GRC pulls out of Detroit, expands L.A.
The 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross series will be skipping a planned stop in the Motor City next month, GRC CEO Colin Dyne announced on Thursday, citing "event location feasability." The revised schedule removes the Detroit date, previously scheduled for August 2-3, and adds an expanded double-header in Los Angeles, September 19-21, to keep the series to 10 events.
"We remain committed to our fan base in Detroit, and we look forward to racing in the Motor City in 2015," Dyne wrote, declining to comment further about the circumstances that lead to canceling the event. The news follows several other major event cancellations in the city and came the day before nearly 70,000 of the city's creditors are scheduled to vote on a restructuring plan to reduce Detroit's $18 billion in Chapter 9 bankruptcy liabilities.
Sport organizers in Detroit have been working to bring action sports events to the city in recent years. Detroit had been one of four finalists in the bid to host X Games, prior to its move from Los Angeles to Austin last month, with Ford Racing and other GRC manufacturers involved in cheerleading the effort. Some of the same groups involved in putting that bid together were involved in bringing the GRC event to Detroit, but the specific venue was never officially announced: details for the Detroit stop were marked "TBA" on the GRC website until yesterday, when it was removed from the schedule altogether.
"Unfortunately as we are in full swing preparing to make New York a very successful race, this is all we're able to comment at this time," GRC spokeswoman Ashley Anderson told XGames.com. The series will resume on July 20 on the grounds at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island.
Dyne's statement emphasized that the change will not effect the overall points system for drivers competing in the full series.
"Los Angeles has been the home of Red Bull Global Rallycross since the series was founded, and is home to some of our most passionate fans as well," he wrote. "By converting our round in Los Angeles into a three-day event and points-paying doubleheader, we offer additional value to our fans in one of our core markets, as well as creating additional championship intrigue for our fans watching at home."
Scott Speed, Nelson Piquet Jr., and Steve Arpin currently lead the overall points race for the GRC's 2014 driver championship. Speed, racing for the new Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team, won the season opener at the Top Gear Festival in Barbados in May and won again at X Games Austin, the second stop of the 2014 GRC tour, in June. But a sixth place finish in Washington, D.C. earlier this month helped Piquet Jr. close the gap: Speed now leads by just one point, 135 to 134, with seven events remaining in the series.