Red Bull GRC Atlantic City: GRC Lites Rounds 8-9 Preview
IN BRIEF: For the first time all season, GRC Lites returns to familiar grounds with an exciting new course layout in Atlantic City. Defending event winner Alex Keyes will look to return to the top step of the podium for the first time this season, while the field continues to chase championship leader Cyril Raymond. Christian Brooks won the most recent event in Indianapolis.
TUNE IN INFORMATION:
- GRC Lites Rounds 8-9 Finals: August 23, 5PM ET, NBCSN
TICKETS: Click here
EVENT INFORMATION: Click here
SPOTTER GUIDE: Click here
LAST RACE: Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Christian Brooks gave his team a hometown victory in the GRC Lites final in Indianapolis, his second win of the year and first since Louisville. After a third-corner scrum set much of the field back, Brooks deftly avoided trouble to extend an insurmountable lead. Points leader Cyril Raymond of Olsbergs MSE X Forces and Brooks’ DRR teammate Travis PeCoy completed the podium.
DRIVER CHANGES: After missing the Indianapolis round due to schedule conflicts, CORE autosport returns to the Lites field this weekend with Colin Braun and Jon Bennett. Alejandro Fernandez will return to action for AF Racing, replacing Matt Halliday, while Scott Anderson joins Olsbergs MSE X Forces to compete for the first time since finishing second in last year’s Los Angeles finale.
THE TRACK: At .902 miles, this year’s Bader Field course is significantly shorter than last year’s layout, but also boasts a more significant dirt section with four corners. The new layout also runs in the opposite direction of the inaugural track. Click here for more information.
DEFINITIVE TITLE FIGHT EMERGING IN GRC LITES: So far, three drivers have taken victories this GRC Lites season: Conner Martell in Memphis, Christian Brooks in Louisville and Indianapolis, and Cyril Raymond in all four June races (doubleheaders in New England and Ottawa). Unsurprisingly, they rank in the top three spots in the championship; Raymond leads by 76 points over Martell, with Brooks only six points further back. Travis PeCoy sits fourth in points, best among drivers yet to win this season and only 12 points behind Brooks.
ANDERSON JOINS ATLANTIC CITY LITES GRID: This weekend’s GRC Lites field Fort Collins, CO’s Scott Anderson taking his first crack at the class this season. Anderson, who finished second in last year’s Los Angeles finale for CORE autosport, moves to a third Olsbergs MSE X Forces entry for the weekend. The entry will be run in tandem with Racing 4 Detroit, owned by former IndyCar race winner and experienced GRC Lites team entrant Robbie Buhl.
2017 FAN FAVORITE DRIVER VOTING BEGINS: The fourth annual GRC Lites Fan Favorite Driver of the Year poll is currently underway, with voting scheduled to take place for the remainder of the season. Three-time defending award winner Alejandro Fernandez joins more than a dozen other drivers in the voting, with additional competitors also joining the fray as they make their first starts. Click here for more information.
QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City, the eighth and ninths rounds of the 2017 Red Bull GRC season:
Alex Keyes, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: “I think that the pavement section will be less technical this year. However, the front chicane on the straightaway could be tricky because it could open up some passing opportunities on that corner and it will also help where most people not as good on the pavement will struggle. I’m pretty good on pavement so that’s we’re hoping for. I really liked the dirt last year and it looks like the dirt corners are slower, so that means they’ll be less rutted out than last year. It was a good track for us last year because I was able to find my flow and the car held together really well—it would be nice to turn things around here because we only have one podium so far.”
James Rimmer, #25 DirtFish Motorsports: “I went to Atlantic City last year just to watch and that was the first one I observed knowing that I would race later in the year. There have been a few weekends where I’ve had huge confidence boots, and sometimes it’s dashed by moves on another person’s part or things out of my control, but after about four or five races, and definitely after Louisville, I feel like I really hit my stride. Everyone on the team is working cohesively and towards a common goal. It’s been a struggle but I’m looking forward to the last five races.”
Colin Braun, #56 CORE autosport: “I’m looking forward to hopping in a GRC car. It’s been a while. We missed the event at Indianapolis. I think it’s actually helpful for Jon and I to skip an event and come back at it fresh. It helps us to avoid going at it with the same approach. We’ll go in there and drive the best we can and figure it out as we go. The guys have had a good amount of time in the shop to get the cars shined up and ready to go. I’m excited to go to Atlantic City, I think we’ll have a good run there.”
Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic City
Event Info: Click here // Tickets: Click here // Volunteers: Click here
Play Fantasy Challenge: Click here
Download the App: App Store // Google Play
Supercar Round 8 Finals: August 12, 5PM ET, NBC // Supercar Round 9 Finals: August 13, 4:30PM ET, NBC
Lites Finals: August 23, 5PM ET, NBCSN
Photo credit: Louis Yio