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GRC Insider: Hubinette’s X Games Hopes Dashed By Red Flag

Image via Scott-Eklund Racing

Scott-Eklund Racing driver Samuel Hubinette may be firmly in the top five of Global Rallycross Championship points coming into Saturday’s round at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but that doesn’t necessarily ease the sting from losing out on a strong finish at X Games in Los Angeles two weeks ago. Hubinette won his heat race, started second in the final, and had a strong start in the first attempt at the final until a red flag restarted the event.

On the restart, Hubinette took contact in the first corner and eventually dropped out of the event, car failure robbing him of a potential second place finish for the second event in a row.

“It is great to be on the front row,” Hubinette admitted, “but as we’ve seen it doesn’t pay off all the time. We were in the front and (lost) the transmission when a bunch of guys in the back tried to pass in the first corner and then ran into me, so that didn’t help me. But if you win your heat and get into the GRC final it’s going to give you a good opportunity to run a clean race. It’s just unfortunate having mechanical issues the first couple of events and then at X Games being taken out.”

Image via Scott-Eklund Racing

The red flag came out for Sverre Isachsen’s disabled car, which was stranded just after the tabletop jump, but Hubinette disagreed with the series’ decision. “For me, I would say that first red flag did not help at all. Personally I think the red flags need to be (only) for safety. In this case we had Isachsen, (and) basically he’d spun around in the slowest corner of the course.

“So I think they should’ve kept us going and they should’ve had a yellow flag in that corner, because he was not in danger for anyone. Personally I think it was the wrong choice in that case.”

Even with the disappointment of X Games, and mechanical failure at Texas beforehand, Hubinette remains positive about his chances in New Hampshire.

“You’ve got to stay positive and think it’s gonna be your day and your week, so I’m hoping we’re gonna be running hard and avoiding other cars running into you, like I had a couple mechanical failures but if I put it all together I can be a podium finisher. I’ve been running in second place in events, so yeah, I’m excited. I’m not trying to overthink it, I’m just trying to be smooth and focused, that’s my strategy, not to overthink it. To go out there, have fun and run hard.”

– Chris Leone

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