Sept 22, 2013 – Charlotte, N. Carol.
The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the venue for GRC Lites Round 5 and presented a track that had significantly more dirt and clay than the previous circuits. Geoff Sykes took advantage of the brief testing sessions on Thursday and posted quick times, which bode well for the weekend.
“It had been five weeks since being in the Rallycross car, and with having just run in the US Touring Car series, this was a good refresher to get back into the very different all wheel drive Lites car on a completely different track surface”, said Sykes.
The official Saturday practice sessions were cut short due to incoming storms, which then completely flooded the track that night. “The track completely changed, so it was a challenge to find the best line, whilst of course keeping the car away from the barriers and concrete walls!” said Geoff. The speedway staff had the daunting task of draining the lakes that had formed between turns 3 and 5, then resurfacing the track, but after a few hours delay, racing was underway.
In the two heat races, Sykes started and finished 3rd, gaining valuable experience and keeping the car in good shape for the final. In the final, Geoff was set to start in the middle of the 2nd row in fifth position. “At the first corner, I took to the right side, going wide up to the outside wall. The move paid off as I was able to move up to 3rd. Then I was on Joni’s bumper through turn 4, with Sebastian hard on my tail.”
Sykes held on to this position for the next few laps, then passed Kevin Eriksson when he had a tire failure, finishing second overall. “This was my first podium in GRC Lites, and it’s been a long time coming!”, said Geoff.
ABOUT RALLYCROSS AND GEOFF SYKES
Rallycross combines circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition with intense, crowd-pleasing action in a fan-friendly track environment, featuring a challenging course that includes jumps, unbanked turns and changing track and surface conditions that can include dirt, gravel and wet asphalt.
Geoff Sykes is driving his first season in Global Rallycross, having come from an autocross and road racing background with multiple records and championships in the BMW CCA racing series, and is the current GT points leader in the US Touring Car Championship.
Sykes’ rallycross racing includes support from GetEnergyFX.com, Midnight Oil, RallyPro at The Firm, and DTV Solutions.