Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Global Rally Cross: An All VW Affair on The Strip

Tanner Foust takes a wild ride aboard his Submarine yellow VW Beetle during the 2015 Global Rally Cross finale at Las Vegas. (Image source: delmartimes.net)

Suppose its racing, but; Not sure how impressed I'm with a race that features a Joker lap, not to mention hoondin' over Yumps' and using prodigious amounts 'O Handbrake...

Literally stumbled into the penultimate Global Rally Cross race on thy Telie' when searchin' for Duh B-I-G' 'RASSCAR Chase race; URGH! As it musta been a commercial, surprise? As I switched over to the B-I-G' Network, i.e.; the Peacock, nee NBC Justin-time to see Scotty "The Goose" Speed have one of his wheels torn off en route to limping to the chequered flag in third before being elevated to runner-up after Patrick Sandell was DSQ'ed for his Kamikaze pass whilst ramming the Oh So LUV-able Speed!

With Speed's team-mate Tanner Foust being the winner of Barbados Round 1 this past October 3rd, albeit not airing until the following day on NBC's overly Slick 90min program - which featured somebody named Toby Moody; Hmm? Of past DAKAR Fame Me Thinks? And Anders "The Flying Nordski" Krohn, of past Indy Lights driving fame as the show's announcers.

While I'll admit I'm struglin' to stay Hip while being Square, thanks Huey; Hya! (think Huey Lewis & The News...) As I'm afraid I'm not up to speed on this GRC fascination supposedly sweeping the veritable racing landscape, nor know anything 'bout I-T!

Other than what little I've heard during interviews with the two Andretti Boyz on Speed Freaks, where the Statmann' tried getting Scotty Speed to fess up to the prohibitively expensive cost of these purpose built 600+ bhp "Micro-cars," destined to Pump UP an automotive market segment for the brands involved, namely Ford and Volkswagen.

Whilst I'm still Ultra Cornfuzed' over why in the HELL Global Rally Cross would be holding its championship finale on a Wednesday Night? As that's exactly when the season finale took place in "Sin City," aka "Lost Wages," nee Las Vegas. Before being tape delayed on NBC until Sunday afternoon, Nov 8, which Y'all surely caught, right?

As may be this was in order to not disrupt The Strip on a weekend? Whilst November 8th seems such a long time ago, when I actually watched this final episode which was hosted by "Peacock-lite's" B-I-G' BOYZ; NO! Not  those 'RASSCAR Talking Heads but Leigh Diffey and Townsend Bell. As I'll let Red Bull's official website do the heavy lifting instead...

Alas, like many stories here in Nofendersville, I'd hoped to post this prior to the season finale but couldn't get I-T bottled in time; Hooah! As here's a very quick perusal of some of the top Manufacturer teams, notably the various IndyCar participants...

VW Beetle
Best possible scenario for the German brand currently embroiled in its Smog-gate crisis! As any bit 'O good news will surely be welcomed right now! Especially since I've just heard 'bout how there may be a second auxiliary computer system onboard VW diesel cars to defeat emission testing, not to mention the new wrinkle of alleged Tax Evasion; OOPS!

Andretti Rallycross
# 34 Tanner Foust; 3-wins
#41 Scott Speed; 3-wins
I'll admit that I was rootin' for Tanner Foust to win his third GRC title in Nevada, as just have never been a fan 'O Scotty Speed's, even if he was representing' duh Stars 'N Stripes  in Formula 1. As its interesting how Speed should be Head & Shoulders above Foust talent-wise, yet the ex-Formula 1, NASCAR and brief IndyCar Star was aiming to capture his debutant Global Rally Cross title in this A-L-L VW affair.

Since only these two drivers could claim the championship in Las Vegas, which Speed held a pretty healthy 36-point lead over team-mate Foust. (412 vs. 376) prior to the finale. As think Tanner had to win outright and have Scott DNF to win the title.

But if Y'all have read the Vegas GRC Race recap story link above, then Yuhs already know that Scotty Speed was victorious en route to claiming his first championship crown in 11yrs! whilst cannot say I was overly enamored by witnessing team owner Mikey A's "Mug" onscreen during the obligatory championship congratulations...

Ford Fiesta ST
Interesting how Ford's sprinkled plenty 'O cash to three fourth's of the current IndyCar teams competing in GRC. With the biggest Fish being the Cheepster', (Chip Ganassi) with Bryan Herta and James "Sully" Sullivan 'N Crew? Vying for Second Fiddle behind Mikey A's squad. Yet, they A-L-L were comprehensibly "Waxed" by the master 'O Ford Econoboxes, nee Ken Block!

Chip Ganassi Racing
#00 Steve Arpin; #38 Brian Deegan & #360 Jeff Ward
 Interesting how thy Cheepster' has hired two ex-Motocross riders and a Roundy-round "Taxicab" chauffer as his pilot's for his  inaugural Global Rally Cross season, with NO victories from this vaunted trio.

SH Racing Rallycross
#07 Nelson Piquet, Jr.; 1-win
Good for Nielsen Ho finding a racing series to compete in - along with Whining; Err winning one race this season for James "Sully" Sullivan's crew, part of the three Musketeers of the KV Alphabet Soup IndyCar team.

Yet for Mwah, there was just something in his demeanor that spoke arrogance, an aloofness "O superiority, as he's still on my "NO FLY!" List for wrongly posting a Gay Slur upon his Instagram account a few years ago.

Bryan Herta RallySports
#14 Austin Dyne; #18 Patrick Sandell; 1-win
Swede' Patrick Sandell seems to be the most rowdiest, rollicking, "Take NO Prisoners" driver on the circuit, albeit only having seen the final two races of the season. Yet, Sandell was playin' Pinball Wizard off of the competition in both events - if memory serves me correct? But obviously he's got some talent since he did something none of Cheep's' drivers could, scoring victory at Detroit's Belle Isle.

Meanwhile this Austin Dyne "Kid," who's running a very famous car number is totally unknown to Mwah, and doesn't even have a WICKEDpedia page; Hya! As his personal website claims the 22yr old 'Yank was the 'RASSCAR K&N Pro Series West Rookie Of the Year in 2012, and his mentor was the late Dan Wheldon.

Hoonigan Racing
#43 Ken Block; 3-wins
Ken Block, famous for his mesmerizing Gymkota' videos, was easily the best Ford Fiesta driver of the season. Starting off with victory at the season opener in Fort Lauderdale and amassing the points lead with a total of three wins - leading the points table until the penultimate rounds in Barbados, where bad luck continued dogging Block, where he finally surrendered the points lead to Scott Speed - in what seemed set to be Ken's year to claim the Global Rally Cross title.

Not gonna go into Minutia over the rest of the field, although supposedly there's a lone Chevy Sonic and Citroen making up the numbers. Along with Subaru running assorted drivers, including "Guest Appearances" by Travis Pastrana. Whilst another famous name from the world 'O Rally, i.e.; Rhys Millen, son of the legendous' Rod Millen is representing Hyundai with his own factory "Works" racing team.

As that wraps up this somewhat eclectic look back upon the realm of Global Rally Cross, which I've just been introduce to, but like Indy Cars, it'll be awhile until the Yip-Yip-Yip Yapping of these four cylinder turbo "Econoboxes" roar back into life...