Andreas Eriksson drove the Best Buy Ford Fiesta to victory in today's Super Rally competition at the Global RallyCross Championship event, "Twin Peaks", in Snoqualmie, Wash. Sweden's Eriksson is the team principle at Olsberg MSE, the shop that built and maintains the Fiestas, but has also been a dominant driver in the European Rallycross Championship.
"You have to try no matter what happens," said Eriksson, who was nearly unable to start in the finals after having problems with his clutch. "I knew that I needed to get out ahead of Tanner [Foust], and I did, but we connected in the first corner, and then he stopped."
Foust finished second in the Rockstar Ford Fiesta after clipping a tire, the force of which caused Foust to dislocate his shoulder.
"Yeah, that was an eye-opener," said Foust about the pain. "I clipped a tractor tire, and it jarred the steering wheel and bumped my shoulder out. It's back in now, and I've got ice on it, but we'll have to try to see what we can do to make it tomorrow."
Third place went to privateer Stephan Verdier in his Crawford Performance STI, who was beaten by Foust in the semifinals. Verdier was able to put a move on Foust and briefly take the lead, but couldn't hold it to the finish.
"We're a small team, so this result is really good," said Verdier. "We qualified seventh today and finished third."
Verdier faced off against Dave Mirra in the quarterfinals, and the two battled heavily in each heat. Both cars took some damage from the bumping and rubbing with Verdier coming out on top.
Mikael Eriksson of Sweden (and no relation to Andreas) won the 2WD class in his Porsche 911.
"Today was OK, but the track was a mess to drive. It was so wet," said Eriksson. "This car is hard to drive when it's wet, and the track was very wet today. I am looking forward to the RallyCross competition tomorrow."
Second place went to local Cody Crane in a Honda CRX, who eliminated Dillon Van Way in the semifinals despite car problems.
"I lost the power steering in the race with Van Way, and I couldn't fix it before the finals, so I did the finals without it," said Crane, who put in a stellar performance to stay close to Eriksson's Porsche.
Kris Dahl, another local driver at the wheel of a Honda Civic, finished third in 2WD.
Super Rally puts two drivers head to head in a bracket style format, where the fastest driver in each heat advances. Survive each heat to get to the finals, and it's a head to head for first place.
Held at the Old Mill Rally Park in Snoqualmie, the Twin Peaks event featured a course that is about 50 percent gravel, 50 percent pavement. The course passes through the inside of an old warehouse and features a 70-foot gap jump in front of the grandstands.
Rain leading up to the event meant the gravel sections got particularly wet, making traction and tire choice difficult. A pavement-oriented tire would work well on the launch, but it would have needed to be grooved to clear the mud and water once on the gravel sections.
Tomorrow, teams will compete in RallyCross, where up to six cars all compete at the same time on the same course, bumping and jockeying for position. Practice and qualifying sessions are held before the heats and mains, before a winner is decided in the "A" main.