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IN BRIEF: Alex Keyes completed a season-long hat trick in Las Vegas, earning his third victory of the 2015 GRC Lites season over Andreas Wernersson and Oliver Eriksson. Eriksson also clinched the Lites title over Olsbergs MSE teammate Austin Cindric, whose first-lap incident derailed his championship hopes.

HEAT RECAPS: The second round of heats was cancelled due to inclement weather, meaning that the lone round of heats would determine who moved onto the main event and who would need to race the last chance qualifier. Alex Keyes and newcomer Andreas Wernersson won the two sessions to earn front row starting spots in the final. Alejandro Fernandez took the last chance qualifier over Blake “Bilko” Williams and Las Vegas debutants Gustavo Menezes and Augie Lerch.

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MAIN EVENT RECAP: Keyes sped out to the lead over Wernersson in the first lap, with Olsbergs MSE teammates and title rivals Austin Cindric and Oliver Eriksson behind them. However, Cindric found himself stuck in the dirt on the very first lap, and pulled off shortly thereafter to concede the championship to his teammate.

From there, the remaining drivers had to continue on smoothly to maintain their positions, but others weren’t so lucky. Contact from Williams ended Miles Maroney’s race early, while contact with Fernandez bounced Williams from the top five later in the event as well. When the checkered flag fell, Keyes, Wernersson, and Eriksson secured the top three spots.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: The results from Wednesday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Las Vegas, the final round of the 2015 GRC Lites season:

  1. Alex Keyes, #61 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  2. Andreas Wernersson, #89 Olsbergs MSE
  3. Oliver Eriksson, #16 Olsbergs MSE
  4. Tanner Whitten, #15 DirtFish Motorsports
  5. Alejandro Fernandez, #126 AF Racing
  6. Augie Lerch, #4 Buhl Sport Detroit
  7. Blake “Bilko” Williams, #22 Rhys Millen Racing
  8. Miles Maroney, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  9. Gustavo Menezes, #28 Olsbergs MSE
  10. Austin Cindric, #77 Olsbergs MSE
  11. Sandra Hultgren, #51 Olsbergs MSE
  12. Collete Davis, #07 River Racing
  13. Nur Ali, #42 AF Racing
  14. Stephan Verdier, #88 Rhys Millen Racing

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QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Wednesday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Las Vegas, the final round of the 2015 GRC Lites season:

Alex Keyes, Driver, #61 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing GRC Lites: “We missed the first race of the year, and at that point we kind of knew we weren’t going to be able to go for the championship just because we missed all those points. We just wanted to come out and try to win as many races as we could. I think we missed it by one—Cindric has four, and this is our third. But we had a great season, it was awesome to get three wins with a brand new team and a brand new driver. Hopefully we can carry this into next year and go for that championship!”

Andreas Wernersson, Driver, #89 Olsbergs MSE GRC Lites: “I didn’t think we’d be up here when we came to the US. We’re always aiming for the victory, but I’m glad to be second today. I’m 21, so I’m ready to celebrate!”

Oliver Eriksson, Driver, #16 Olsbergs MSE GRC Lites: “Crossing the finish line to win this championship means everything to me. Austin and I helped each other throughout the whole season. He came from racing, I came from dirt, and that mix was really good.”

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FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Wednesday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Las Vegas, the final round of the 2015 GRC Lites season:

  • Oliver Eriksson earned the 2015 GRC Lites title with a third place finish on Wednesday night. He earned three victories and nine podiums in the 12-race season, including six consecutive podiums to end the year, and a class-leading 12 heat victories.
  • Alex Keyes earned his third victory of the season in Las Vegas. He also earned his ninth heat victory of the year, good for third-most of any driver.
  • Andreas Wernersson placed second in his first GRC Lites start, taking his first heat victory as well. This was Wernersson’s first visit to the United States.
  • Alejandro Fernandez’s fifth place finish allowed him to become the only driver in GRC Lites to finish all 12 races in the 2015 season, as Miles Maroney suffered his first DNF of the year in Las Vegas.
  • Behind Wernersson, Augie Lerch (sixth place) and Gustavo Menezes (ninth) were the two other newcomers to GRC Lites to compete in Wednesday’s main event. Sandra Hultgren finished fifth in the last chance qualifier and thus did not advance to the final.

 

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UNOFFICIAL DRIVER POINTS:

  1. Oliver Eriksson, 501
  2. Austin Cindric, 473
  3. Miles Maroney, 441
  4. Alejandro Fernandez, 427
  5. Tanner Whitten, 376
  6. Alex Keyes, 350
  7. Nur Ali, 226
  8. Harry Cheung, 185
  9. Collete Davis, 146
  10. Conner Martell, 67
  11. Geoff Sykes, 62
  12. Blake “Bilko” Williams, 55
  13. Brian Wong, 53
  14. Andreas Wernersson, 48
  15. Jackie Heinricher, 45
  16. Gavin Harlien, 36
  17. Joachim Hvaal, 32
  18. Blas Zapag, 27
  19. Augie Lerch, 26
  20. Gustavo Menezes, 11
  21. Duncker Felix Jr., 7
  22. Sandra Hultgren, 2
  23. Stephan Verdier, 1

Photo credit: Larry Chen Cover Photo: OlsbergsMSE, Jacub Nitka

Source : redbullglobalrallycross.com