Red Bull Global Rallycross heads to Detroit this weekend for the second double header event of the season with the Ford teams all looking to secure a home win for the Blue Oval as the series makes its first visit to Motor City.
Looking at the 2015 form guide so far, you’d be wise to bet on the Michigan manufacturer, which has won all but one of this season’s championship rounds and currently occupies the top five places in the driver’s championship standings.
Ken Block leads the championship and has the most wins so far this season with two, having made the most of a late race restart to deny a dominant Patrik Sandell last time out at MCAS New River.
History would suggest that Block may struggle on the tarmac-heavy 0.757 Belle Isle course that awaits the drivers this weekend. However, as the season opener in Fort Lauderdale showed, these days Block is as much of a threat off dirt as he is on it.
Another Ford man to keep an eye on this weekend is Sebastian Eriksson. He may be a rookie but the speedy Swede has already notched up one win this season and lies second in the standings after suffering suspension failure in the final of the last round.
Behind him in the championship chase are three more Ford drivers, all looking to take their first wins of not just this season, but their careers – Nelson Piquet, Austin Dyne and Steve Arpin.
Away from the plethora of Ford Fiestas, both of the series’ ‘works’ teams, Volkswagen and Subaru, will be looking to turn their seasons around on the streets of Detroit.
While Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross may already have a championship round win and X Games triumph this season courtesy of Tanner Foust and Scott Speed, their year so far has been far from plain sailing, with the previous round at MCAS New River being an obvious low point for the team.
Speed once again suffered engine issues with have plagued his season ever since his X Games win, while Foust made an early exit due to damage sustained during contact with eventual event winner Ken Block.
But despite the troubles the team has faced so far, two-time champion and Daytona I winner Foust heads to Detroit upbeat.
“You wouldn’t think it, but with the bad luck and issues we have had these last few race weekends it actually feels like we have momentum going into the Detroit doubleheader,” he said in the build-up to the event. “The Beetle GRC has proven to be fast in all of the Global Rallycross rounds, practices and qualifying sessions. Now it is just a matter of time before we can consistently convert that into victories and podiums.”
Subaru meanwhile have struggled to make their new WRX STI work so far in 2015.
In a stark contrast to 2014 where the team took a handful of podiums and a race win, both Sverre Isachsen and Bucky Lasek sit bottom of the driver’s championship. After taking their best results of the season last time out, the Vermont Sports Car-run pair will be hoping their team continues their steady progression on the streets of Detroit.
The double header event will see two weekend’s worth of action being crammed into just two days. The first day Supercar final will take place at 14:00PM local time on Saturday, with the second final 16:35PM the following day