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Speed wins X Games event in Brazil

Scott Speed: It feels unbelievable to win here in Brazil...
Former F1 driver Scott Speed took gold at the X Games Global Rallycross Championship opener in Brazil last weekend, as Ford swept the podium - and locked out the top five places.

Speed, who was getting his first taste of Rallycross, qualified second overall, before then winning his elimination heat and then making a dramatic last turn pass for victory in the final in the OlsbergsMSE Fiesta 'Star Car.'

“It feels unbelievable to win here in Brazil,” said the NASCAR man. “I can't say how happy I am for my team and the OlsbergsMSE guys that put in all the effort. This was such a new thing for me, so I didn't know what to expect. To come out here and win is just great.

“It was a hard race, I definitely got bumped around, and I really thought it would be much easier racing. To win by taking the joker lap on the last corner to pull ahead is really spectacular.

“The first time I drove the Fiesta rallycross car was when I got here to Brazil. The learning curve was difficult, but thankfully it just fit my driving style, which is really good. This has been such a great experience. These cars are the most fun cars I've ever been able to drive, and I've driven a lot. I really hope that I can continue doing this type of sport.”

Second-year OlsbergsMSE driver Toomas Heikkinen meanwhile dominated both starts of the final GRC race and led five of the six laps after the final restart. The Bluebeam Fiesta ST took the joker - required shortcut lap - in the first lap, but was eventually passed by Speed on the final lap.

“In the start of the first final I took a risk by taking the first corner on the outside of the field,” said Heikkinen. “That strategy ended up working in my favour because I took the lead from there and avoided the crash on the inside line.

“After the restart of the final, I kept the same strategy and was first off the start line once again. My strategy was to take the joker lap first to gain extra space from the car behind me and it seemed to work because I led every lap until the last. I am very happy about the X Games silver medal and worked hard to get here.

“Overall, it was a great weekend for me and I am looking forward to continuing success this season.”

GRC rookie Patrik Sandell piloted his OlsbergsMSE Fiesta ST to a third-place finish, securing a Ford podium sweep. Sandell finished third in his elimination heat, forcing him to compete in the last chance qualifier (LCQ) in which he earned second. In the final, Sandell held fourth until ultimately passing team-mate Steve Arpin, to earn his first X Games bronze medal.




Related Pictures

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Scott Speed. X Games Global Rallycross Championship, Brazil [Pic credit: Ford]
Scott Speed. X Games Global Rallycross Championship, Brazil [Pic credit: Ford]
Scott Speed. X Games Global Rallycross Championship, Brazil [Pic credit: Ford]

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