Last weekend the Red Bull Global Rallycross hosted a doubleheader event at the Port of Los Angeles. Set at the end of Miner St. in San Pedro, the venue featured a scenic California backdrop. The track offered new challenges to drivers with a tight track, longer joker, very limited space to pass if any and asphalt that left very little of some tires after the heats and semifinal races.
Our own Steve Arpin (Royal Purple/OMSE2) had a weekend of ups and downs. Steve is one of the most upbeat guys you could ever meet, and is known for the ever present smile on his face. He’s also a fantastic ambassador for the Royal Purple brand going far beyond the logo on his car or his race suit. His personality is enthusiastic and infectious, and he doesn’t hesitate when asked for an autograph or an interview. If he spots a child checking out his car the next thing you know he or she is sitting in the driver’s seat.
The weekend started with a great first heat win for Steve over Joni Wiman (Olsberg MSE), Nelson Piquet Jr. (SH Racing) and Travis Pastrana (Subaru Rally Team USA). Heat 2A had the #00 car come in third behind Travis Pastrana and Patrik Sandell (OMSE). Steve’s heat runs were enough to place him in the first group for the semi-finals where he finished in fourth place behind Scott Speed (Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross), Sverre Isachsen (Subaru Rally Team USA) and Pastrana which sent him to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) where he claimed third place to advance to the Finals. Unfortunately the track wasn’t kind to Steve as he raced around the track vying for position with Pastrana throughout most of the race only to suffer mechanical issues and he finished the race in seventh place. Speed, Wiman and Block took the LA Race One podium, adding to their overall points for the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship. “In racing you reach the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, today was a combination of both,” said Arpin.
Steve started Day Two with a positive approach that the new race day would be better than the day before. Unfortunately it didn’t pan out the way he had planned. He placed third in the first heat of the day behind Isachsen and Sandell. His next race was the second semi final race in the field with Rhys Millen (Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing), Wiman, Pastrana, Isachsen and Piquet Jr. Super aggressive driving and a tight track had its way again with Arpin’s car and although he finished fourth, damage to the car caused him to miss the LCQ and final that was eventually won by Millen with Block and Wiman rounding out the top three finishers.
“We’ll get them in Seattle,” said Arpin.
With only a few days in between events, the Red Bull Global Rallycross moved to the Dirt Fish Rally School in Snoqualmie, WA for the ninth race of the season. The finale will be held in Las Vegas on Nov. 5.