Article and Photography by Randy Montgomery.
The 2014 Red Bull Global Rally Cross (GRC) season ended Wednesday evening in Las Vegas. This year the LINQ Hotel & Casino played host and assembled an amazing course for the drivers, and an even better spectating arena for all the fans. The track was just over a half mile long, contained a nice assortment of sharp turns, a little bit of dirt and a perfectly engineered jump for the drivers to catch some air. The back drop was pretty amazing itself; Las Vegas has no shortage of cool buildings and bright lights, but even more noticeable was the massive observation wheel dubbed the High Roller coming in at 550 feet tall, with pods holding up to 40 people each, not to mention its lit up like the rest of Vegas. All this combined with some of the best drivers in the world, piloting cars producing up to 600 horsepower, made the event the perfect venue and perfect way to end the season.
Heading into the Las Vegas event, four drivers were within point range to win the title: Joni Wiman, Scott Speed, Nelson Piquet Jr., and Ken Block. The entire season has been really exciting; in fact, the same four drivers have also managed, at one point or another during the season, to be point leaders. The anticipation was off the charts, and after the first two rounds of heats it was interesting to see where everyone sat. Ken Block, who won last year’s event in Vegas, managed to win all of his heats, while Scott Speed and Tanner Foust each took a heat. The semi finals managed to slim the pack down as they always do, but this time the big news was Emma Gilmour who had secured herself a spot in the finals, making her the first female in Red Bull GRC history to do so. Sverre Isachsen won the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), but Emma Gilmour, Brian Deegan and Tanner Foust all moved on to the finals.
The main event started off with a red flag after the first corner due to Scott Speed trying to set himself apart from the group, which caused a collision with himself and Bucky Lasek, both spinning out and determining a restart with Speed set to the back of the group. After the second start, Block, Speed, Lasek and Wiman were all running close, but as Block started to distance himself from the pack, Wiman jumped from fourth to second by way of the Joker Lap. When the checkered flag dropped, the untouched Ken Block was in first place; however, Joni Wiman was right behind him and only needed to land in second place to win the Season Championship. Bringing in his third podium placement this season was Bucky Lasek in third place.
It was one of the best main event races I have seen since the beginning of this organization. Congrats to all the winners, and we here at Revvolution can’t wait to see what’s in store for the 2015 Red Bull GRC!
Official Red Bull Global Rally Cross 2014 Driver Championship Standings
Place, Number, Name, Team, Points
1, #31, Joni Wiman, Olsbergs MSE, 381
2, #43, Ken Block, Hoonigan Racing Division, 376
3, #77, Scott Speed, Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, 344
4, #7, Nelson Piquet Jr., SH Racing Rallycross, 307
5, #11, Sverre Isachsen, Subaru Rally Team USA, 280
6, #18, Patrik Sandell, Olsbergs MSE, 246
7, #0, Steve Arpin, Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2, 224
8, #81, Bucky Lasek, Subaru Rally Team USA, 215
9, #34, Tanner Foust, Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, 209
10, #67, Rhys Millen, Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing, 201
11, #14, Austin Dyne, Barracuda Racing, 150
12, #38, Brian Deegan, Rockstar Energy Drink, 140
13, #27, Emma Gilmour, Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing, 62
14, #59, Pat Moro, Chevrolet Sonic Racing/PMR Motorsports, 8
15, #199, Travis Pastrana, Subaru Rally Team USA, 0
16, #33, Liam Doran, LD Motorsports, 0
17, #48, Ricky Johnson, Olsbergs MSE, 0
18, #57, Toomas Heikkinen, Marklund Motorsport, 0
19, #92, Anton Marklund, Marklund Motorsport, 0
20, #715, David Higgins, Subaru Rally Team USA, 0
Check out RedbullGlobalRallyCross.com for more info!