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Championship Contenders: Doing the Math

September 21, 2017
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Only 52 points separate Scott Speed from his third consecutive Red Bull Global Rallycross Supercar title.

Earning 52 points at a Red Bull GRC race, however, can be easier said than done.

Take Speed’s Round 5 in Ottawa, for example. An engine issue forced him off course in the third heat, and the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team was unable to get him back on track in time for the semifinals. Because he missed the semis, he wasn’t allowed to grid for the main event—costing him a minimum of 21 points, and a maximum of 50.

Factor those into his 30-point gap over Tanner Foust, and the standings would look a lot different right now.

Today, we take a look at the scenarios that will either clinch a championship for, or eliminate, each of our remaining eligible Supercar drivers heading into next month’s Los Angeles season finale. These scenarios don’t factor in possible penalties or disqualifications, which are delivered on a case-by-case basis and thus neither guaranteed nor predictable, or potential extra entries in the event that may change the size of heat grids.

Without further ado, here’s a look at the numbers:

Scott Speed (1st, 756 points)

  • Earning 52 points in Los Angeles will guarantee Speed the 2017 Supercar title regardless of what any other driver does. Coming into the event, Speed holds the tiebreaker over Arpin with more race victories in 2017, 4-2. He also holds the tiebreaker over Foust with more second place finishes, 5-3.
  • If Speed wins each of his heats and semifinals (31 points), he can earn the title by simply starting the final (minimum 21 points).
  • If Speed starts each of his three heats and the semifinal (minimum 15 points), he can earn the title by finishing at least fourth in the final (39 points).
  • If Speed starts any one of his three heats and the semifinal (minimum 9 points), he can earn the title by finishing at least second in the final (45 points).

Tanner Foust (2nd, 726 points)

  • Foust must earn 31 more points than Speed and can only give up a maximum of 44 points to Arpin in Los Angeles to win the title. Foust holds the tiebreaker over Arpin with more race victories in 2017, 4-2.
  • If Foust wins the Los Angeles final, he will also hold the tiebreaker over Speed with more race victories in 2017, 5-4.
  • If Speed starts every session and finishes last in all (36 points), Foust can win the championship outright with a minimum of 67 points:
    • First place in the final (50 points) and at least 17 heat/semifinal points
    • Second place in the final (45 points) and at least 22 heat/semifinal points
    • Third place in the final (42 points) and at least 25 heat/semifinal points
    • Fourth place in the final (39 points) and at least 28 heat/semifinal points
    • Fifth place in the final (36 points) and wins in all heats and semifinals (31 points)
  • If Speed earns exactly 51 points, Foust must win the final (50 points) and each of his heats and semifinals (31 points) to win the championship on a tiebreaker.

Steve Arpin (3rd, 682 points)

  • Arpin must earn 75 more points than Speed and 45 more points than Foust in Los Angeles to win the title. Arpin does not own any tiebreakers.
  • Even with a perfect race, Arpin is eliminated once Speed earns his eighth point of the weekend. Speed can earn eight points by finishing third or better in his first heat and starting the second, finishing fourth or better in the first two heats, or starting all three heats.
  • Even with a perfect race and Speed unable to score eight points, Arpin is eliminated once Foust scores his 37th point of the weekend. Foust can earn 37 points by starting all heat, semifinal, and final sessions and finishing better than last in any one of them.

Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles

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Photo credit: Louis Yio