Foust wins season opener in Phoenix

by Dominik Wilde

Tanner Foust became the fist winner of the 2016 Red Bull Global Rallycross season, holding off Patrik Sandell and Brian Deegan to take a record-extending eighth Supercar victory.

Foust, along with his reigning champion team mate Scott Speed were strong throughout the whole event, winning two heat races each and both dominating their respective semi finals.

In the Final, Foust was dominant, leading from start to finish. Speed looked set to make it a Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross one-two but for a late race problem which relegated him to fifth.

“I like the track!” said two-time champion Foust. “It’s a real Jekyll and Hyde kind of a track. You’ve got the road course, where you need to be real buttery smooth, and you’ve got that chaotic gravel when you are coming over the jump with tire stacks at 80 miles per hour. So there is a lot of the fun factor and technical spots!”

Sandell, who topped both practice sessions mounted an early challenge for the lead, ultimately finishing second ahead of Brian Deegan, who won the Last Chance Qualifier after his turbo broke at the start of his semi final while his Chip Ganassi Racing team mate finished in fourth to claim his third consecutive top five finish in Red Bull GRC

The new Olsbergs Honda put on a strong showing in their first event with 2014 series champion Joni Wiman finishing second in his semi final and Sebastian Eriksson finishing second in the LCQ. Wiman finished the final in sixth with Eriksson in ninth, the pair being split by Jeff Ward and Rhys Millen.

Eriksson began the final with heavy contact launching him into the air. At the end of the race, the Swede’s Honda, stopped on the circuit, became engulfed in flames, bringing a difficult end to what was a very strong day for Team Honda Red Bull OMSE.

Austin Dyne was the last driver in the final while series débutante Sebastian Saavedra was classified in eleventh after being eliminated in the LCQ despite a strong early showing.

The GRC Lites main event was won by rookie Miki Weckstrom who beat DirtFish MotorsportsConner Martell to claim top spot. Christian Brooks made an aggressive final pass of Alex Keyes on the final turn for the final podium spot.

Credit: Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool

Weckstrom won in Lites in what was his first ever rallycross race – Credit: Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool

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