Patrik Sandell ended Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross‘ dominating run of Red Bull Global Rallycross race victories by taking a commanding win in the final in Dallas.
The Swede muscled his way into the lead in the first turn on lap one, as pole sitter and championship leader Tanner Foust was forced wide. That allowed Steve Arpin to also get through, making it an M-Sport Ford Fiesta one-two, while Foust and his VARX team mate Scott Speed dropped back to third and fourth.
Austin Dyne was also a lap one mover, getting by the Honda of Joni Wiman to take fifth.
By the second lap Speed had found his way past Foust, although he wouldn’t stay there for long. Meanwhile, Arpin found himself dropping back into the clutches of the Beetles as Sandell began to pull out a sizeable lead at the front – so much so that he was able to maintain his position at the front of the field when Arpin and Speed took the joker lap on lap three.
Sebastian Eriksson, who took Honda’s first Red Bull GRC podium finish last time out in Phoenix pulled off the track at the end of the third lap, he would not feature on the lead lap again.
For the rest of the race Foust, who had got past Speed for third once again, hounded Arpin in what was a thrilling battle for second place, the pair making contact at every turn.
While Foust was able to close in on Arpin dramatically under braking, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver was able to respond by pulling away at the exit of each turn. Foust nearly found his way past on a number of occasions, notably as the pair approached the jump side-by-side on lap six, and when he clattered into the back of Arpin a lap later.
However his efforts were in vain as Arpin was able to hold onto second place, as Sandell powered across the finish line over 7.5 seconds ahead to take a vital win in his charge for a maiden Red Bull GRC crown.
Scott Speed followed Foust home in fourth with Joni Wiman completing the top five, ahead of Brian Deegan.
Despite missing out on the win, Foust maintained his 25 point lead, albeit now over Sandell rather than Speed. Sandell’s win elevated him to second in the point standings, with Speed dropping down to third.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Arpin and Deegan hold onto fourth and fifth in the points, with Olsbergs Honda team mates Joni Wiman and Sebastian Eriksson swapping places in sixth and seventh.
Austin Dyne and Jeff Ward were another pair of drivers to swap points positions after Dallas with Dyne snatching eighth from Ward, while Rhys Millen maintains tenth in the table.
In GRC Lites, Oliver Eriksson kick-started his title defence by winning ahead of Cabot Bigham and Tanner Whitten, who lead early on in the race.
Bigham now leads the GRC points standings with a 23 point lead over Conner Martell who spun in the final. Miki Weckstrom lies third after finishing a lowly tenth in Dallas.