Monday, 28 July 2014

Block back on top in Charlotte

Ken Block returned to winning ways last weekend, dominating the final of the fifth round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross season in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Block was unstoppable all weekend, taking two heat victories and a semi final win en route to the final.

"We were very quick to get the car setup right, the team did a tremendous job getting my Ford Fiesta out to the front." Said Block after the final. "I hope they start dumping more gravel on these tracks, because it favours me and what I do with the car!"

In addition to Block, Bucky Lasek, Sverre Isachsen, Steve Arpin and Brian Deegan, making a return to Red Bull GRC, all earned heat victories on the first day of the event, whilst Tanner Foust was the other Semi-Final victor.

The last chance qualifier saw the top two in points, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Scott Speed advance to the Final, along with Austin Dyne and Bucky Lasek.

In the Final, the barriers at the first turn collected a number of drivers (as they had done throughout the weekend), bringing out a red flag. The incident took Austin Dyne out of the final leaving nine drivers to fight it out.

On the restart, Ken Block made a clean getaway as the rest of the field jostled for position behind him. 

Isachsen and Joni Wiman looked set to secure the other two podium places after New York winner Tanner Foust dropped out of contention with a puncture - eventually settling for eigth. However, Nelson Piquet Jr., who after starting at the back, battled through the field to snatch third from Wiman's grasp.

The rookie Wiman held onto fourth, with Speed, Lasek and Steve Arpin behind him. 

Sverre Isachsen, who's second placed finish was his first podium of the year, was pleased with his result in Charlotte

"The weekend was great. We had good cars last weekend, and we’ve developed the cars—the team is working really hard and the car is good. We can fight for first place." He said. "The start was good today, but we broke something in the rear suspension in the car and could only make it to second place. But the weekend was really good, my Subaru team is working really hard, and I’m really proud to be part of it."

By finishing third, Nelson Piquet Jr. extened his points lead over Scott Speed, despite a mixed weekend.  

"The weekend had a lot of ups and downs. Arriving here with the points lead, you need to have a more secure weekend and not take too many risks, to just try to eliminate risks over the weekend. I think that bit me a little on Friday, I had a second place and fourth place which didn’t put me in a good position for the semifinal. I ended up in the LCQ—we had a good LCQ and went to the final, but until the final it was a rollercoaster ride emotionally. " Said Piquet. "I’m really relieved to get third after not a good start."

Next up for Red Bull Global Rallycross is the series' first ever visit to the legendary Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

DW Motorsport will be at the track, covering the action throughout the weekend.

Images: Larry Chen, Red Bull Content Pool 

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