Monday, June 1, 2015

Ken Block Scores Opening Round Win in 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross Season

Photo Credit: Global Rallycross Championship

Kicking off the 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross, the series assembled in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to start a high-flying, fast-pace 12-race calendar that also includes the non-points 2015 Summer X Games round. A series rapidly gaining traction amongst major teams, the off-season saw IndyCar/NASCAR/sports car team Chip Ganassi Racing join-up with the competition competing Canadian driver Steve Arpin for the full season for 2015. Despite the potential strength of the newcomer team, it was the experienced teams prevailing after the final round of the Fort Lauderdale event at the Bahia Mar Resort.

The ten-car finals featured a first row consisting of Ken Block, Steve Arpin and Scott Speed. At the start of the 10-lap final round, it was Block and his Ford Fiesta ST surging forward and never looked back to take the opening race. Crossing the line 3.245 seconds in the lead, Ken Block's fourth victory in the Rell Bull Global Rallycross series saw him fending off the charge of two Formula 1 veterans. Scott Speed's Andretti Rallycross Volkswagen Beetle finished second ahead of #07 Ford Fiesta ST driven by Nelson Piquet Jr. who rounded out the podium at Fort Lauderdale. “They really pushed me and our team all weekend, and it was a lot of fun. It came down to starts, and I got lucky—I got quick on the starts, was able to put some good times in, and came out with the win. It’s a great way to start the year!” said race winner Ken Block.

Chip Ganassi Racing's debut in the Red Bull Global Rallycross series delivered promising early strength that was derailed late on Sunday. Despite wins in a qualifying heat and his semi-final grouping, Arpin's run in the finals was soured by a penalty. Officials judged the #00 Ford Fiesta ST started too soon and assessed the driver time penalty that cost him a chance at a top finish in Fort Lauderdale. Arpin soldiered through the remaining nine laps to finish seventh in the finals.

Photo Credit: Volkswagen

A notable absence from the finals for the Red Bull Rallycross in Fort Lauderdale was series reigning champion Joni Wiman. After winning an initial qualifying heat, the Finnish Wiman was unable to compete in follow-up races on Sunday due to back pains suffered in a hard landing with the #31 Red Bull Olsbergs-prepped machine.

Losing the championship last season by a five-point margin, Ken Block starts the 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross at the top of the series points. Block is two points ahead of Steve Arpin as the non-points X Games in Austin, Texas is next. The Red Bull Rallycross season restarts at Daytona International Speedway for two races on June 20th and June 21st.


2015 Fort Lauderdale Red Bull Global Rallycross Final Results 

  1. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
  2. Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
  3. Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
  4. Sebastian Eriksson, #93 Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
  5. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
  6. Austin Dyne, #14 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST
  7. Steve Arpin, #00 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
  8. Victor Gonzalez Jr., #99 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
  9. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
  10. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
  11. Patrik Sandell, #18 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST
  12. Joni Wiman, #31 Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST

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