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Red Bull GRC Atlantic City: GRC Lites Rounds 8-9 Recap

August 14, 2017
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IN BRIEF: Conner Martell finally ended Cyril Raymond’s dominance of GRC Lites doubleheaders with a victory in Sunday’s final in Atlantic City, but not before Raymond was able to take his fifth victory of the season on Saturday afternoon. The split weekend allowed Raymond to maintain his championship lead, but enabled Martell to make incremental gains on the top spot with only three races remaining in the season.

SATURDAY RECAP: It was Raymond’s race to lose on Saturday, as the runaway points leader took an easy lead in the final and never looked back. A class above all day long, Raymond held off Martell first in the semifinals, and then once again in the main event, to the tune of over nine seconds. Alex Keyes claimed third to return to the podium at the site of his first victory of last season.

SUNDAY RECAP: The tables turned in Sunday’s final when Martell grabbed an early lead over Raymond and held on to take the checkered flag—but unlike Saturday, the championship leaders wouldn’t finish 1-2 this time. A late mechanical failure robbed the French driver of power just before the finish line, allowing a number of drivers to get past him and claim valuable championship points. Christian Brooks and Travis PeCoy led the pack to complete the podium, while Raymond fell to a disappointing sixth.

RESULTS: GRC Lites results from Red Bull GRC Atlantic City are as follows:

Saturday:

  1. Cyril Raymond, #13 Olsbergs MSE X Forces
  2. Conner Martell, #21 DirtFish Motorsports
  3. Alex Keyes, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  4. Travis PeCoy, #3 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  5. James Rimmer, #25 DirtFish Motorsports

Sunday:

  1. Conner Martell, #21 DirtFish Motorsports
  2. Christian Brooks, #44 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  3. Travis PeCoy, #3 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  4. Colin Braun, #56 CORE autosport
  5. Alex Keyes, #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

QUOTES: Driver quotes from Red Bull GRC Atlantic City:

Conner Martell, #21 DirtFish Motorsports: “I have to thank my team and my family who came out this weekend, and everyone else who came—thank you so much. We’re out here for you guys. The DirtFish team worked their butts off. We had the best set up on the car and we were really consistent all weekend. Going into Seattle with a second and first is really good. We brought down the points a little but we have a long way to go. It’s unfortunate that Cyril didn’t finish the race the way he wanted to, but I can’t complain and it’s good for points. We are going to move on to the next race in Seattle and we definitely have a lot of confidence.”

Christian Brooks, #44 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: “(Saturday) was probably one of the toughest days of my life in racing. First I had a flip, than the car was really banged up. We lost power steering for the semifinal and final. We had to muscle it through and we barely held on to it. We tried to put it together (Sunday), we got back out there, and got a good start. We kept pounding laps and tried to stay consistent. I could see Cyril and Conner right in front of me and I was trying to catch up to them. I have to thank my team for doing an awesome job and all of my sponsors. Thanks to all of you guys.”

Travis PeCoy, #3 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: “It was a good battle today. We had a pretty good road behind Cyril and Conner. They Jokered and I stayed straight and I just put more laps in. I let three or four cars ahead of me from the Joker and I saved it for the last lap and I jumped in front of Cyril before he crossed the line. It sucks to see that he had to blow that motor, but I’m happy to be back on the box with my teammate. I couldn’t do it without Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, my sponsors, and all the guys on the team who worked on the car.”

FAST FACTS: Key statistics from Red Bull GRC Atlantic City:

  • Cyril Raymond earned his fifth victory of the 2017 GRC Lites season, his first year in the class, when he took the checkered flag in Atlantic City on Saturday. All five of the French driver’s victories have come in doubleheader events, including sweeps in New England and Ottawa.
  • Conner Martell’s victory on Sunday was the fourth of his Lites career and his second win of the season for DirtFish Motorsports. Martell was the top driver on the weekend overall, as he also added a second place finish on Saturday.
  • Christian Brooks’ second-place finish on Sunday was his second podium in the past three Lites rounds. Brooks returned to the podium just over a month after winning the previous Lites race in Indianapolis, and has two wins overall on the season.
  • Alex Keyes’ third place finish on Saturday ensured that he would return to the podium in Atlantic City after winning at Bader Field last year. Keyes now has two podiums in 2017, his third season with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
  • Travis PeCoy backed up last year’s runner-up finish in Atlantic City with a third place run on Sunday. PeCoy now ranks a career-best third in Lites points with only three races remaining in the championship.
  • Alejandro Fernandez earned his first pole of the season by qualifying on top on Sunday. The AF Racing driver returned to the car this weekend after missing the Indianapolis round.

DRIVER POINTS:

  1. Cyril Raymond, 605
  2. Conner Martell, 537
  3. Travis PeCoy, 503
  4. Christian Brooks, 494
  5. Alex Keyes, 432
  6. James Rimmer, 411
  7. Colin Braun, 405
  8. Cole Keatts, 391
  9. Alejandro Fernandez, 348
  10. Jon Bennett, 281
  11. Scott Anderson, 93
  12. Gustavo Yacaman, 60
  13. Matt Halliday, 45
  14. Burt Jenner, 16

Photo credit: Larry Chen, Louis Yio

Categories: GRC Lites | Race Recaps