Speed Tames Barbados Rallycross Opener
BARBADOS – Scott Speed overcame a mechanical failure to win Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross event at Top Gear Festival Barbados, the first event of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross season.
It was the third career victory in the series for Speed, who transferred to the final via heat victory in the debut of the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross program.
“It was an awesome weekend,” said Speed. “We had the speed right away, but with a big mechanical in the heat race, we had to come from behind from that point on. The guys did a great job twice, getting the car ready to make qualifying and to make the last heat.
“We were hoping that we were going to win our first time out, but it’s really special for everyone at Andretti and Volkswagen. We’re all going to celebrate really good tonight.”
Steve Arpin and Brian Deegan, two drivers to advance to the final via the last chance qualifier, rounded out the podium in second and third place, respectively. The event marked Arpin’s first career podium finish, while Deegan scored his fourth podium finish in the past seven Red Bull GRC events, dating back to last July. Formula One veteran Nelson Piquet Jr. and defending GRC Lites champion rounded out the top five.
“What a spectacular event,” said Arpin. “A podium at Red Bull GRC Top Gear Festival Barbados, this couldn’t be any better. The fans here are incredible. I don’t know what to say right now. It’s just spectacular.”
The final was briefly red-flagged after an incident between Ken Block and Joni Wiman. After Wiman passed Block in the second-to-last corner, Block hit a curb, sending his car upside down and sliding into the concrete barrier on the frontstretch. Block walked out of the car under his own power, while his representatives confirmed that he was not injured.
The event was held at Barbados’ Bushy Park Circuit, the country’s premier motorsports facility, which received an extensive reworking in preparation for the weekend-long event. Other activities with ties to Red Bull GRC included a race between Block, in his rallycross-spec Ford Fiesta ST, and Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, as well as two-time series champion Tanner Foust drag racing Top Gear host James May in a tractor.