Thursday, 18 June 2015

Block looks to make it three in a row - Daytona GRC Daytona Preview

Following his Vegas win last year and his triumph last time out in Fort Lauderdale, Ken Block will be looking to make it a hat-trick when the series makes it's second visit to Daytona this weekend.

For the first time this season, Red Bull Global Rallycross will have a double-header weekend, meaning two full events over the weekend, giving drivers two chances to fight for an event win.

As previously mentioned, Block goes into the weekend on the back of two consecutive championship round wins. At last season's event at 'The World Center of Racing', Block was easily the quickest car in the field, and although he didn't win the event, he will be looking to once again showcase the kind of pace he had back in August.

The Andretti Volkswagen pairing of Scott Speed and Tanner Foust will be another pair to watch at Daytona. Both have shown clear pace in the Beetle, with Scott Speed taking second in Ft. Lauderdale and the gold medal at the non-championship X Games event last weekend.

Daytona's tarmac heavy layout should also suit former F1 driver Speed well, but as Block's last two victories attest, his pace off-dirt pace is continuously improving.

Steve Arpin, who won Ganassi's first ever Red Bull GRC heat race at Ft. Lauderdale before going on to take the silver medal at X Games will also be hoping that his fine form of 2015 so far will continue at Daytona.

The former NASCAR driver certainly has the machinery under him to perform, the same M-Sport-built Ford Fiesta that Ken Block pedals. But he'll face stiff competition from the Olsbergs cars of Sebastian Eriksson and Joni Wiman, who returns to action after missing most of the Ft. Lauderdale round through back injury.

Another guy behind the wheel of an Olsbergs-built Fiesta and in with a shout this weekend is Nelson Piquet Jr.

Fresh from a podium finish at Ft. Lauderdale, a Formula E win in Moscow and a strong showing in the Indy Lights races in Toronto, Piquet will be looking to take his first GRC win this weekend, before jetting off to London with his sights set firmly on the Formula E crown.

Not everyone is looking to continue a great run of form, Bryan Herta Rally Sport's Patrik Sandell will just be looking to find some form after a tough start to the year.

The race-winning Swede has had a dismal 2015 so far with issues at both the season opener in Ft. Lauderdale and X Games leaving him out of race-winning contention so far.

Daytona will also see a new driver making his Red Bull GRC d├ębut.

Jeff Ward returns to the Ganassi fold, a decade after winning an IndyCar race for the outfit in Texas. Ward will be filling in for Brian Deegan at Daytona and at least two other events afterwards.

The Daytona double header will be broadcast on NBC on Sunday at 2:00 PM ET.

Images: Dominik Wilde, Larry Chen, Red Bull GRC

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