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GRC Insider: Different Goals For Different Drivers To Finish Season

Image via Las Vegas Motor Speedway/Photo credit: Jeff Speer

One of the nuances in this year’s Global Rallycross Championship is the ability of each driver to drop his worst result from the championship standings. Factoring in the drop race as of right now leads to a major shakeup in the points, as our article from earlier in the week showed, bringing some drivers back into the fight but hurting many others.

For David Binks, factoring in the drop now causes him to plummet from fifth in the championship to a tie for eighth. “That doesn’t really appeal to me,” Binks sighed when informed of the rule. “I mean, I didn’t even know anything about that. It sounds like ways to make certain people that haven’t done very well do better. Unfortunately, I’m just David Binks from England, and I haven’t got much say in it. If that comes out, it’ll be a shame, but what do you do? I didn’t realize they were thinking of doing that.

“At the end of the day, if that’s what happens, that’s what happens. But at the minute we’ve got to focus on keeping that car at the top. To be honest, we’ve only finished two events properly where the car’s still running. Yeah, we’ve got the points and moved up there strong but we’ve just got to get the car to the finish line, keep it up at the top and get some luck. (Teammate Brian) Deegan’s had great luck this year, and some of the other drivers have had some great luck, so it’s probably due me to have some. We’ll see where it goes.”

Image via Las Vegas Motor Speedway Facebook/Photo credit: David Allio

Deegan himself isn’t too concerned with the title fight, even though the “drop” rule closes him to within four points of championship leader Tanner Foust. “I’m going to try to win the last two races,” he said. “That’s what I’m here to do, and I feel like that’s what I’m going to go to the track to do. That’s what I do in all the other series I try to race; I’m here to win. So there’s no strategy besides just going out and trying to be the fastest guy.”

Samuel Hubinette, who currently ranks second in points, is excited about the opportunity to challenge for the championship, but says that no overall championship, not even the $25,000 Discount Tire/America’s Tire Cup to be awarded this weekend, will change the way he approaches a race. “A little extra bonus money doesn’t hurt, but I’m not thinking about that,” he admitted. “It doesn’t change my driving style, I’m always going out to try to win and that’s the same if I’m not making any money.”

Meanwhile, Stephan Verdier provides a cautionary tale for drivers hoping to take advantage of the drop event. Verdier looked to eliminate his underwhelming X Games performance while adding a strong finish at New Hampshire to keep himself in the championship hunt, but after making contact with Liam Doran in the final, a strong run wasn’t meant to be.

“Before New Hampshire I wasn’t concerned,” Verdier said, “(but) now when I look at it I don’t think I can win (the championship). Now, I don’t care about the other people. What I want to do is, I want to win a race. That’s my number one goal, and I don’t care about the points. I don’t care who’s going to be around me. I don’t care about any of that stuff, I don’t care about the championship, my number one goal is to win a race.

Image via Las Vegas Motor Speedway Facebook/Photo credit: Jeff Speer

“I mean, it was around from the start that we’re allowed to drop one event. So that’s why at New Hampshire I was really bummed that I made that stupid mistake, because my goal wasn’t to do a podium or a win, it was to do a good result. And we lost our chance to do a good result, and drop X Games as our worst result. Now I’m going to have to drop X Games and keep New Hampshire, which doesn’t help me. So that’s why my mindset from New Hampshire was to go after the championship more than anything else, but now my mindset is just to win.

“I need to convince my sponsors that it’s a good thing to stay, I need to have a seat for next year, so my goal is to win races.”

– Chris Leone

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