The first day of races at Phoenix for the 2016 Global Rallycross Championship could be more like the Volkswagen show, as the duo from Andretti Rallycross dominated everything they could race, with Tanner Foust getting the first win of the season.
Semifinal A was on and Tanner Foust took advantage of the first corner position, taking the lead and leaving Joni Wiman behind him, while Brian Deegan wasn’t even unable to leave the start line. Foust then had a pretty nice race as the gap to Wiman was opening, while Austin Dyne and Rhys Millen were fighting for the third spot, with Dyne keeping his place in the final. To Foust it was just a question of managing the car until the checkered while Wiman and Dyne came past way after him, with Millen relegated to the Last Chance Qualifier.
Semifinal B came later on and while Scott Speed took the lead, some door banging was happening for the second place, which was on favor of Patrik Sandell with Steve Arpin and Sebastian Eriksson being left behind. Unlike Foust, Speed wasn’t having time to breathe with Sandell on his gearbox, but the the Swedish driver wasn’t matching Spped’s pace and the gap opening. Speed dominated the race, while Sandell and Arpin came later and qualified for the final.
Last chance qualifier could be the redemption of some guys. Sebastian Eriksson went ahead but then lacked pace to hold Brian Deegan and was relegated to second. Deegan the dominated until the finish, with Eriksson in second while Millen came third with an early Joker Lap strategy, while Jeff Ward was the last qualified driver to the final.
Andretti Rallycross was the clear favorite for the final and Tanner Foust confirmed this with a good start, holding the lead while Speed was dealing with Sandell for the second place overtake. Even with the former F1 driver behind him, Sandell kept his cool with a slightly aggressive run.
With five laps to go the game was practically set for Foust, Sandell did his Joker and Speed was trying to compensate the gap. Foust waited until the final lap to take his Joker, and with more than 8 seconds ahead at least, it was just the work of receiving the checkered, while Sandell retained his second position and Speed saw the third position go away to Deegan has his Volkswagen Beetle RX had problems in the final lap.
Results of the first round at Phoenix:
- Tanner Foust
- Patrik Sandell
- Brian Deegan
- Steve Arpin
- Scott Speed
- Joni Wiman
- Jeff Ward
- Rhys Millen
- Sebastian Eriksson
- Austin Dyne
- Sebastian Saavedra
The action continues this Sunday with the second leg of the double-header.
PHOTO: Red Bull Global Rallycross