For someone who hasn't regularly raced since 2007, Marcus Gronholm, quickly established himself in the Global RallyCross Championship. Gronholm, a two-time WRC champ who won the inaugural GRC SuperRally on Friday, never blinked in his domination of the GRC field capturing the Global RallyCross Championship AWD RallyCross finale and giving him a clean sweep of the weekend at Irwindale Speedway. Gronholm won the six-car A Main Finale in the Best Buy Fiesta edging his Ford teammate Tanner Foust who came in second in the ROCKSTAR Fiesta.
“It was a nice weekend for me and for the team as well,” said Gronholm. “I am happy and my Ford Fiesta worked very well in the final. It was easy to drive and I was quite confident. When I took the start I was quite confident that if I kept my line I could hold the lead and he [Tanner Foust] couldn't pass me. I had a lot of fun and I would love to race X Games. Whether I race any GRC events between now and X Games, we will have to see.”
Tanner Foust was dubbed the pre-race favorite by Gronholm and most rally experts. Foust ended the weekend with a pair of podium results including a second place finish in the RallyCross event.
“What a final,” said Foust, who is the defending X Games champ in RallyCross and SuperRally. “I know I am not the first one to say, ‘I just couldn't catch Marcus Gronholm. He just disappeared and by the first corner his Fiesta was just a little bit out of reach, and even though I had the fastest splits on the Joker lap, I fell behind. I was impressed with the first weekend of the GRC.”
"We broke a lot of ground this weekend at this first event," said Foust. "The final was crazy: When I saw Gronholm's car right over my head on the jump, I knew he had it."
Third-place overall went to Formula DRIFT regular Stephan Verdier, who put in consistently fast times all weekend in his Subaru WRX STI.
"The last round was insane," said Verdier. "I can't wait to do it again at the next one."
The two-day Global RallyCross Championship race featured a roster of top drivers from around the world, including Subaru Rally Team USA driver Dave Mirra – a BMX star with more X Games medals than any other athlete in the world – European rallycross veteran Michael Jernberg, from Sweden, and the Hyundai team of Rhys Millen and five-time British rally champion Marcus Dodd. Drivers competed in a head-to-head format on Friday, and took on aggressive, multi-car rallycross racing on Saturday that culminated in a six-car final race for the win.
The Global RallyCross Championship will return to action outside Seattle, Wash., April 15-16.