The boost spitting, tire shedding racers that make up the Global Rallycross series were once again battling it out for X Game glory in Austin, Texas. And for the second consecutive year, Scott Speed earned a gold medal for the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross squad in Red Bull Global Rallycross’ main event at X Games Austin. Speed, who qualified on the pole for the event and also won his heat, held off Chip Ganassi Racing’s Steve Arpin and Olsbergs MSE’s Sebastian Eriksson for the heaviest medal and top step on the podium.
“We were on plan D—plans, A, B, and C went out the window after lap one!” Speed said after the event. “What a great race. This is, by far, the best medal I’ve won. The first one was great because it was my first X Games and I made a last-lap pass, but I’m sure the in-car footage of this one is going to be a lot more exciting!”
Coming off of his second place finish the prior weekend in Ft. Lauderdale, Scott Speed, driver of the No. 41 SHARK WEEK Volkswagen Beetle GRC, was determined to bring home his third X Games gold medal. Speed was consistently among the quickest drivers on the track, winning the pole and his heat race. At the start of the final, he fell behind a few positions only to come back and pass three cars to take the win. His car looked like a star of a Shark Week show had chewed down the side of his V-Dub.
“The final race was the most gratifying of my career from the fact that it took so much work, not just from myself, but from the entire Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team,” said Speed. “Ideally it would have been nice to just go through Turn 1 on the inside and just check away from the field, but that didn’t happen. I’d much rather win X Games gold that way. It was a fight and when you are able to close on the win after such competition it is an incredible feeling. I’m sure the show for the X Games fans was amazing. I know I can’t wait to get home and watch it.”
Speed, Eriksson, and SH Racing Rallycross driver Andreas Bakkerud won the three heats that sent drivers directly to the final, while Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan, and Arpin transferred from the six-car last chance qualifier. In the main event, Eriksson jumped to an early lead, but Speed managed to catch the Swedish rookie and muscle past to grab the lead. From there, Arpin claimed second place while Eriksson held Deegan off for third place on only three tires.
The event, the second on Red Bull GRC’s 2015 schedule, saw 15 drivers competing for an X Games gold medal in an invitational, non-points format. Speed’s gold medal on Saturday joins his 2013 gold medal from Brazil and last year’s gold medal from Austin, while Eriksson adds his bronze medal to a bronze from GRC Lites competition in Los Angeles in 2013. Arpin’s silver medal is his first in X Games competition.
Tanner Foust, driver of the No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Beetle GRC, qualified second behind Speed and was fastest in Saturday morning practice. A controversial penalty brought him back to third in his heat. Foust then advanced to the final after winning the Last Chance Qualifier. At the start of the final he was bumped in traffic, dealt with poor visibility and on track debris, finishing fifth place overall.
“This track was entirely different from Ft. Lauderdale, and further demonstrated the speed and versatility of the Beetle GRC,” said Foust. “The dust was eventually the demise of the No. 34 podium hopes. In qualifying we had an issue navigating the track, which only became more difficult as we fell back in the field during our heat race and the final. I’m super happy for the team and Scott (Speed) for walking away with his third gold medal.”
Red Bull Global Rallycross at X Games Austin Results:
Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
Steve Arpin, #00 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST
Sebastian Eriksson, #93 Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
Brian Deegan, #38 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Fiesta ST