Liam Doran scored the second gold medal of his career at X Games Munich, beating Ken Block and Toomas Heikkinen in the first leg of Global Rallycross' double-header weekend.
Doran, Tanner Foust, Block, and Heikkinen won the four heats, while Brian Deegan, Patrik Sandell, Mattias Ekstrom, and Anton Marklund also advanced directly to the main event. In the last chance qualifier, Timur Timerzyanov and Scott Speed took the final two transfer spots.
Heikkinen took the lead after a chaotic start that saw multiple cars spin and make contact, but Doran was able to make his way into the lead early in the event with his Mini A red flag was flown after two laps when Timerzyanov backed into the turn one tire barrier, forcing the Rallycross Safety Team to extract the vehicle and ensuring a restart.
On the restart, Doran again proved the class of the field, eventually pulling away from Heikkinen despite suffering a puncture late. Meanwhile, contact in the first corner once again wounded the cars of Foust and Deegan, and ended the days of Speed and Timerzyanov. Sandell would complete two laps before retiring, while Deegan missed only the last lap.
Block took advantage of Heikkinen's similar misfortune, making the pass for second late in the race and closing to within a second of Doran at the finish. Marklund, Ekstrom, and Foust also finished on the lead lap.
"It's just an amazing achievement to come out in a brand-new car here and show what it's capable of, especially here in Germany, the headquarters of Mini," said Doran. "Hardly ever does someone in the lead get back in the lead after the restart — it just doesn't happen. You need a bit of luck in rallycross, you need luck to get a good result, and somehow I had enough today. But it's not all luck — the car is good is, the track design suits the Mini, and the track conditions definitely suit the Mini, where we're running less weight and less power."