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GRC Race Review: Foust Takes Win, $25,000 Bonus In Las Vegas

Image via Las Vegas Motor Speedway Facebook

With $25,000, bragging rights, and a nearly insurmountable lead in the championship on the line, Tanner Foust came through with his first win of the Global Rallycross Championship season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last night. By beating Olsbergs MSE teammate Brian Deegan to the finish line, Foust also secured the Discount Tire/America’s Tire Cup, awarded to the top driver in a three-race mini-championship that also included rounds in Texas and New Hampshire.

Foust, who scored two wins in the European Rallycross Championship earlier this season, elected to skip the ERC season finale in Germany in order to go for the $25,000 bonus that comes with the Discount Tire/America’s Tire Cup. While he gave up second in ERC points to Liam Doran, who elected to skip the GRC race and took home the victory elsewhere, Foust extended his points lead to 16 over Deegan and mathematically eliminated the rest of the field from title competition.

Image via Las Vegas Motor Speedway Facebook

In qualifying, Foust, Ken Block, and Travis Pastrana laid down the three fastest times, meaning they would start on pole in their three respective heats. Foust, Sverre Isachsen, Bucky Lasek, Dave Mirra, and Richard Burton comprised the first heat; Block, Rhys Millen, Andreas Eriksson, David Binks, and Pat Moro made up the second heat; and Pastrana, Toomas Heikkinen, Brian Deegan, Samuel Hubinette, and Stephan Verdier made up the third heat.

Burton would not complete the first heat, locking his wheels up before the jump and hitting the safety barrier head on at the edge of the landing pad. Burton was removed from the car via stretcher, complaining of a sore back, but all tests were negative.

Foust and Isachsen advanced from the first heat, Block and Millen advanced from the second heat, and Deegan and Heikkinen moved on from the third heat. Eriksson, substituting for Marcus Gronholm, seemed primed to move on in the second heat before losing control in the final dirt turn and yielding the lead; earlier in that heat, Binks went into the dirt corner too aggressively to lose a position to Millen. Pastrana also failed to advance immediately despite winning his heat, after accidentally taking the shortcut twice and earning himself a 30 second penalty.

Image via Las Vegas Motor Speedway Facebook

The last chance qualifier sent four drivers to the final: Eriksson and Pastrana, who both made up for their mistakes in the preliminary heats, as well as Verdier and Lasek. Verdier rebounded strongly after a poor start left him eighth going into the first corner; meanwhile, for Lasek, it was his first final appearance of the season after a few instances.

For Hubinette and Binks, it was the first time that either of them missed a final all season, greatly affecting their championship hopes. Binks and Mirra had issues in the first corner that left them at the back of the pack, while Hubinette’s Saab suffered mechanical failure.

In the final, Block and Eriksson had issues through the first corner, while the field split the shortcut and gap jump evenly on the first lap. From there, Foust paced Deegan to the end, while Isachsen edged Heikkinen for third. Pastrana suffered an engine failure in the final to take him out early. The biggest gainer in the final was Verdier, who spent most of the race at the back before taking the shortcut late and stealing fifth place.

Image via Las Vegas Motor Speedway Facebook

Last night’s results and points totals were:

  1. Tanner Foust, #34 Ford, 20+1 points
  2. Brian Deegan, #38 Ford, 17+1
  3. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru, 15
  4. Toomas Heikkinen, #57 Ford, 13
  5. Stephan Verdier, #12 Hyundai, 12
  6. Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai, 11
  7. Ken Block, #43 Ford, 10+1
  8. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru, 9
  9. Andreas Eriksson, #3 Ford, 8
  10. Travis Pastrana, #199 Dodge, 7
  11. Pat Moro, #59 Subaru, 6
  12. Samuel Hubinette, #77 Saab, 5
  13. Dave Mirra, #40 Subaru, 4
  14. David Binks, #17 Ford, 3
  15. Richard Burton, #41 Subaru, 2

Image via Ford Racing Facebook

The final results of the $25,000 Discount Tire/America’s Tire Cup are:

  1. Tanner Foust, #34 Ford, 53 points
  2. Brian Deegan, #38 Ford, 50
  3. Samuel Hubinette, #77 Saab, 33
  4. Ken Block, #43 Ford, 32
  5. Stephan Verdier, #12 Hyundai, 31
  6. Travis Pastrana, #199 Dodge, 30
  7. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru, 26
  8. David Binks, #17 Ford, 24
  9. Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai, 24
  10. Marcus Gronholm, #3 Ford, 21
  11. Andy Scott, #26 Saab, 19
  12. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru, 17
  13. Dave Mirra, #40 Subaru, 16
  14. Liam Doran, #33 Citroen, 15
  15. Pat Moro, #59 Subaru, 15
  16. Toomas Heikkinen, #57 Ford, 13
  17. Andreas Eriksson, #3 Ford, 8
  18. Richard Burton, #41 Subaru, 5
  19. Filipe Albuquerque, #99 Dodge, 1
  20. Jimmy Keeney, #418 Subaru, 0

Image via Ford Racing Facebook

The overall point standings are now as follows:

  1. Tanner Foust, #34 Ford, 83 points
  2. Brian Deegan, #38 Ford, 67
  3. Samuel Hubinette, #77 Saab, 55
  4. Ken Block, #43 Ford, 51
  5. Stephan Verdier, #12 Hyundai, 51
  6. Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai, 48
  7. David Binks, #17 Ford, 45
  8. Marcus Gronholm, #3 Ford, 43
  9. Travis Pastrana, #199 Dodge, 41
  10. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru, 39
  11. Andy Scott, #26 Saab, 38
  12. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru, 28
  13. Dave Mirra, #40 Subaru, 27
  14. Liam Doran, #33 Citroen, 27
  15. Toomas Heikkinen, #57 Ford, 21
  16. Sebastien Loeb, #72 Citroen, 21
  17. Pat Moro, #59 Subaru, 18
  18. David Higgins, #75 Subaru, 10
  19. Andreas Eriksson, #3 Ford, 8
  20. Richard Burton, #41 Subaru, 5
  21. Tim Rooney, #47 Subaru, 4
  22. Bryce Menzies, #99 Dodge, 2
  23. Filipe Albuquerque, #99 Dodge, 1
  24. Jimmy Keeney, #418 Subaru, 0

– Chris Leone

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