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GRC Mid-Season Review: Samuel Hubinette

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

No. 77 ENEOS Motor Oil Saab 9-3, Scott-Eklund Racing

STANDINGS: 2nd, 50 points; one podium, three heat wins

POSITIVES: Hubinette only stepped into a Scott-Eklund Racing Saab for the first time on Charlotte’s race weekend, but he showed from the get-go why he’s such a well-respected and versatile driver by scoring a top five in his first race with the team. He ran as high as second at both Texas and X Games as well before finally putting together his first podium finish in New Hampshire after a heated battle with Travis Pastrana for the lead.

NEGATIVES: Mechanical failure robbed Hubinette of those second place finishes at both Texas and X Games. Had he been able to convert them both, he’d have an extra 16 points, enough to hold the championship lead. His streak of a heat victory at every event was also snapped at New Hampshire when Pastrana muscled his way past in the crossover bridge.

OUTLOOK: Were a privateer outfit like Scott-Eklund Racing to score the GRC championship in a season dominated by teams with heavy manufacturer involvement, it would be nothing short of shocking. But the team is comprised of rallycross veterans running quick and strong cars, and Hubinette’s talent has been well established throughout many disciplines. He outraced points leader Tanner Foust in New Hampshire, and had a better car than Foust at both Texas and X Games. It’ll take a pair of podium finishes and some help, but Hubinette has a fair shot at the championship.

– Chris Leone

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