Sandell finally breaks duck in Detroit

by Dominik Wilde

Patrik Sandell finally delivered on the speed he’s shown all season long by taking his first win of the season at the second day of the Red Bull Global Rallycross double header event in Detroit.

The second half of the year’s second of four double header events had a sense of de ja vu about it as once again, Sandell took victory in his semi-final.

However, in a reverse of the previous day’s final, the Swede finished Semi-Final A ahead of none other than Ken Block. There was drama following the dropping of the checkered flag with Sverre Isachsen‘s Subauru enveloped in a huge cloud of smoke. The Norwegian driver had pulled over on the penultimate lap with suspected engine failure.

With the top two drivers from day one in the same semi-final, Tanner Foust was the victor in Semi-Final B, passing team mate Scott Speed on the final lap for the win. The Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross pair headed home Eriksson who himself fended of a challenge from Brian Deegan.

A notable absentee from Semi-Final B was Steve Arpin who endured damage following an incident in his heat race.

The Canadian made it back to the track for the Last Chance Qualifier although his event ended on the first lap of the redemption race, the damage proving terminal to his chances.

Brian Deegan advanced to the final by winning the LCQ. Austin dyne took P2 in the dying seconds of the race with Joni Wiman and Bucky Lasek in third and fourth also advancing.

In the final it was Scott Speed who made the best getaway to lead into the first turn. Behind him an overly ambitious move by day one winner Ken Block took out Tanner Foust and Patrik Sandell, bringing out a red flag.

The incident saw Foust retire although Sandell escaped unscathed and was able to restart the race.

At the restart Block was sent to the back of the field for his part in the incident, much to his disgust. The Gymkhana star pleaded his innocence to the NBC TV team before disappearing into his motorhome following the conclusion of the race.

At the restart it was Speed who once again got a good start, but Sandell was the one who led out of turn one and unlike the previous day, that was where he’d stay, stretching out a wide margin ion the second half of the race.

Behind him, Speed and Sebastian Eriksson moved into second and third ahead of Joni Wiman, Brian Deegan and Nelson Piquet Jr. after taking the Kobalt Tools Joker Lap on their second tour of the Belle Isle circuit.

With four laps to go a spin from Piquet while fighting with Deegan over fifth allowed Ken Block to move up the field from last to sixth, Getting by Austin Dyne and Bucky Lasek, although he was quickly re passed by Dyne and eventually had to settle for seventh.

That would be how the race finished with Patrik Sandell finally breaking his victory duck with Scott Speed making it back-to-back second places. Sebastian Eriksson headed home his Olsbergs team mate Joni Wiman with Brian Deegan rounding out the top five.

Austin Dyne, Ken Block and Bucky Lasek were the remaining finishers.

The next stop on the Red Bull Global Rallycross calendar is the US Capital, Washington DC. Last year Patrik Sandell took his maiden victory at the event and after finally stepping into the winner’s circle, he’ll be hoping for a repeat in DC.

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