(Ford Racing Press Release)
The first round of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) season will take place May 17–18 in Barbados. The race will be held at Bushy Park Circuit in conjunction with the Top Gear Festival and will be the first of 10 rounds in 2014 where drivers will compete for the series championship.
Coming off of an impressive 2013 that included seven race victories and a third consecutive manufacturers’ championship, Ford Racing is looking forward to finding even more success this year. Several Ford Racing drivers will be on-site in Barbados piloting their rallycross-spec Ford Fiesta STs.
Olsbergs MSE (OMSE) will field two full-time teams during the 2014 season led by driver Patrik Sandell, who will embark on his second GRC campaign. Sandell showed promise in the Supercar division last year, finding the podium at X Games in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil. Sandell is hoping the knowledge and confidence he gained in 2013 will result in an even more successful sophomore season.
“Last year was my first season in rallycross and I learned so much that I think will help me in 2014,” said Sandell. “Rallycross is a unique sport: you can come in from any motorsport background, but you need to learn the techniques and strategies that are specific to rallycross. It took me a year and I’m more than ready for the challenge this season.”
Joni Wiman will round out the full-time OMSE lineup and is moving up to the Supercar division in 2014 after sweeping all six rounds of the Lites division last year. Wiman, who began racing at the age of 7, is confident he and his OMSE powered Fiesta ST will find success in the series’ primary division.
“It was a great experience to compete in Lites last year and I honestly didn’t expect it all to go as well as it did,” said Wiman. “This season, it will be tough competition with the ‘big boys’ in Supercars and all of the drivers will be good. But the racing strategy is the same. And the Lites cars are a good preparation for the Supercars: they’re similar to drive, even though the Supercars have a lot more power. I’ve had the chance to test my new Ford Fiesta ST, and I’m confident.”
Ken Block will also compete in all 10 rounds of the 2014 season. The Hoonigan Racing Divison driver ended 2013 on a high-note winning the season’s last race in Las Vegas. Block will juggle an international schedule in 2014 as he competes in select races in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, World Rally Championship, and Rally America.
“I'm stoked to once again be partnered up with Ford this season," said Block. “Last year I had a pretty diverse schedule, but this year's even better. I'm competing with Ford in the full Global Rallycross Championship, three of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, a few Rally America rounds, WRC Spain, the Monza Rally in Italy and a handful of Gymkhana events as well. It's definitely a lot of fun, but also a lot of work, especially keeping focused on trying to win the Global Rallycross Championship this season. We came out of the final event of 2013 on a high note with my win in Las Vegas, and we're looking forward to building upon that this year. Hopefully I can repeat that performance in Barbados for the first event!”
Action sports superstar Brian Deegan will once again pilot an OMSE powered Fiesta ST in 2014. The X Games gold medalist will run select races this year, kicking off his schedule in Barbados. In addition to a partial GRC schedule, Deegan will be competing full-time in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.
“I'm always excited for the new season, we have been able to do a lot of testing during the off season and I'm looking forward to seeing the hard work pay off,” said Deegan.
SH Rallycross driver Nelson Piquet Jr. will make the move from NASCAR to GRC in 2014 and will run the entire schedule in a Ford Fiesta ST, powered by OMSE. No stranger to the racetrack, Piquet is looking to apply the lessons he has learned in both NASCAR and F1 to his rookie GRC season.
"There are obviously things that you carry across in the approach you take to racing, but each team and championship has different characteristics. One of the biggest differences to a GRC event is the heat nature as normally a race builds up through free practices and qualifying up to one or two races per weekend, so the format is quite different,” said Piquet Jr. “Rallycross is a different kind of racing to single-seater racing on circuits or NASCAR’s on ovals. You learn the different ways in which you need to approach an event and handle a car. I loved the atmosphere and the competitiveness of the events that I did last year in Rallycross, and I’m really excited to be running the full season this year."
This year fans will be able to keep up with all of the on-track action from home. All 10 rounds of this year’s Red Bull GRC schedule will be broadcast nationally with nine rounds being featured on NBC as part of a multiyear deal with the network. X Games will be broadcast live on ESPN. You can keep up with all the Red Bull GRC action throughout year at FordRacing.com.
2014 Red Bull GRC Broadcast Schedule
Top Gear Festival Barbados: Saturday, May 24 (tape delay), 1-2PM ET, NBC
X Games Austin: Saturday, June 7 (live), ESPN
Washington, DC: Sunday, June 22 (live), 2-3PM ET, NBC
New York, NY: Sunday, July 20 (live), 2-3PM ET, NBC
Charlotte, NC: Saturday, July 26 (live), 2:00-3:00PM ET, NBC
Detroit, MI: Sunday, August 3 (live), 2-3:30PM ET, NBC
Daytona, FL: Saturday, August 23 (live), 3:30-4:30PM ET, NBC
Los Angeles, CA: Saturday, September 20 (live), 5-6PM ET, NBC
Seattle, WA: Sunday, September 28 (tape delay), 2:30-3:30PM ET, NBC
Las Vegas, NV: Sunday, November 16 (tape delay), 2-3PM ET, NBC