Barbados: The final doubleheader of the season
The final doubleheader of the season...
Bushy Park Circuit returns to the Red Bull Global Rallycross schedule this weekend after a spectacular debut event in 2014, with many familiar faces but a brand new track design. The final doubleheader of the season, Barbados will be a make-or-break weekend for drivers hoping to assert their spot at the top of the Supercar standings.
On last race Scott Speed became the all-time Red Bull GRC wins leader with a dominant performance at the Port of Los Angeles, sweeping both main events to jump to second in points. Tanner Foust completed Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross’ first-ever 1-2 finish in the first race, while Brian Deegan chased Speed to the line in the second race for his first podium of 2015.
Rhys Millen makes his return to Red Bull GRC competition as a driver for the first time since Las Vegas last year, competing in his own Hyundai Veloster. Each of the top 11 drivers in Supercar points are entered in this weekend’s event for a 12-car field.
At 1.102 miles, Bushy Park Circuit plays host to the largest course in Red Bull GRC history this weekend. The layout includes two new passing zones on the backside of the course, as well as a new camelback jump that will see drivers hit two jumps of different surfaces in quick succession. Click here for more information on the track.
Championship do-or-die time
The top nine drivers in Supercar points remain mathematically eligible for this year’s championship, but four of them could be eliminated as early as Saturday night. Assuming each driver runs all three remaining races, the mathematical cutoff heading into Las Vegas is 53 points; any driver outside of that range on Sunday has no chance at taking this year’s crown.
Doubleheader adds to championship drama
Barbados represents the fourth and final doubleheader on the 2015 Red Bull GRC schedule. With doubleheaders representing two-thirds of all available points this season, figuring out how to keep it clean during back-to-back finals is crucial; with 236 points scored in doubleheaders this year, no Supercar driver has done a better job of that than Scott Speed. Sebastian Eriksson ranks second with 213 points scored in doubleheader events.
Race-winning vehicles return to supercar grid
Two vehicles that combined for three Supercar final wins in 2014 will return to the hands of their race-winning drivers at Bushy Park. Rhys Millen makes his 2015 Red Bull GRC debut in the Hyundai Veloster that he used to take victories in Daytona and Los Angeles II last year, while Sverre Isachsen returns to the 2014-spec Subaru WRX STI that gave Subaru Rally Team USA its first Red Bull GRC victory in Seattle just over a year ago.
Joni Wiman, #31 Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST: “This was definitely the place I liked the most last year, and the track was also really good. Now, it’s even better—I would say it’s easily the best track so far, and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s got a lot of tarmac, some gravel, but the tarmac is something I like. I think if I get a good start to the weekend, get a good feeling, which I should get looking at this place, I can be there at the top. I have to be there—I would say I would have to almost be winning both races to have a shot to be in the top three in the championship. That’s what I’m trying to do, but it’s not going to be easy, because there are a lot of fast guys out here.”
Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI: “Los Angeles was a big weekend for us—STI was the sponsor of the race, and of course we wanted to prove something. We rebuilt the car before the race, did some testing, and we were fourth in the first race, which was the best finish for us this year. We put together the old car for this race, and I love this car. Last year Nelson and I had a crazy race here with it, and it was good for the public. Right now I’m feeling good with this car, we’re prepared for racing, and we’re prepared to fight.”
Rhys Millen, #67 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster: “Barbados has more opportunities to pass, it has more lines to check someone out to pass, and it was a track I really enjoyed in the 2014 championship. It was also an opportunity to bring the Supercar out and showcase it and its speed, and see where they stack up against the competition. Brian Wong did a fantastic job in Los Angeles, and what it exposed to the team is that the car is still capable of producing the goods. He qualified nine tenths off of pole against guys who have been doing this all season; I’d like to think that, given my time in the car, we as a team and myself as a driver will be able to find the majority of that, which would put that car in a top three sort of placing.”
Red Bull Global Rallycross
Global Rallycross returns to Las Vegas for November 4 season finale
GRC race recap: Barbados