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Staturday: 2016 Heat Points vs. Final Points

October 29, 2016
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Stat geeks, rejoice! On Saturdays throughout the 2016 Red Bull GRC season, we’ll be offering up key statistics, fun facts, and streaks to watch right here. Stay tuned for more Staturday posts and click here to bookmark the archive!

Red Bull Global Rallycross drivers have multiple opportunities to earn points during a race weekend in their pursuit of a championship. Everybody knows the importance of the final, with up to 50 points on the line for the winner. But Supercar and GRC Lites drivers also have at least two opportunities to earn points during heats and semifinals in every round; with a maximum of five points up for grabs, a heat win is the mathematical equivalent of finishing one spot higher in the main event.

But when all is said and done, just how much of an effect do heats have on the championship race? Can continued success in the preliminary rounds make up for an incident or unlucky puncture in a main event? Check the numbers—you might be surprised at how the charts shake out:

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Supercar Heat Points

Rank  

Driver  

Points  

Starts  

Wins  

1 Tanner Foust 145 30 27
2 Scott Speed 116 29 18
3 Steve Arpin 106 30 5
4 Sebastian Eriksson 96 30 3
5 Joni Wiman 92 29 3

 

Foust’s heat dominance was something to behold in 2016, as he nabbed 145 of a possible 150 points in a run that will likely never be equaled by another Red Bull GRC driver. Behind him, Speed and Arpin were the only other drivers to crack 100 points. But it’s worth noting that the Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE duo of Sebastian Eriksson and Joni Wiman, in a brand new car, weren’t too far off—Eriksson gave the Civic Coupe its first heat win at MCAS New River, while the duo combined for five heat wins in the final two events in Seattle and Los Angeles.

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Supercar Final Points

Rank  

Driver  

Points  

Wins  

Podiums  

1 Scott Speed 455 4 7
2 Tanner Foust 420 4 7
3 Brian Deegan 385 1 5
T4 Steve Arpin 355 1 4
T4 Patrik Sandell 355 1 5

 

For all the success that different drivers may have had in the heats, the 50-point scale that governs each final remains the primary difference-maker in the final standings. Unsurprisingly, the top five on this chart were also the top five drivers in overall Supercar points; in fact, the pattern holds all the way down this year’s Supercar standings. It’s proof that even if the rest of the weekend is a struggle, all can be forgiven with a few key passes in the main event. Still, Foust’s heat dominance alone was almost enough to make up for Speed’s more successful performances in the finals.

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GRC Lites Heat Points

Rank  

Driver  

Points  

Starts  

Wins  

1 Oliver Eriksson 92 22 11
2 Miki Weckstrom 74 21 6
3 Cabot Bigham 72 22 5
4 Conner Martell 59 22 4
5 Christian Brooks 58 22 1

 

It’s proof that experience sets a driver apart: Eriksson was far and away the top driver in the preliminary rounds of Lites action over the rest of the field, and it wasn’t too close. With 11 wins in 22 tries, he was the only driver in the class to earn double-digit heat wins this year, while fellow title contenders Weckstrom and Bigham ranked second and third. Also of note: the shared Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entry of Alex Keyes and Tanner Whitten, two drivers in their second Lites season, combined for 91 points—just one short of Eriksson.

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GRC Lites Final Points

Rank  

Driver  

Points  

Wins  

Podiums  

1 Cabot Bigham 380 2 5
2 Oliver Eriksson 355 2 5
3 Miki Weckstrom 345 2 7
4 Conner Martell 300 2 3
5 Christian Brooks 230 0 0

 

Just like in Supercar, the top five point-scorers in Lites main events were also the top five in overall points, in the same exact order. Bigham’s consistency was a major reason why he ranked in the top three in points for most of the year, as he finished outside of the top six only twice all season. Eriksson and Weckstrom were the only other two drivers to make it into every final all season long, which makes it no surprise that they ranked second and third overall. (The DRR split entry of Keyes and Whitten would have ranked second on this list with 365 points scored in finals.)

Photo credit: Larry Chen

Categories: Features | Staturday