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How difficult is it to maintain the top position from qualifying all the way through to the end of a Red Bull Global Rallycross event?

So difficult that, in 14 attempts over the Supercar and GRC Lites classes, only three drivers have been able to do it this year. Ken Block, Austin Cindric, and Tanner Whitten are the lucky three, and each came across their perfect results in a different manner.

Cindric is the only driver to post two perfect events this year, doing so in his wins in both Fort Lauderdale and Daytona II. Even as a red flag for Collete Davis’ incident on the jump split the main event in two (with the Supercar final sandwiched between), Cindric maintained his composure, scoring his first GRC Lites win in his first start for Olsbergs MSE. Then, just one day after mechanical problems knocked him out of the first Daytona final, he pulled off the same feat in the second race.

Whitten became the second Lites driver to pull off a perfect weekend in the first Detroit race. He had a couple of fortunate breaks along the way—the field was set on drivers’ points, giving him the top seed, and the second round of heats were omitted—but when the lights turned green in the main event, Whitten was on the gas right away. He got away cleanly, drove a strong race, and earned his first win in the class in only his fifth start.

For Block, the only Supercar driver on this list, the triumph came in Detroit I as well; however, if not for a mechanical issue for Patrik Sandell, it wouldn’t have happened. The third win of the season for the Head Hoonigan in Charge came after Sandell’s driveshaft failed late in the main event, allowing the second-place Block to make up the deficit and eventually get past.

Check out Supercar polesitters (and their finishing positions), as well as race winners (and their starting positions) from the season so far:

Race Polesitter Finish Pos. Race Winner Start Pos.
Fort Lauderdale Scott Speed 2nd Ken Block 6th
Daytona (I) Patrik Sandell 9th Tanner Foust 8th
Daytona (II) Jeff Ward 4th Sebastian Eriksson 2nd
MCAS New River Sebastian Eriksson 9th Ken Block 2nd
Detroit (I) Ken Block 1st Ken Block 1st
Detroit (II) Nelson Piquet Jr. 9th Patrik Sandell 3rd
Washington DC Scott Speed 7th Nelson Piquet Jr. 2nd
  Average 5.85 Average 3.42

 

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Here’s the same chart for GRC Lites:

Race Polesitter Finish Pos. Race Winner Start Pos.
Fort Lauderdale Austin Cindric 1st Austin Cindric 1st
Daytona (I) Tanner Whitten 4th Oliver Eriksson 3rd
Daytona (II) Austin Cindric 1st Austin Cindric 1st
MCAS New River Alejandro Fernandez 6th Alex Keyes 7th
Detroit (I) Tanner Whitten 1st Tanner Whitten 1st
Detroit (II) Oliver Eriksson 7th Miles Maroney 2nd
Washington DC Oliver Eriksson 2nd Alex Keyes 2nd
  Average 3.14 Average 2.42

 

One thing is for sure: a good starting position gives drivers a good chance at taking a win, but it’s no guarantee. Only two drivers to qualify first in the Supercar class (the aforementioned Block, and Scott Speed) have even made it to the podium in the same race, though the winning driver has started third or better in each of the first five races. Meanwhile, Alex Keyes’ maiden GRC Lites win at MCAS New River is the only instance of a driver qualifying outside of the top three and earning a victory.

Photo credit: Larry Chen (1); Louis Yio (2)

Source : redbullglobalrallycross.com