Best Buy Mobile driver Marcus Gronholm claimed victory and maximum series points in the opening round of the Global Rallycross Championship at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The elated Finn, who progressed through the seeding and heat stages with a clean sheet of wins, went into the main event for a eight-lap showdown against 10 cars, including rivals such as Tanner Foust who had also progressed to the final with a clean sweep of wins on Friday and Saturday afternoon.
In the final, Foust got the jump on the Finn from the startline, but Gronholm managed to recover the lead and used his joker lap – electing to take the jump – tactically to preserve his advantage. Despite a solid knock from behind, Marcus led the field home as multiple incidents decimated the field behind him. He led the Best Buy Mobile Fiesta Mk7 home to kick-start his campaign and underline his serious intent this season.
“This is what we came here to do," said Gronholm. "It was a pretty exciting conclusion to the weekend, as since Friday you have been used to fighting maybe three other cars at a time in the heats, then suddenly there are 10 cars on track, which really changes everything.
"With so many cars, staying out of trouble is really important and I got a big push from behind at one stage, I dropped quite a bit, but managed to get it all together and it was OK. Right now it is about enjoying the moment, but pretty soon we'll start taking a look at Texas which isn't so long away.”
The Global Rallycross Championship moves to Texas Motor Speedway on June 8-9, where the event partners the IZOD IndyCar Series' Firestone 550 after partnering with NASCAR at Charlotte.