Seven days, November14

by Tim Whittington |

There can be little doubt that Ken Block has been the least rallycross fortunate driver in the GRC pack over the last couple of years; more than once he has been in a position to win only for the car to let him down. His first rallycross victory at Las Vegas in the final round of the 2013 GRC was an emotional success for him and his team. Block was, of course, “stoked” by the win which came in a big week, following on from the final Gymkhana Grid event of the year and just a couple of days before the release of the Gymkhana Six video (below) in which the newly appointed Need for Speed adviser creates the ‘ultimate Gymkhana’ course.

Block took the event win ahead of Tanner Foust who jumped the start and had to complete a stop-go penalty. Foust ended the GRC season without a win but second in the championship. Brian Deegan was third on the day, ahead of new GRC title winner Toomas Heikkinen who survived a clash with Travis Pastrana to complete the event. “The season overall was really great for us. We won five races in a row, had eight podiums and everything just seemed to be in place. I am very grateful to have sponsors that supported me throughout the year and glad to have gotten them the championship,” said Heikkinen. Watch a video of Heikkinen’s year below.

Sverre Isachsen worked his way through to fifth. Left in the last chance qualifier on a track that Isachsen said did not suit his Subaru because “it had so little dirt”, he survived a clash with Deegan before ending his race in the wall after contact with Nelson Piquet Junior. According to his team, “An extremely angered Isachsen pleaded with race officials to review the incident. After reviewing the video footage race officials sided with Isachsen and disqualified Piquet JR for the aggressive contact,”. Isachsen then progressed from the back of the grid to place fifth in the final.

At the Professional MotorSport World Expo Awards in Cologne, the FIA European Rallycross Championship is named as ‘European Race Series of the Year’. “This is a great honour for all those involved in our first season running the FIA European Rallycross Championship on behalf of the FIA, especially considering last year’s winner was the top class DTM series,” said Martin Anayi, Managing Director of the FIA European Rallycross Championship. “We’ve been delighted with the immediate success of the Championship, the public and media interest around the sport of RallycrossRX and the calibre of drivers we’ve been able to attract in our first year. RallycrossRX has huge potential for growth and this will be emphasised next season when we move to full FIA World Championship status.”

The influential and respected awards were presented at a gala dinner at the end of the first day of the Professional MotorSport World Expo, held in Cologne, Germany. The trade-only show attracts more than 7000 industry professionals and over 230 exhibitors. The FIA European Rallycross Championship succeeds the DTM which was voted European Race Series of the Year in 2012.

During its annual prize-giving event AFOR, the organiser of the French Rallycross Championship revealed a provisional ten-event schedule for 2014, starting at Essay in May and finishing up at Dreux at the end of September. The Twingo Cup will is projected to skip the Essay event but is pencilled in for the World Rallycross Championship event at Loheac so also getting a ten-event schedule. Most interestingly, the championship is also planning to switch to the World championship event format of four-heats and semi-finals, finals for 2014.







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