LOS ANGELES, April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Global Rallycross kicked off its nine-race 2013 season with a wildly popular and successful event at X Games Foz do Iguacu. The race, won by current NASCAR driver Scott Speed, featured one of the most talented and diverse fields in Global Rallycross history, and was acclaimed by fans and drivers alike as a strong season opener.
"The week was incredible from the atmosphere at the X Games to the energy in the paddock," said Scott Speed, Global Rallycross gold medal winner at X Games Brazil. "The track was amazing. We found our line we needed to run early, where the grip was good, and most of the good guys knew where to find it. Winning gold was like a dream. I want to thank Rdio, X Games, and especially Global Rallycross for giving us a great event and race track to race on."
The weekend began with Friday practice, as drivers went out on the predominantly dirt-based track for the first time. Seeding followed on Saturday, with 2011 X Games Rally Car Racing gold medalist Liam Doran setting the fastest time over Speed and defending Global Rallycross champion Tanner Foust.
"It is great Global Rallycross has such a dynamic and talented field of drivers," said Colin Dyne, Global Rallycross CEO. "With drivers from all different racing backgrounds, it allows for suspense as to which driver will use their particular skillset to outperform other competitors in the field."
Competitors learned very quickly that throughout the weekend, they would have to constantly adapt to the changing track conditions, which made for exciting racing.
"I love the experience of driving these kinds of cars in these kind of races at these kind of tracks," said Nelson Piquet Jr., driver of the X Team Racing Mitsubishi. "It is really competitive. Unfortunately I didn't make the final, but it leaves me even more fired up for the next race."
Fords swept the four initial heat races on Sunday, with Toomas Heikkinen, Brian Deegan, Foust, and Speed each taking the checkered flag and one bonus point. In the last chance qualifier, 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice and 2006 Junior World Rally champion Patrik Sandell earned the final transfer spots into the ten-car final.
"I'm super happy with my first experience and result in Global Rallycross at XGames Brazil," said Patrik Sandell, driver of the No. 18 Ford Fiesta ST. "I just love this, the whole GRC concept, and I hope for a long and successful career here."
In the final, Speed waited until the final lap to take his joker lap, using the shortcut to pass Heikkinen in the final corner and claim the victory in his first-ever rallycross start, while Heikkinen and Sandell completed the podium. Fords claimed the top five spots in the finishing order.
Watch X Games Global Rallycross Race Day recap: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wLxCASm_xs
Watch Scott Speed's post race interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm7QFpl1kzQ
1. Scott Speed, #77 Rdio Ford Fiesta, OMSE2
2. Toomas Heikkinen, #57 Bluebeam Ford Fiesta ST, OlsbergsMSE
3. Patrik Sandell, #18 Ford EcoBoost Ford Fiesta ST, OlsbergsMSE
4. Steve Arpin, #32 Royal Purple Ford Fiesta, OMSE2
5. Brian Deegan, #38 Rockstar Energy Ford Fiesta ST, OlsbergsMSE
6. Anton Marklund, #92 Victory Motorcycles Volkswagen Polo, Marklund Motorsport
7. Travis Pastrana, #199 Red Bull/Discount Tire Dodge Dart, Pastrana Racing
8. Tanner Foust, #34 Rockstar Energy/Eneos Oil Ford Fiesta ST, OlsbergsMSE
9. Ken Block, #43 Monster Energy Ford Fiesta ST, Hoonigan Racing Division
10. Buddy Rice, #29 Volkswagen Polo, Marklund Motorsport
11. Nelson Piquet Jr., #12 Sky/Petrobras/Outback Mitsubishi Evo, X Team Racing
12. Mauricio Neves, #13 Peugeot 207, XRC Team Brasil
13. Eduardo Marques Jr., #12A Peugeot 207, XRC Team Brasil
14. Liam Doran, #33 Monster Energy Citroen DS3, LD Motorsports
15. Bryce Menzies, #99 Red Bull/America's Tire Dodge Dart, Pastrana Racing
Global Rallycross combines the best aspects of circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition to deliver intense action in a fan-friendly environment. Global Rallycross pits production-based, small cars against each other for door-to-door racing featuring elements such as dirt, asphalt and jumps. Drivers progress through a series of heat races to advance into a final race, where winner takes all.
For more information on Global Rallycross, please log on to www.global-rallycross.com. For all media requests, please contact Kate Osborne firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out Global Rallycross Championship at facebook.com/globalrallycross and on twitter: @globalrallyx.
SOURCE Global Rallycross