Red Bull GRC Drivers Keeping Busy With Offseason Racing, Coaching
Just because the 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross season came to an end in October, doesn’t mean that many of our top drivers haven’t been keeping active behind the wheel. Over the past month, everyone from GRC Lites veterans Cole Keatts and Conner Martell to three-time defending Supercar champion Scott Speed has been on track and battling for some extra hardware to add to the mantle before the year ends.
Speed’s foray into Global Time Attack racing came in one of the premier events of the year, the Super Lap Battle at Buttonwillow Raceway in California. Racing a custom-built Volkswagen Golf GTI in the Limited FWD category, Speed’s 1:56.899 was good for second in class, just days after leaving the floor of the 2017 SEMA Show.
Martell, meanwhile, ended his November on a high note after crossing the border to run the Canadian Rally Championship’s Rally of the Tall Pines for Vermont SportsCar, which runs the two-car Subaru Rally Team USA program in Red Bull GRC. Driving in only his second stage rally after debuting in the discipline for DirtFish Motorsports last winter, Martell and co-driver Greg Dorman finished second to only Canadian rally legends Antoine L’Estage and Alan Ockwell in the event, posting an overall time of 2:00:42.9—under three minutes off of the winning time. Unfortunately, Martell retired from last weekend’s Big White Winter Rally after an incident in his bid for two straight podiums.
Two weekends ago, a number of top rallycross racers went back to their karting roots in the 10th annual Machismo, a 12-hour karting event held at CalSpeed Karting in Fontana, CA. In the Pro class, Lites front-runners Christian Brooks and Travis PeCoy joined Supercar veteran Brian Deegan and spotter/driver coach Troy Adams on the Racers for Christ Pro team, while both Keatts and Mitchell deJong competed on separate teams in the Super Sport class.
At race’s end, RFC finished just off of the top step of the overall podium, completing 683 laps just 32 seconds behind the winning team, SPV-505. In Super Sport, Keatts’ team RFC SS beat deJong’s Red Bull Racing team; Keatts’ team earned ninth in class and 16th overall to RBR’s 11th in class and 19th overall.
Meanwhile, many of the drivers who aren’t actively racing are still keeping active in the industry. Former Lites teammates and close friends Alex Keyes and Cabot Bigham spent the weekend coaching open-wheel drivers at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, while Supercar veteran Austin Dyne has been spotted riding motocross. But in perhaps the most encouraging sign that the 2018 season is already approaching, Speed and Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teammate Tanner Foust have already been testing at the Estering in Germany.
Images via Vermont SportsCar (1); Scott Speed (2); Machismo 12 Hour Race (3)