Construction Delays, Block’s Accident Cut GRC Qualifying Short at Loudon

Photo credit: Chris Leone

A lengthy build period started off the Global Rallycross Championship’s allotted track time at New Hampshire Motor Speedway today. A quick and scary accident from Ken Block brought a swift end to it as the sun set on the unlit Loudon oval, forcing GRC organizers to cut the qualifying session and a hectic day short.

Originally, the plan had been to construct the track starting at 6:00 PM, after which three heats of four, five, and five cars would take six practice laps each on the full course. The 14 drivers would then attempt their seeding runs, one at a time, taking the best time of two full laps, and the remainder of the daylight would be used as further practice time.

Unfortunately, track build started and finished later than expected, stranding drivers until about 7:40 PM. At that time, a new qualifying structure was implemented, with the three assigned practice heats taking the best time of four laps each to use for seeding.

The first heat, which featured Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan, Dave Mirra, and Richard Burton, went by without incident. But very early in the second heat, Bucky Lasek put his car through the fence atop the pit lane crossover bridge, causing a 10-minute delay and wasting valuable sunlight for the drivers in the third heat.

Photo credit: Chris Leone

Luckily, the third heat came off in time for the drivers to lay down lap times. But just as Andy Scott began his seeding, Ken Block, fresh off the second-fastest lap of the day, careened off the crossover bridge and landed his Ford Fiesta on its side, necessitating the end of GRC qualifying. Block was unhurt and the damage to the car was mostly cosmetic, but the timing meant that Scott would be unable to post a qualifying time.

Here are the seeding times from today’s abbreviated GRC qualifying session:

  1. Tanner Foust, #34 Ford, 39.203 seconds
  2. Ken Block, #43 Ford, 39.955
  3. Travis Pastrana, #199 Dodge, 40.214
  4. Stephan Verdier, #12 Hyundai, 40.218
  5. Brian Deegan, #38 Ford, 40.330
  6. Samuel Hubinette, #77 Saab, 40.397
  7. David Binks, #17 Ford, 40.437
  8. Dave Mirra, #40 Subaru, 40.887
  9. Liam Doran, #33 Citroen, 41.030
  10. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru, 41.488
  11. Pat Moro, #59 Subaru, 43.510
  12. Richard Burton, #41 Subaru, 44.029
  13. Andy Scott, #26 Saab, no time (qualifying heat cut short by Block accident)
  14. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru, no time (qualifying heat cut short by own accident)

– Chris Leone


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