Global Rallycross 4th of July ‘Race the Base’ preview

It’s not every weekend that a top-level racing series shuts down an entire military base to host a championship round, but that is exactly what Red Bull Global Rallycross are doing for ‘Race The Base’ this 4th of July Weekend.

After back-to-back rounds in Florida, Red Bull GRC moves onto MCAS New River in North Carolina for the fourth round of the championship with Sebastian Eriksson holding a slender eight point lead over Ken Block in the points standings.

Eriksson, the only driver to reach the podium on both days of the Daytona Double header event, goes to Jacksonville having scored his first win in the category last time out.

But despite tasting success early on, the 21-year-old isn’t thinking about the championship just yet.

“I’ve shown everyone that I can win in Daytona. Now I just need to go out and do my own thing, and get the best results possible,” he said.

“I don’t think about the championship—there are nine races to go. I have a slight points lead, but we just need to take it race by race to win the championship.”

The driver second in the standings, Ken Block, had a mixed weekend at Daytona, getting taken out of the final on the first day due to contact with Patrik Sandell, before going on to take second place on day two. He beat the Ganassi pairing of Steve Arpin and Jeff Ward to runner up spot.

The Ganassi squad will have a different look to it this weekend as Ward steps aside and Brian Deegan comes in for his first points-paying round of the season.  Deegan, a former runner up in the series, has only made one start so far for Ganassi, at the non-championship X Games round.

Third in points Tanner Foust will be hoping to continue the strong form that saw him take his first win in a year at Daytona. The victory was the first official victory for the new Beetle racecar, and the second win in a row after Scott Speed triumphed at X Games.

Speed however endured a dismal weekend at The World Centre of Racing and will be looking to get back in the hunt for victories this weekend if he is to challenge for the championship.

The Bryan Herta Rallysport duo of Patrik Sandell and Austin Dyne will be hoping that the record-long MCAS New River course favours them after a promising weekend on the lengthy, fast Daytona track.

Sandell was the fastest car all weekend but couldn’t quite get the luck come race day while Dyne left Florida with his first silverware of his Supercars career after taking a podium on the first day.

In Lites, Oliver Eriksson made it an extra special weekend for the Eriksson clan as he too took his first career win. He sits fourth in an intense championship battle with Alejandro Fernandez at the fore, followed by series rookie Tanner Whitten and the other Daytona race winner Austin Cindric in fourth.

Miles Maroney and Nur Ali sit fifth and sixth respectively in the standings, making it an even split of experienced runners and series rookies in the top-half of the points table.

Unlike the supercars, there will be no changes to the grid for this weekend, with the same 12 Lites drivers that lined up at Daytona tacking to the track at New River.

The weekend is free to spectators, with gates opening at 10AM local time.