Red Bull GRC Ottawa – Day 3
For the second day in a row, droves of fans showed up at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum for round six of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship in Ottawa, Canada. For SRTUSA, the operational tempo was very intense with the cars heading out on track seven times with several very dramatic sessions over the course of the day.
The best racing of the event occurred during Heat 3A. Sandell got an amazing start in his 2017 Subaru WRX STI and immediately moved into the lead. For the entirety of the heat Tanner Foust gave chase but couldn’t catch Sandell until the very end. Foust jokered with 2 laps to go and Sandell waited until the final lap to joker. As the two merged at the exit of the joker, Sandell was ahead, but Foust had greater speed coming off the main line. The two were neck and neck down the final straight, but Foust nosed across the finish a mere 0.029 seconds ahead of Sandell as the roaring crowd cheered them on.
During the semi-final both Subaru WRX STI's showed great pace, running out front for the majority of the race, however penalties for preempting the start forced both to take an extra joker lap. Unfortunately, the extra joker added significant time, sending both to the back of the pack resulting in less desirable grid positions for the final.
The first lap of the final was predictably rough and dramatic. During the frantic fight for position, Chris Atkinson was forced into a tire barrier, which rolled the car. SRTUSA #55 landed back on his wheels and was able to drive away, however, the race had already been red flagged. In the few minutes the teams were given to re-prep their cars, SRTUSA technicians managed a new windshield install and got Atkinson back on the grid. Despite significant cosmetic damage the car was still fully functional and Atkinson was able to complete the race! In the end, Patrik Sandell finished seventh, while Chris Atkinson placed ninth.
The Red Bull GRC Championship continues on July 9th in Indianapolis, Indiana.