Red Bull GRC Returns to New England This Weekend
Local drivers and teams welcome GRC's return after a four-year absence.
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park is a brand new venue for Red Bull GRC, which will be running two events there this weekend. But New England is no stranger to the series. Though no event has been held in the area since New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2013, a number of drivers come from the area—and even one of the teams.
Subaru Rally Team USA hails from Colchester, Vermont. Vermont Sports Car has not only been building Subarus for GRC since its inception, but also for stage rallies since 2006. Travis Pastrana and David Higgins are driving for Subaru Rally Team USA in the American Rally Association championship this year. On the GRC side, Patrik Sandell and former Subaru World Rally Team driver Chris Atkinson will be flying the Subaru flag—as well as making actual Subarus fly—at Thompson this weekend.
Last year's GRC Lites champion, Cabot Bigham, hails from California, but spent much of his childhood in Weston, Massachusetts. After starting with dune buggies in his back yard, he progressed to go-karts, as many young racers do. At 17 years old, he moved to California to follow his dream of making the big time in racing, and now drives a Ford Fiesta ST for Bryan Herta Rallysport.
Conner Martell practically lives next door to Subaru Rally Team USA in Colchester, Vermont. But instead of a Subaru, he drives a Ford in GRC Lites for Dirtfish Motorsports. Keep an eye on this guy—he placed fourth in GRC Lites last year, and leads the championship by five points going into this weekend. He's also a very down-to-earth guy when he's not jumping dirt mounds, as I learned when we chatted for a while at last year's Washington D.C. event.
Jon Bennett, though not a New England native, did spend a few years living in Connecticut, where this weekend's events will take place. At the last event in Louisville he won his first heat, and is currently holding fifth place in GRC Lites. Jon drives for his own CORE Autosport team and is well on his way to his own GRC Lites success.
Regardless of where they're from or where they're racing, Red Bull GRC puts on one some of the most entertaining races to watch, whether on TV or in person. We highly suggest you tune in.