IN BRIEF: It was a Dreyer & Reinbold Racing sweep in Los Angeles this weekend, as Alex Keyes and Cabot Bigham split the pair of GRC Lites rounds on offer at Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles presented by Honda. Bigham’s Sunday victory allowed him to clinch the championship by five points over defending Lites champion Oliver Eriksson.
WATCH THE ACTION: Thursday, October 13, 5PM ET, NBCSN
SATURDAY RECAP: When Tanner Whitten was promoted to a Supercar with SH Rallycross/DRR for the weekend, DRR tapped Atlantic City winner Keyes to fill in for the final two rounds of the year. He didn’t disappoint, taking the pole and both heat wins on offer to head into the final round on the inside line.
Keyes would extend the gap early on in the final as chaos ensued behind him, with Eriksson falling to the back of the pack and Blake “Bilko” Williams pulling off track early with damage. Miki Weckstrom would fight to try and catch Keyes, but was unable to close the gap; meanwhile, Colin Braun crossed the line third, but an aggressive driving penalty disqualified him from the main event and promoted Bigham to third place.
SUNDAY RECAP: Eriksson (403 points), Weckstrom (402), and Bigham (396) entered Sunday’s action as the only three remaining drivers eligible for the championship, almost guaranteeing the top finisher among the three as this year’s title winner. Once again Keyes paced the field in his heats, while Olsbergs MSE X Forces teammates Eriksson and Weckstrom asserted an advantage by making it through their second-round heats in transfer spots. Bigham, meanwhile, was the last driver to transfer through the last chance qualifier.
But everything changed on lap one, when contact from behind forced Weckstrom to plow into Eriksson in Turn 3 and also collected Travis PeCoy. Bigham slid through the inside line to take second behind Keyes, and inherited the lead when his teammate encountered late-race issues. Eriksson recovered to fourth place, but it wasn’t quite enough; Bigham would win the race, and took the championship by the equivalent of a single finishing position. Had Eriksson placed third, the drivers would have tied at 452 points, and Eriksson would have broken the tie on second-place finishes.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: The results from Saturday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles (I) presented by Honda, the 11th round of the 2016 GRC Lites season:
- Alex Keyes, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
- Miki Weckstrom, #45 Olsbergs MSE X Forces
- Cabot Bigham, #2 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
- Christian Brooks, #44 AF Racing Team
- Travis PeCoy, #3 AF Racing Team
The results from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles (II) presented by Honda, the 12th round of the 2016 GRC Lites season:
- Cabot Bigham, #2 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
- Scott Anderson, #56 CORE autosport
- Colin Braun, #54 CORE autosport
- Oliver Eriksson, #16 Olsbergs MSE X Forces
- Alejandro Fernandez, #126 AF Racing Team
QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Saturday and Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles presented by Honda, the 11th and 12th rounds of the 2016 GRC Lites season:
Cabot Bigham, #2 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: “I just can’t thank Dreyer & Reinbold enough for being able to chase our problems and never give up, and having my team always looking out for what’s best for the car and for me. Having all my friends and family here to support me, I just can’t believe this. There’s so much variation in the talent and where drivers come from—Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, trophy karts, we’re just all over the place with our experience. As a result you have all kinds of driving styles and you just learn to adapt. That’s really what Red Bull GRC is all about: adapting. Whether you’re in first or last, you just have to keep adapting.”
Scott Anderson, #56 CORE autosport: “I’ve pretty much only raced open-wheel, and this is honestly completely different, but I think anything helps. This is awesome racing—I’m loving it. It’s super hectic, especially in that final, but we just put the car in the right places and avoided the carnage, and it worked out.”
Colin Braun, #54 CORE autosport: “This is definitely a different type of racing than I’m used to. We had a tough day on both days leading up to the final, finding ourselves in the LCQ, but the CORE autosport guys battled back to finish third, and we’re pretty happy with that. I’ve certainly had a blast racing these guys this year, and I think we’re looking to come back, so we’re looking forward to coming back next year.”
FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles presented by Honda, the 11th and 12throunds of the 2016 GRC Lites season:
- Cabot Bigham clinched the first championship of his GRC Lites career as a rookie with a pair of podium finishes in Los Angeles. Bigham, a California native, placed third on Saturday and won his second race of the season on Sunday.
- Alex Keyes won his second main event of 2016, and the fifth of his career, on Saturday. Keyes added four heat victories over the weekend for a total of nine on the season.
- Miki Weckstrom placed second on Saturday for his class-leading seventh Lites podium of the 2016 season.
- Scott Anderson earned the first podium of his Lites career on Sunday, placing second for CORE autosport. It was the team’s best-ever finish since joining the series earlier this year, and came in Anderson’s third career start.
- Colin Braun took his third podium of 2016 by placing third on Sunday. Behind Anderson, Braun completed CORE autosport’s first-ever double podium in Red Bull GRC competition.
- 12 of the 13 drivers entered in this weekend’s competition made it to at least one main event.
UNOFFICIAL DRIVER POINTS:
- Cabot Bigham, 452
- Oliver Eriksson, 447
- Miki Weckstrom, 419
- Conner Martell, 359
- Christian Brooks, 288
- Alex Keyes, 268
- Alejandro Fernandez, 256
- Travis PeCoy, 249
- Tanner Whitten, 188
- Colin Braun, 154
- Collete Davis, 94
- Parker Chase, 85
- Harry Gottsacker, 85
- Blake “Bilko” Williams, 75
- Trenton Estep, 57
- Scott Anderson, 55
- Cole Keatts, 51
- Jon Bennett, 51
- Sandra Hultgren, 36
- Preston Murray, 33
- James Rimmer, 25
- Nur Ali, 3
Photo credit: Larry Chen (1, 4); Louis Yio (2-3, 5)
Source : redbullglobalrallycross.com