinson, and 6 times consecutive Rally America Champion David Higgins, as their two drivers.  The rest of the entry list are the usual supercar subjects.  Who will have the edge in the slippery conditions this weekend?

SUPERCAR

No. Driver Name Hometown Team
00 Steve Arpin Fort Frances, ON Chip Ganassi Racing
07 Nelson Piquet Jr. Brasilia, BRA SH Rallycross/DRR
14 Austin Dyne Los Angeles, CA AD Racing
18 Patrik Sandell Ostersund, SWE Bryan Herta Rallysport
31 Joni Wiman Pohja, FIN Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE
34 Tanner Foust Dana Point, CA Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross
38 Brian Deegan Omaha, NE Chip Ganassi Racing
41 Scott Speed Mt. Holly, NC Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross
55 Chris Atkinson Bega, AUS Subaru Rally Team USA
75 David Higgins Trefeglwys, WAL Subaru Rally Team USA
93 Sebastian Eriksson Hagfors, SWE Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE

 

And of course we don’t wan to leave out the GRC Lites drivers.  Often this is where the closest racing action is seen as all these young drivers compete in identical 300HP 4WD mid-engined machinery.

GRC LITES

No. Driver Name Hometown Team
2 Cabot Bigham (R) Mill Valley, CA Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
3 Travis PeCoy (R) Yorba Linda, CA AF Racing
16 Oliver Eriksson Osmo, SWE Olsbergs MSE X Forces
21 Conner Martell Colchester, VT DirtFish Motorsports
24 Tanner Whitten Rochester, IL Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
25 James Rimmer (R) Sammamish, WA DirtFish Motorsports
44 Christian Brooks (R) Santa Clarita, CA AF Racing
45 Miki Weckstrom (R) Espoo, FIN Olsbergs MSE X Forces
53 Cole Keatts (R) Lewiston, ID Olsbergs MSE X Forces
54 Jon Bennett (R) Fort Knox, KY CORE autosport
56 Scott Anderson (R) Fort Collins, CO CORE autosport
126 Alejandro Fernandez Bogota, COL AF Racing

 

The first practice and heat races start today with the main event being held tomorrow.  Tickets for the race are available here: Red Bull GRC Seattle Tickets

 

You can also follow all the action on Red Bull GRC’s Twitter and Facebook pages

The televised Supercar event will air Sunday, September 18th on NBC at 10:30 AM Pacific Time and on Red Bull TV at 11:00 AM Pacific.

GRC Lites race will be aired on NBCSN September 22nd at 2:30 Pacific.