Ken Block wins Las Vegas GRC finale
Block Breaks Through
Ken Block consistently qualified at the top of the field throughout the GRC season. However, bad luck and first-turn crashes kept him off the top step of the podium. Block finally broke through in the season finale, taking advantage of a Tanner Foust start-and-stop penalty midway through the final to take his first win of the year. "The variety of events and tracks for the GRC this year was great," said Block. "The X Games tracks, Bristol, everything was great. But it was great to finish first here in Vegas and have GRC step up and make it such an amazing event. I think we are getting the sport right where it needs to be."
"Topi" Fine In Fourth
The Finnish phenom had the season points title in the bag coming into the Vegas finale. Although "Topi" had a bad start, he found his way to the front of the race by the end and finished fourth. Heikkinen won five consecutive GRC races in the middle of the season, including gold-medal wins at the X Games in Munich and Los Angeles.
Foust continued to be one of the strongest and most consistent drivers in GRC in 2013, but he failed to break through against Heikkinen over the course of the year. The inaugural GRC season champion finished second in Vegas and is already gearing up for 2014. "This is the first Vegas event that I haven't won," said Foust. "But I'm still really happy because it's a great week have SEMA in town at the same time and being able to showcase our sport right down the road from the biggest trade show in the automotive world."
Ken Block holds up his first-place medal from the GRC finale in Las Vegas. Despite running well all year, Block had yet to win a race. "It feels really good for me and the team to finish this way," said Block. "It's been a tough, but good, year for us."
Vegas may have been the GRC swan song for the X Games superstar, who has not yet committed to the 2014 GRC season. Pastrana called 2013 "easily the most disappointing in his career." He struggled to juggle his NASCAR Nationwide Series racing commitments with the GRC schedule and the addition of a baby girl on Labor Day. Pastrana managed a third-place finish in Vegas. "It was a surprisingly good race for us," said Pastrana. "It was awesome to get out here with these guys and have some fun and get a result."
Block avoided the early troubles that had plagued him all season in the GRC events. After Foust took his stop-and-start penalty, Block took the lead and never looked back.
Tanner Foust, Ken Block and Travis Pastrana celebrate their podium finishes after the last race of the 2013 GRC season.
Brian Deegan had a disappointing end to the 2013 season. A crash in qualifying forced him out of his heat and he was unable to make the finals in the last-chance qualifier. Overall, Deegan came away in third in the overall season points standings and told X Games he's excited for the team's prospects in 2014.
Joni Wiman -- GRC Lites Season Champ
The young driver from Finland continued his 2013 GRC Lites season dominance by winning his sixth consecutive race. Wiman secured the Lites season points championship in his previous race in Charlotte. With the win in Vegas, he broke countryman and 2013 Supercar season points champion Toomas Heikkinen's record for consecutive wins in a GRC season. The protege of rally legend Marcus Gronholm is set to make the jump into the Supercar field in 2014.