After progressing seamlessly through to the finals at Texas Motor Speedway for round 2 of the 2012 Global Rallycross Championship, Marcus Grönholm maintained his 100% winning record this season with another clean sweep of qualifying and heat wins before going on to take another set of maximum points in a dramatic finale tonight.
Drivers competed on a course laid out on the front stretch and pit lane of the Texas Motor Speedway oval. It featured narrow passing zones, chicanes, water hazards, and the first completely mechanical gap jump ever seen in competition.
"Hoon Kaboom was typical Texas style: Big!" said second-place man Foust. "The crowd was big, the track was big and the jump was big."
The 65-foot leap of faith from a blind takeoff to the sweet-spot on the landing ramp proved a formidable obstacle. Several competitors were forced out of competition for being unable to navigate it.
The first run of the final brought out the red flags after a stalled jump attempt by Sverre Isachsen in his Subaru on lap 4 of 6. It was not the only appearance for the red flags though, and the third re-start saw Marcus follow a committed strategy of diving in for the shorter joker lap off the line, while his key opponents, Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan, stayed out on a full lap and opted to play their joker later. The strategy and the committed pace of the Finn saw him open out and maintain a lead to the flag to give him his second successive victory in two weeks and a maximum points score.
“So, what a tough day, I must say. I knew at the start of the week that Texas would be all different to Charlotte and it would take a whole lot more heart to win here. But we did it and it is a great, great feeling. The seeding and the heats seemed pretty straightforward, just keep your nose clean and stay out of trouble, but the final, well I knew with guys like Tanner and Brian that I’d need to find something special to stay ahead of them.
I had a bad start first time round and maybe not a perfect start for the second time, so I guess I was fortunate that the flags came out twice. On the final start, it was perfect, we kept it all together and got over the line first. I must thank Best Buy and all the guys at OMSE, everyone has done a brilliant job this weekend. The only thing I reckon I want now is some physio – I am not the only one with a sore back after all the jumps today, but I hope it made a spectacular show for the fans,” said Marcus.
"I am happy with the result" added Foust. "The course was tough on cars and drivers, with long straights and a massive gap jump on every lap, many cars couldn't take that kind of beating."
The top twelve all earned their place at the forthcoming X-Games in LA - a host of Mountune-powered drivers will now certainly be in attendance, not least; Gronholm, Foust, Deegan, Pastrana and Binks.