- Date of Birth: June 22, 1961
- Home: Newport Beach, CA
- 2015: 3 starts, best finish 4th, 3 heat wins, ineligible for points (Supercars)
- CAREER: 3 starts, best finish 4th, 3 heat wins, 0 points (Supercars)
Can Jeff Ward become the next two-wheel legend to take the checkered flag in Red Bull Global Rallycross?
SH Rallycross and team owner James Sullivan sure hope so. After starting out in supercross, the man they call “Sulli” brings his Red Bull GRC team full circle in 2016 by bringing in one of that sport’s most talented, successful, and popular champions as his new Supercar driver.
Ward is no stranger to four wheels, though—an IndyCar race winner, not to mention an off-road truck and sports car racing veteran, he was a natural fit at Chip Ganassi Racing last year as a substitute for Brian Deegan at two events. But the Motorcycle Hall of Famer didn’t just fill the field: he won three out of eight heat races, took a pole position, and challenged for podiums on both days of Daytona’s scorching doubleheader.
And while SH’s paddock presence and distinctive liveries may be some of its most prominent characteristics, they’ve got the speed to back up the swagger. Ward will be stepping into one of the top cars in the series, driving for a team that finished fourth in points each of the past two years. Along the way, they’ve grabbed eight podiums, more than a dozen heat wins, and a popular victory, as Nelson Piquet Jr. came home first in Washington DC last year.
It’ll be no easy task to replicate that kind of success, but many of Red Bull GRC’s top converts have come from a two-wheel background. Deegan and Travis Pastrana rank among the series’ most successful drivers, and Ward’s performance last year certainly puts him in the same category.
If he can recapture that lightning in a bottle, he and SH won’t just be in good shape for a solid first season together—they’ll be going for the championship.