This weekend is round 7 of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship and again takes place at the AFK Stadium in Washington D.C. Open Paddock’s Matt Kalish is at the event getting all the behind the scenes info and periodically sharing posts on our Facebook page. Thanks Matt!
This year’s DC track thankfully is nearly twice the size as last year’s track. I like the design, except the dirt (what there is of it) once again is located on a boring straight leading up to and extending after the jump and not in any turns. Other than that, the .980 mile track should provide some good action. Below is the official race preview.
Red Bull GRC Race Preview: Washington DC presented by Volkswagen
IN BRIEF: The second half of the 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross season commences with a return to Washington DC, marking the series’ second-ever visit to the nation’s capital. Patrik Sandell, winner of the previous Red Bull GRC round in Detroit, also enters this weekend’s event as defending champion.
TUNE IN INFORMATION:
Saturday, August 15, 3PM ET on NBC and liveextra.nbcsports.com
NBC Sports Group will be offering live streaming of the Global Rallycross Washington DC race through the NBC Sports Live Extra app via desktop, mobile and tablet.
TICKETS: Click here
EVENT SPOTTER GUIDE: Click here
2015 SPECTATOR GUIDE: Click here
LAST RACE: Ken Block and Patrik Sandell split last month’s doubleheader round in Detroit, though Sandell could have easily swept both races if not for a driveshaft failure in the Saturday final. Scott Speed and Sebastian Eriksson finished second and third, respectively, in both of the Detroit main events.
DRIVER CHANGES: This weekend’s 12-driver field will be significantly different from Detroit’s doubleheader round. Nine of that event’s drivers will return, with Jeff Ward replacing Brian Deegan at Chip Ganassi Racing, Pat Moro making his first points-paying start of the season with his own Chevrolet Sonic, and Logan Gomez joining Royal Purple Racing.
THE TRACK: At .980 miles and with nine turns, the new RFK Stadium layout is significantly larger, faster, and wider than last year’s course and one of the longest in Red Bull GRC history. The dirt jump also returns after being utilized in at three of this season’s events. Click here for more information on the track.
HOME EVENT FOR VOLKSWAGEN: Event presenting sponsor Volkswagen’s American headquarters are located in Herndon, Virginia, just minutes away from this weekend’s event site in Washington DC. At this event last year, the manufacturer unveiled the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle that Tanner Foust and Scott Speed have campaigned in the 2015 Red Bull GRC season, taking victories at X Games Austin and Daytona International Speedway.
SANDELL BREAKS STREAK OF BAD LUCK: Defending Washington DC race winner Patrik Sandell posted fast laps throughout the first half of the Red Bull GRC season, but an unlucky cocktail of incidents, red flags, and mechanical failures prevented him from taking a victory until the second race in Detroit. A first-lap red flag that came after Sandell took contact from behind from Ken Block reset the field, and Sandell took advantage of the restart to take a lead he would never relinquish.
SEASON DEBUTS FOR MORO, GOMEZ: Pat Moro will make his first Red Bull GRC championship race start since last year’s season finale in Las Vegas, and his second appearance of the year after the X Games invitational, this weekend with the PMR Motorsports Chevrolet Sonic. Meanwhile, former Indy Lights driver Logan Gomez will trade in his headset as Austin Dyne’s spotter for the Royal Purple Racing Ford Fiesta, making his Supercar debut.
QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Washington DC presented by Volkswagen:
Jeff Ward, #360 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST: “There are about three pretty hard braking areas. I like braking hard, and there’s two or three sections here that are set up for that. It’s like a road course—the dirt’s all straight unless they put dirt in that corner, but it’s basically a road course. So there’s a lot of hard braking, you just have to nail the apex right and get the car to get enough grip off the corners. It’s going to be hard to pass.”
Logan Gomez, #77 Royal Purple Racing Ford Fiesta ST: “Since this will be my first time driving a Supercar, I just want to focus on making the final. With only a few short practice sessions to get a feel for the car, it will be important to get up to speed quickly. Anything can happen in these races as I have witnessed while spotting for Austin Dyne this year. He’s done a great job being consistent and is third in points after making every final. Hopefully we can have a good race here in DC and bring the car home in the top five. Of course, this is rallycross and anything can happen!”
Pat Moro, #59 PMR Motorsports Chevrolet Sonic: “Usually when there are bigger tracks they’re faster tracks, and right now we know we’re not on the same power level as the other guys. But we think the car actually corners better than some of the other cars. This track is probably going to hurt us, but then again you have to go out and you have to get a measurement. We have to use this as a gauge to see when we go back what changes that we can make with limited funds that we have, where the best area to put the remaining money that we have is.”