IN BRIEF: GRC Lites approached the halfway point of its 2015 season with a doubleheader round in Detroit on the streets of Belle Isle. A pair of first-time winners, Tanner Whitten on Saturday and Miles Maroney on Sunday, shook up an already-tight championship chase.

SATURDAY RECAP: As the championship leader, Tanner Whitten started Saturday’s event from the pole thanks to a cancellation of qualifying on Friday. But he made sure to make the most of it by winning his heat race to start on the inside of the front row alongside Oliver Eriksson, the winner of the other heat.


Whitten jumped out to the lead from the onset in the main event, with Eriksson settling in behind him before mistakes on course allowed other drivers to get by. Austin Cindric was determined to hold onto second place, but an aggressive move from Miles Maroney on the final lap allowed him to get past.

SUNDAY RECAP: Eriksson had an opportunity at redemption by qualifying on the pole on Sunday, but it was Maroney and Alejandro Fernandez who won two heat races each to start on the front row of the main event. They settled into first and second by the end of the first lap as contact at the front of the field ended four drivers’ days early.


Fernandez chased Maroney down the entire event, but couldn’t quite make it past the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing driver. At the line, Maroney took the victory by .161 seconds in one of the closest finishes in GRC Lites history. Cindric again placed third, allowing him to jump to the championship lead.


UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: The results from Saturday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Detroit (I), the fifth round of the 2015 GRC Lites season:

Tanner Whitten, #15 DirtFish Motorsports
Miles Maroney, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
Austin Cindric, #77 Olsbergs MSE
Alejandro Fernandez, #126 AF Racing
Oliver Eriksson, #16 Olsbergs MSE
The results from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Detroit (II), the sixth round of the 2015 GRC Lites season:

Miles Maroney, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
Alejandro Fernandez, #126 AF Racing
Austin Cindric, #77 Olsbergs MSE
Nur Ali, #42 AF Racing
Brian Wong, #89 Rhys Millen Racing


QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Detroit (II), the sixth round of the 2015 GRC Lites season:

Miles Maroney, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing GRC Lites: “I’ve been up on the podium twice, so it’s hard not to like this track! There’s a lot of pavement, and I have an open wheel and sports car background, so that definitely helped. My guys have worked so hard all weekend through a lot of mechanical stuff—we worked hard as a team to have a great weekend. So hopefully this is the first win of many to come!”

Alejandro Fernandez, #126 AF Racing GRC Lites: “Every time we go out on track, we’re just working at it a little bit, gaining tenths and working on the car to get the best out of it. I’ve just been gaining confidence in myself in the car all year.”

Austin Cindric, #77 Olsbergs MSE GRC Lites: “My crew did a really great job for me—they worked really hard all day. Between other people’s decisions and some things that just didn’t go our way, we fought really hard for third place. I’m proud to be able to come away with it. All of these guys are figuring it out real quick, so there are five or six of these guys who are really tight in points. It’s going to be a great rest of the season.”

FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Saturday and Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Detroit, the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2015 GRC Lites season:

Tanner Whitten and Miles Maroney each earned their first career GRC Lites victories during the Detroit doubleheader weekend, becoming the fourth and fifth different winners in six races in 2015. Each of this year’s five winners earned their first career GRC Lites victory this season.
Austin Cindric’s pair of third place finishes marked his third and fourth podium results of the year and the sixth and seventh of his GRC Lites career. He holds the points lead for the first time since after the season-opening race in Fort Lauderdale.
Alejandro Fernandez returned to the podium for the first time since Daytona (I) in June. He jumped from fourth in the championship to second over the course of the weekend.
Nur Ali (fourth), Brian Wong (fifth), and Collete Davis (sixth) all earned the best finishes of their GRC Lites careers in Sunday’s final.
Local driver Alex Keyes (Brighton, MI) finished ninth in Saturday’s main event. He did not participate in any Sunday sessions due to mechanical issues with his vehicle.


Austin Cindric, 247
Alejandro Fernandez, 243
Miles Maroney, 242
Tanner Whitten, 231
Oliver Eriksson, 216
Alex Keyes, 132
Nur Ali, 121
Harry Cheung, 98
Collete Davis, 82
Geoff Sykes, 62
Brian Wong, 53
Jackie Heinricher, 45
Gavin Harlien, 36
Conner Martell, 22
Duncker Felix Jr., 7

Photo credit: Louis Yio