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Red Bull GRC Ottawa: Supercar Rounds 5-6 Preview

June 16, 2017
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IN BRIEF: Red Bull Global Rallycross makes its debut north of the border with this weekend’s doubleheader in Ottawa, the halfway point of the series’ 2017 season. Canadian-born Steve Arpin comes into the weekend with the hot hand, winning the most recent race in New England to climb to within 20 points of championship leader Scott Speed.

TUNE IN INFORMATION:

  • Supercar Round 5 Finals: June 17, 10PM ET, NBCSN
  • Supercar Round 6 Finals: June 18, 4PM ET, NBC
  • Simulstream Link: http://liveextra.nbcsports.com
  • Full Event Replay Link: http://stream.nbcsports.com/nbc/?pid=33107

NBC Sports will have live coverage this weekend of the Red Bull Global Rallycross events from Ottawa. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app which is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

DOWNLOAD THE APP: App Store | Google Play

TICKETS: Click here

EVENT INFORMATION: Click here

SPOTTER GUIDE: Click here

LAST RACE: The first doubleheader of the 2017 Red Bull GRC season was almost a perfect sweep for Tanner Foust. The Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross driver won every session on Saturday and came within a few laps of repeating the feat on Sunday before a broken wheel ended his championship. Loenbro Motorsports driver Steve Arpin, who had been pressuring Foust all race long, took advantage of the opportunity and earned his second career race win.

DRIVER CHANGES: There will be no changes to the driver lineup from Red Bull GRC New England two weeks ago.

THE TRACK: At .762 miles, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum course’s most unique feature is its frontstretch: the merge between main lap and Joker Lap give way to the series’ signature 70-foot jump, dirt hairpin, and a flying finish! Click here for more information.

LOCAL FAVORITE ARPIN COMES IN ON TOP: Fort Frances, Ontario-born Steve Arpin took his first Red Bull GRC victory exactly a year ago Sunday, but he’s already returned to the top step of the podium this season. That win came two weekends ago at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, as he held off championship leader Scott Speed and Chris Atkinson for the checkered flag. Arpin enters the Ottawa event with three podiums and four heat wins in four starts so far this season, good for third in the championship standings.

FOUR WINNERS IN FOUR RACES TO START SEASON: Parity has been the name of the game in the Supercar class through the first third of the year, as a different driver has taken the checkered flag in every round so far. But that’s not all: of the 10 drivers to compete so far in 2017, eight have taken either a heat win or podium finish at some point, and every manufacturer in the field has been represented at the front of the pack in at least one session.

BIG RIG BREWERY TO SPONSOR POLE AWARD: Ottawa-based Big Rig Brewery, the city’s largest craft brewer, will offer $2,000 to the fastest Supercar qualifiers on both Saturday and Sunday. As part of the event, Big Rig Brewery will serve as the official beer supplier of Red Bull GRC Ottawa, and have an on-site presence in GRC Club seating. In addition, brewery co-founder Chris Phillips, a veteran of 1,179 NHL games for the Ottawa Senators, will be on hand to take a ride along in a 600 horsepower Red Bull GRC Supercar.

WALTER BOYCE TO SERVE AS HONORARY OFFICIAL: 2003 Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame inductee Walter Boyce will be on hand for Red Bull GRC Ottawa as an honorary series official. Boyce is the only Canadian to win a World Rally Championship event, accomplishing the feat in the 1973 Press-On Regardless Rally, and set a record with five consecutive Canadian national rally championships. Boyce also won the 1985 One Lap of America as part of a team that included fellow North American rally legends John Buffum and Tom Grimshaw.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Ottawa, the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2017 Red Bull GRC season:

Steve Arpin, #00 Loenbro Motorsports: “It feels amazing to be back here at Ontario, and to top it off, to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with everyone here in our nation’s capital. It’s awesome! Just being back here for a couple of days makes me so happy. Everyone is so happy and friendly, and it makes my days being back home great. This racetrack is going to be awesome—it’s an old airstrip, so it’s worn out asphalt and it won’t be very grippy. The sealant they have on here is really soft and mushy. It’s going to make it interesting going through the corners, and it’s going to be exciting!”

Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross: “With a 19-point lead, we need to play it smart and continue collecting as many points as we can this weekend in Ottawa. We did an amazing job in New England battling back from issues in qualifying, grabbing crucial points all weekend. We need to keep that same poise this weekend heading to Canada.”

Chris Atkinson, #55 Subaru Rally Team USA: “Obviously we were extremely happy with our result in Thompson. It was great to get the first podium for the team in 2017 and shows we are starting to unleash the potential of the Subaru WRX STI. We still need to keep working hard and to improve for the next event in Canada and I hope we can keep the momentum going. Also I am excited to be racing in Canada for the first time and look forward to putting on a good show for the fans!”

Red Bull Global Rallycross Ottawa

Event Info: Click here // Tickets: Click here // Volunteers: Click here
Download the App: App Store // Google Play
Play Fantasy Challenge: Click here
Supercar Round 5 Finals: June 17, 10PM ET, NBCSN // Supercar Round 6 Finals: June 18, 4PM ET, NBC
Lites Finals: June 21, 5PM ET, NBCSN

Photo credit: Louis Yio

Categories: Race Previews | Supercars