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Binks Reviews New Hampshire, Looks Forward To Las Vegas

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

eBay Motors/Best Buy Racing/Olsbergs MSE driver David Binks finished eighth in July 14’s Global Rallycross Championship round at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, retaining his status as one of only three drivers to make it into the final at every GRC event this year. Binks had been running as high as second in the main event before mechanical failure ended his day on lap four of six. Here, the series’ top rookie talks about his time in Loudon, anticipating this weekend’s event at Las Vegas, and finishing what he’s started in terms of cracking the podium:

In your heat race, there was an incident between multiple cars right at the start, where it looked like your Ford and Sverre Isachsen’s Subaru touched. What happened from your point of view?

Off the start line, I was focusing on Tanner (Foust). We sort of drew level down the straight over the jumps. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know we touched between the back of my car and Sverre. But I mean, the repercussions were, he was moving across one way, I was challenging with Tanner, he caught the back of my car and rode up. And Stephan was coming across the other direction, so I think they had more contact than me and Sverre.

Image via Ford Racing Facebook

You made it into the final and were running very well before another incident over the hairpin brought an end to your day. How did Foust and Samuel Hubinette catch you, and what broke on the car?

We were pushing hard—at the time, we were running second behind (Travis) Pastrana. Once again, this year, I’ve seemed to get some rotten luck! We were pushing hard, chasing him down, and then I took the tabletop jump, which is quite aggressive on the car. I fumbled the gear shift, I think, as we landed, which allowed Tanner and Samuel to catch me into the wall crossover. Tanner dived up the inside and I was made to stay a little bit wide. Then the very big Saab decided he was going to take a chunk off the back end as he came through and sort of pushed me off the side of the ramp, which broke the front left driveshaft. And the car lost its drive as I went down the straight, towards the main jump. Once you lose a driveshaft on our cars, after a while the drive winds off the disc. Unfortunately, not being able to make it over that jump, I had to park the car.

This weekend’s event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway features yet another derivation of the traditional GRC tri-oval layout, including dirt on the NASCAR infield and a shortcut that actually goes under the gap jump. Have you had a chance to look at the proposed layout? What do you think of it?

I’ve had a good look at the layout, and it’s great to have some more dirt down again. That sort of played into my hands a little bit at New Hampshire, because I’ve come from 12 years of racing on rallycross in the UK where it’s at least 40 percent dirt on the track. The dirt at Loudon was pretty slippery, it was sand and it didn’t have a great deal of traction, but upping those gears and letting the torque pull the car through works well. I do like the dirt, so that’s hopefully going to be a good point for me. I just think race on race, SMI and GRC are getting the tracks better. They’ve learned, event by event, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, and they’re definitely trying their best to make the tracks good to race, and safe to race, but also for the crowds to still enjoy it. I think Loudon was the best track by far this year, and I’m just hoping that the new layout this weekend coming is going to be just as good.

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

Unfortunately, things weren’t meant to be for you at New Hampshire, but you’ve been running strongly in the past few events. Do you think you can score a podium finish in the next two races?

Yeah, we seem to have pushed hard all year. I mean, apart from Marcus Gronholm (and Foust), we’re one of the only cars that’s qualified for the main every race. We haven’t had to go into a last chance qualifier this season. It’s been literally one heat and straight into the main final, which is quite cool. Can we make a podium? Yeah—if you look back at X Games, if we hadn’t had the contact with the Hyundai, with Rhys (Millen), we probably would’ve finished strongly on the podium. Tanner then had a problem, who I was running behind, so I would have passed him, and Ken (Block) had a tire go, and I probably would have caught him and hopefully passed him. So we could’ve run for silver or bronze at X Games. New Hampshire, again, I really feel if we hadn’t had the contact and the issue—it was my mistake going over the tabletop that allowed the other cars to catch me, that’s something that couldn’t be done—but if we hadn’t had the mechanical after the crash I feel we probably could’ve managed to get third place there. I just need a little bit of luck! (laughs) Just a little bit of luck to get that podium. We’ve got two races left, and I’d love to put the car on the top step, but I really want to get on the podium this year for eBay and everybody that’s taken a chance on me to get me over here this year. We’re running strong, we’re in the top five, six every event. And it’s great for me, I’m pleased with what we’re doing, but I know we can do more.

– Chris Leone

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