Red Bull GRC Round 12: Los Angeles, CA. - Port of Los Angeles
📆 EVENT DATE: Fri 10/13 - Sat 10/14
🚏 HOST TOWN: Los Angeles, CA.
🕙 TIME ZONE: Pacific Daylight Time (UTC -7)
✈️ NEAREST MAJOR AIRPORT: LAX (Los Angeles Intl Airport)
⛈ WEATHER: Mostly sunny. 0% chance of rain. High 79ºF. Low 60ºF
RED BULL GRC POWERBLOCK: ROUND 12 - LOS ANGELES
PRACTICE: ATKINSON P6 | SANDELL P7
Chris Atkinson - “ We’ve been struggling a bit to find setup and we were P2 in the first practice session, but I even knew then that we weren’t comfortable with where the car was at. In the final practice session I just couldn’t get a lap together that I wanted and was just finding it hard to get the car to where I want. We’re making some changes now for qualifying.”
Patrik Sandell - “We haven’t really dialed the car in yet. We are trying some new things right now for qualifying.”
QUALIFYING: ATKINSON P7 | SANDELL P8
Chris Atkinson - “It was always going to be hard being in the first group with so much sand on the road. We should have been quickest in that group, but we had a little glitch out there. We’re second on the grid in the second heat, so not our best day. We’re trying our best to get the setup right..”
Patrik Sandell - “Not the result we wanted of course but we haven’t found a good setup yet for this track. Disappointed by qualifying, but looking forward to tomorrow.”
HEAT 1A: SANDELL P1 | ATKINSON P4
Both cars got a good start with P2 and P3 going into the first lap. On the first lap Austin Dyne hit Atko very hard in the rear, climbing up the rear corner of his car and damaging the rear of Atko’s car extensively. Sandell waited for the final lap to Joker and made the pass for P1 on the with Atko finishing p4.
Patrik Sandell - “Not an ideal launch but after that I was able to put down some good lap times. We just had a really good strategy for the joker and were able to pass the 2 Hondas. It worked out perfectly in the end.
Chris Atkinson - “We got a good start, but it was a bit of a tough heat. Patrik got on the inside of me, so I let him up the inside, but then I got hit quite hard from the rear after that. I just struggled from there with pace; we don’t know yet if something is bent or we just don’t have the pace in the car at the moment.”
HEAT 2A: ATKINSON P5
Atko took up the rear of the pack at the start of the race, and took some damage from contact in the first turn. For the entirety of the heat, Atko struggled to put down solid laps, finishing P5.
Chris Atkinson - “We got a really good start, then got jammed in the middle and did some damage to the front right of the car. I really struggled to do good lap times after that.”
HEAT 2B: SANDELL P2
Sandell had a great start and slotted in right behind Foust, the leader, and in front of Speed.. Early on both VWs and Sandell opted for the joker and got out front of the rest of the field. Sandell was able to hold off Speed for the whole heat and achieve a P2 finish just behind Foust.
Patrik Sandell - “We are currently P2 in the standings, which is really good so far so we just have to keep doing what we do.”
HEAT 3A: ATKINSON P2
Atko had a good start but had to file into P4. Later in the first lap he was able to make a pass on the Honda for P3. Atko then took the joker for P2 on the second lap to get in behind the leader Dyne. Honda 93 took the joker to make a pass on Atko, but then Atko returned the favor with a pass to grab and hold onto P2.
Chris Atkinson - “We ducked in behind off of the start and muscled our way though, got hit a couple of times, but we managed to get up into P2. The setup worked a lot better and I’m happy with it.”
HEAT 3B: SANDELL P3
Patrik started off well, passing nearly the whole field with an impressive outside slide early in the first lap, slotting into P2 behind Foust. Patrik held onto P2 until the final lap when Arpin took the joker and narrowly passed Sandell, ending in a P3 finish for Sandell.
Patrik Sandell - “Really good combination of things in this heat, but we still have a few more tweaks to make to have a really competitive car in the semifinal and final.”
SEMI FINAL B: SANDELL P2 | ATKINSON P5
Sandell and Atko both got very good starts off the line in the Semi. Patrik had the inside line and Atko the outside, both getting the jump on the rest of the pack. Atko was then pushed wide by Speed entering the first turn, but Sandell was able to keep the holeshot and secure P1, and stay there for the majority of the race. Sandell took the joker on the second lap for some clean air behind, but later in the race Speed was able to pass Sandell using the Joker lap. Sandell would retain P2, holding off a Honda, with Atko finishing P5.
Chris Atkinson - “Got a really good jump on the start, but got hit from behind and pushed out wide in turn 2 which bumped me back to last and we had some damage again. I just couldn’t do the laps I wanted.”
Patrik Sandell - “We had a really good start so I’m very happy with that. Scott (Speed) was just slightly faster than me on the track so he was able to pass me on the joker, but very very happy with this finish.”
FINAL: SANDELL P3 | ATKINSON P9 (DNF)
Sandell had a great start and moved into P2 on the opening lap behind the leader Tanner Foust. Atko, starting last on the grid in P10 had a strong start and was able to make his way up to P6 by lap 3, before a left front tire puncture ended his run on lap 4, forcing him to retire as the tire disintegrated. Sandell stayed with Foust for a majority of the race until his tires began to become worn, slowing him enough to allow Scott Speed to pass him using the joker on the final lap. Sandell held P3 comfortably to earn his second podium in a row, and third in the last five rounds.
Patrik Sandell - “We had a good start and really good, clean laps. I was able to stay up front with Tanner (Foust) for most of the Final. My tires were starting to go away a bit on the last two or three laps which started to slow me. I lost some time there so Scott (Speed) was able to pass me in the joker, which I kind of expected, but after that I just tried to bring it home clean. Overall a good weekend, this is two podiums in a row for me and three in the last five rounds, so we really ended the season on a high note with good momentum. Thank you to Subaru and the crew at Vermont SportsCar for all the effort this year, the team works very well together and we are really looking forward to next year now.”
Chris Atkinson - “A very interesting day for me. We were really fighting, but nothing went our way. I actually got a pretty good start and got up to P6 from last, but we had a slow puncture, so that was it. Otherwise this day was awesome for the team with another podium which is now 4 weekends in a row with a podium. Very encouraged going into next year.”
Lance Smith - “So the progress that was made this season shows the performance gain, but more importantly the consistency of the performance we are delivering. So, now there’s no question that it’s solid; we have a much higher level to start from next season, so that’s really good.. Last year we were at the back of the pack trying to get toward the top, now we’re consistently running third, which leaves only 2 places in front of us, which are occupied by the same car (VW), so that allows us to focus more on those 2 places in the off season.”
Reported by Vermont SportsCar Communications