Chip Ganassi Racing
- Date of Birth: December 16, 1983
- Home: Fort Frances, Ontario
- Website: http://www.stevearpin.com
- 2015: 12 starts, 1 podium, 5 heat wins, 357 points, 6th overall (Supercars)
- 2014: 10 starts, 1 podium, 4 heat wins, 224 points, 7th overall (Supercars)
- 2013: 9 starts, best finish 4th, 79 points, 8th overall (Supercars)
- CAREER: 31 starts, 2 podiums, 9 heat wins, 660 points (Supercars)
If anyone should have high hopes for the 2016 Red Bull Global Rallycross season, it’s Steve Arpin.
In his first season with Loenbro Chip Ganassi Racing, a quick look at the stats might reduce Arpin’s gains from his first two seasons to incremental moves. He went from seventh in the standings two years ago to sixth last year, took a single podium (same as 2014), and only took one more heat win than he did the year before.
But look a little deeper, and it’s clear that Arpin had one of the most impressive seasons of any driver in the Supercar class—and that should bode extremely well for this year.
The biggest challenge, of course, was working with a brand new team, one where most of the personnel was completely new to rallycross. In spite of that, Arpin burst out of the gate, winning a heat and semifinal in the Fort Lauderdale opener, giving Chip Ganassi his first X Games medal a week later, and capping off the month of June with a podium in Daytona.
Even though he didn’t earn any additional trophies, Arpin’s consistency for the rest of the year was reminiscent of Joni Wiman’s path to the 2014 title. In fact, he took eight top five finishes in 12 races, as many as champion Scott Speed, and more than runner-up Sebastian Eriksson. If not for missing the second Detroit final with an engine issue, Arpin could have easily jumped multiple spots in the standings—the three drivers directly in front of him were all within 31 points, or roughly a fifth-place finish, of his grasp.
With a year under their belt, expect the Ganassi squad to have last year’s growing pains worked out. That means Arpin will have every opportunity to turn those consistent finishes into more hardware, not just at the end of every race, but at the end of the season itself.