2013 Global Rallycross Championship year in review
One, Two ... Go!
The Global Rallycross Championship series makes its ninth and final stop of the season in Las Vegas on Nov. 7 (live at 7 p.m. ET, Thursday on ESPN2). Scott Speed, front, won an X Games gold for his RallyCross win in the first race of the season in Brazil. He got off to a good start in the finals at the last race, too, shown here in Charlotte getting a jump on Brian Deegan, center, and Ken Block, back. Speed won the race, with Deegan taking second and overall GRC season champion Toomas "Topi" Heikkinen taking third. All four will be on hand in Vegas, along with Travis Pastrana, Bryce Menzies, Tanner Foust and the rest of the race teams, for a shot at one last GRC victory in 2013.
Foz do Iguaçu
Toomas Heikkinen was set to make his X Games debut in 2012 in Los Angeles but missed out because of a spectacular crash in practice. His first X Games RallyCross racing was in Brazil, and he went home from Foz do Iguau with a silver medal.
Only A Bronze
Ken Block, left, and Liam Doran, center, were the story in RallyCross race No. 1 in Munich, with Doran taking gold on three tires in a wet and wild finish. Heikkinen finished third -- his worst finish of the season -- in this race and settled for the bronze.
Staying Out Of Trouble
Heikkinen, far right, bounced back in the second RallyCross race at X Games Munich. He avoided this pile-up in the first turn that sent Sverre Isachsen's car up on two wheels and rode away with the victory.
Ready To Pounce
Heikkinen, left, was in third place behind Patrik Sandell part of the way through the ninth lap, when he made his big push to the eventual victory in Round 4 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. Heikkinen was also aided by a Tanner Foust crash in the final hairpin turn. Lucky and good.
After losing his lead when he crashed into the guardrail on the final turn in Loudon, Tanner Foust scrambled to finish fourth. "Heikkinen is one guy that has gotten lucky a number of times," Foust said. "But the fact is, he's capitalized every time he's gotten the break. So you can't take anything away from Topi on that."
While others got squeezed out on the second corner of the first turn, Toomas Heikkinen, right, took advantage to slip past for a lead he would never relinquish in the main event in GRC race No. 5 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn.
The crash in the first hairpin turn on the first lap of the Ford RallyCross final in X Games L.A. took out three of the race favorites: Liam Doran, Ken Block and Brian Deegan. Block and Deegan went on to finish sixth and seventh, respectively. Heikkinen, left in the white car, once again avoided the early trouble and went on to win the race. Tanner Foust finished second.
Hotlanta, Hot Heikkinen
The hits kept on coming for Heikkinen at stop No. 7 of the GRC season series in Atlanta. "Tanner fought me the whole race," Heikkinen said of Foust, his closest competitor in the overall points race for the 2013 GRC points title. Foust couldn't get around his rival and "Topi" took home his fifth consecutive first-place finish.
Toomas Heikkinen hasn't missed a podium all season in seven rounds of the GRC, including claiming the top spot between Sverre Isachsen, left, and Tanner Foust, right, at Atlanta.
Reasons To Smile
"Topi" was all smiles after winning the RallyCross final at Irwindale Speedway during the X Games' swan song in Los Angeles. He had even more reasons to smile after taking third at the penultimate race of the GRC season in Charlotte, giving him a virtual lock on the overall season championship.
Speed, center, took top honors in Charlotte, with Deegan, right, and Heikkinen, left, finishing second and third, respectively. The GRC season series concludes Nov. 7 in Las Vegas.