With so much excitement in the quarter finals, the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship had a hard act to follow for the semi finals.
Semi final 1 would see Ken Block line up with Austin Dyne, Nelson Piquet Jr, Liam Doran, Brian Deegan and Ricky Johnson who managed to get his car repaired after developing suspension issues in the quarter finals.
Dyne would take the early advantage as the race got underway but the man on the move was the British Bomb Doran who led the field by the end of the first lap after starting on the second row of the grid. Ken Block was an early retirement following broken suspension in a first corner collision.
Over the course of the race a great battle would develop between Dyne, Piquet Jr. and Deegan as they traded places throughout the race. With Dyne and Piquet Jr. battling away Deegan was sitting like a panther ready to pounce and as the race was drawing to a close he made his move, sliding by Piquet Jr. to take third place behind Dyne and race winner Doran.
Unfortunately the Deegan the third place wouldn’t stand with officials deeming he had short coursed and was driving aggressively, the result was a 5 second penalty which dropped him down the order. After the decision was announce Deegan was clearly annoyed and said he would do the move again given the chance as he saw it as a fair maneuver.
With the first three drivers through to the final, there was everything play for between Scott Speed, Patrik Sandell, Bucky Lasek, Steve Arpin, Travis Pastrana and Emma Gilmour.
Gilmour would stall on the start as the field powered away, thankfully for the New Zealander she managed to get away despite losing time to the other 5 cars.
As he has done in previous races, Speed lead the way and looked in control for the whole of the race to take the win, behind him there was a fierce battle for second and third. Sandell and Lasek were holding position for most of the race while Pastrana sat waiting for the two to get caught up.
Lasek had a nervous moment as he drifted wide and into the plastic barriers, narrowly avoiding a remote camera, Pastrana closely followed and brushed passed the barriers too. Unfortunately for the X Games legend, Pastrana’s rallycross weekend would come to an end as the chequered flag fell with Sandell and Lasek in front of him.
With the barriers repaired Speed, Doran, Sandell, Dyne, Lasek, Piquet Jr lined up for the final and Speed started fast like he usually does, getting the better of Doran and Piquet Jr.; The race wouldn’t last long until a red flag was brought out to recover Dyne’s stranded car which was stopped at the hairpin.
It turned out that Sandell had gone for an optimitic move on Dyne, sliding in to the side of the rookie’s car and breaking the suspension in the process. This move would earn Sandell disqualification for the restart and unfortunately put Dyne out of the race.
With everything to play for again the field lined up on the grid once again with Speed, Doran, Lasek and Piquet Jr. ready to do battle once again. Doran was determined on the start and overcooked it in to the first corner, sliding wide in a similar fashion to the incident that took Tanner Foust out of the race and on to his roof in the quarter finals. Thankfully for Doran it was a quick trip through the gravel before rejoining the race to hunt down a medal placing position.
Speed once again shot off in to the lead and would go on to take the X Games gold medal for winning the race. With the number 1 spot decided there was still action happening behind; Lasek and Piquet Jr. were going toe-to-toe in a battle as a huge hole appeared in the side of Lasek’s Subaru, this didn’t seem to slow the X Games veteran as he chased the Brazilian. It was looking like Piquet Jr. had done enough to secure a silver medal winning position before his mind wandered and he took the joker lap for a second time. One black flag and a 5 second penalty later Piquet Jr. was back out on track but now behind Lasek and Doran.
Doran was pushing hard to chase down Lasek but on the final corner as Lasek took the chequered flag disaster struck for the British driver as a mechanical issue forced him in to a spin. As he gathered the car up and pointed it in the right direction Piquet Jr. sneaked through to cruelly take the last medal-winning spot in third place. Doran would limp home over the line in fourth place.
The X Games weekend is always action packed but no one could have predicted the action we saw over the two days of racing. Scott Speed has everything dialed in this year as he dominated his heats and the finals in the VW Polo to take his second overall win of the season.