FOZ DO IGUACU, Brazil -- Liam Doran's 39.007-second lap time Saturday earned him the top spot in seeding for Sunday's RallyCross event at X Games Foz do Iguaçu.
A mechanical problem in his Citroen DS3 2013 almost caused Doran to miss the seeding round on the dusty and challenging, mostly dirt track.
"We had a turbo problem in practice and they basically called it and said I wasn't gonna make it in time," Doran said. "And I just got in the car, hadn't even finished strapping in, started the seeding without even finishing strapping in. So it just means that your head doesn't give you the chance to say, 'Right, this is X Games, this is Travis Pastrana, Ken Block, Tanner Foust.' It's just like, 'Go, drive as hard as you can,' which is what I did. I'm really, really happy with that."
Despite earning the important inside lane in his heat Sunday, the 26-year-old Brit knows there's a lot of racing left before he can get another X Games medal to go with his 2011 Rally Racing gold.
"But it's a good start," he said.
Doran added: "It's not just for the track standings; it's more for the mental attitude of everyone tonight. Because everyone's like, 'Oh, it's so different than what we normally do, who's going to be fast at doing it?' So, yeah, I'm really happy. This time last year at X Games in LA, I was in dead last, I was 17th and now I'm first. I got up from 17th to fifth last year, so if I can keep it in first this year I'll be really happy."
Former Formula One driver and current NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Scott Speed, now with about 30 RallyCross laps under his belt, had the second-best qualifying time (39.047 seconds) .
"Yeah, it's awesome," the X Games rookie from Manteca, Calif., said. "If I think to how we started yesterday, [the] first time ever driving the cars, to now, it's like the learning curve is … the steepest thing I've ever done in my life, and somehow it just sort of fits my driving style and it's just about adapting to what it's supposed to feel like. I still have aways to go for sure, but it's nice to know that I have speed there, and from that I think we can build on it."
Defending Global Rallycross Championship series winner Foust (39.144) was third, followed by another rookie, Nelson Piquet Jr. (39.235) of Brazil.
Dodge Dart teammates Pastrana and Bryce Menzies were 12th and 13th, respectively, out of 15 drivers.
"Everybody starts first row. I mean we definitely hoped to qualify a little quicker. [I] just had a bit of trouble there," Pastrana said. "It's kind of disappointing that both of us are back pretty much last two for our team -- not the last two, but other than those guys we're in the back."
"Those guys" are Brazilian drivers Mauricio Neves and Eduardo Marques, who are driving the markedly slower V6 Peugeots.
RallyCross heats begin at 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN.
X Games Foz do Iguaçu RallyCross seeding, April 20, 2013
|4||Nelson Piquet Jr.||39.235|