Tanner Foust extended Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross‘ winning streak to three races after winning the first event of the double header Red Bull Global Rallycross Barbados weekend ahead of team mate Scott Speed.
Unlike Los Angeles last month, this wasn’t the dominant performance many might have been expecting from the VARX pair who only won one race – Semi Final 1B courtesy of Foust – en route to the final.
Instead, the heat wins were shared out between M-Sport Ford pilots Patrik Sandell of Bryan Herta Rallysport and Ganassi‘s Brian Deegan with Austin Dyne taking Semi Final 1A. Speed, Joni Wiman, Sandell and Deegan were the other drivers to advance to the Final.
In the Last chance qualifier we were treated to arguably the most dramatic of moments in what has been another action packed Red Bull GRC season as once again, Ken Block took a tumble at Bushy Park.
Racing in the LCQ after jumping the start in his heat and failing to finish in his semi final, the championship leader going into the Barbados weekend rolled spectacularly over the jump, ending his day prematurely and perhaps derailing his championship challenge.
The unfortunate incident marked the second time in as many years that the Head Hoonigan has rolled his Ford Fiesta at the Caribbean track after flipping out of a potential race winning position in last year’s season opener at the circuit.
Following a lengthy red flag period Nelson Piquet Jr., Steve Arpin, Sebastian Eriksson and Sverre Isachsen all advanced to the final.
In the final, the Volkswagen Beetles of Foust and Speed launched into an early lead. Formation flying at the front, the pair never traded places and weren’t really threatened up front until the closing stages of the race when Patrik Sandell tried to make a move on Speed.
The Swede had moved up to third from the second row of the grid immediately and closed in on former F1 racer Speed towards the end of the eight lap final. Contact between the two initially saw Sandell get by for second, before being disqualified, handing the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team their third one-two finish in three races and their third double podium in a row.
2014 champion Joni Wiman completed the amended podium, ahead of his Olsbergs MSE team mate Sebastian Eriksson. Washington DC winner Nelson Piquet Jr. completed the top five, ahead of Brian Deegan and Sverre Isachsen.
Steve Arpin and Austin Dyne rounded out the finishers, dropping back after some tough battling between the ex-NASCAR duo.
As a result of Sandell’s exclusion, Ken Block was classified tenth, despite not racing in the final. His Hooningan Racing Division team now face a race against time to get their Fiesta RX43 ready for tomorrow. With only tomorrow and November’s season finale in Las Vegas to go, making the grid tomorrow will be crucial if Block, still so far this season’s winningest driver, is to take his first Red Bull GRC crown.
Rhys Millen‘s long-awaited Red Bull GRC return ended prematurely as the Hyundai Veloster driver finished his heat in sixth before failing to make the start of his semi final.
After Barbados I Scott Speed moves into the championship lead with 364 points. Block’s day to forget sees him drop down to second with Sebastian Eriksson in third.
The racing resumes tomorrow with the second event of the Barbados double header. A full broadcast of the weekend’s action will be shown in the US on NBC at 3:30PM ET.