Ken Block Wins First Global Rallycross Race
Rallycross - Las Vegas, NV
It took two full seasons, but Ken Block finally cracked the code to winning a Global Rallycross event: stay clean on the start, drive fast, and get a little bit of luck. He inherited the lead from the penalized Tanner Foust to win his first GRC race on the Las Vegas Strip.
Wednesday’s heat races went to Tanner Foust, Toomas Heikkinen, Ken Block, and Scott Speed, respectively, while Thursday’s events saw the same four drivers earn bonus points. In the last chance qualifier, Rhys Millen coasted to the victory as Nelson Piquet Jr. spun Sverre Isachsen to take second on the final lap; Isachsen was reinstated to the final when Piquet was disqualified.
From the get-go, GRC’s biggest names ran 1-2-3 up front, with Foust, Block, and Pastrana holding strong at the head of the pack. Speed and Millen pulled off early, while Arpin also lost power in the race’s first laps. Unfortunately for Foust, a jump start penalty dropped him to second on the third lap, yielding the top spot to Block.
As Heikkinen climbed through the field from sixth place, Block continued to extend his lead on Foust with Pastrana trailing. Eventually, Heikkinen would climb to fourth, but couldn’t quite crack the podium. Block crossed the line to a shower of pyrotechnics, while Foust earned his third runner-up placing of the year and Pastrana took his first podium of 2013.
“I am absolutely stoked,” said Block. “I’ve proven this year that I’ve got the speed and just had some back luck in the first corner so it’s nice to have some good luck and great battles tonight with Pastrana and Foust. I couldn’t be happier, especially for all my sponsors and my very, very hard working team.”
By winning in Las Vegas, Ken Block finished third in the championship standings, behind Toomas Heikkinen, who clinched the GRC title after Round 8 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and Tanner Foust.
“The season overall was really great for us,” said Heikkinen. “We won five races in a row, had eight podiums and everything just seemed to be in place. I am very grateful to have sponsors that supported me throughout the year and glad to have gotten them the championship. I hope to be back next year to do it all over again.”
1. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
2. Tanner Foust, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
3. Travis Pastrana, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
4. Toomas Heikkinen, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
5. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
6. Bryce Menzies, #99 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
7. Patrik Sandell, #18 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
8. Steve Arpin, #32 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
9. Scott Speed, #77 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
10. Rhys Millen, #67 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
11. Pat Moro, #59 PMR Motorsports Chevrolet Sonic
12. Stephan Verdier, #4 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
13. Brian Deegan, #38 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
14. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
15. Nelson Piquet Jr., #12 X Team Racing Mitsubishi Evo
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