BRISTOL, Tenn. – Toomas Heikkinen survived a harrowing start at Saturday’s SYLVANIA-sponsored Global Rallycross competition at Bristol Motor Speedway, but won the final by a long shot, taking his second win in as many weeks and securing a large lead in the SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Cup point standings.
Several drivers – like Brian Deegan and Tanner Foust – struggled on the first-of-its-kind course, battling either mechanical issues or blown tires, while Ken Block made the tarmac turns and the joker lap look easy during his Heat race.
In the final showdown, Heikkinen emerged quickly from a four-wide battle royal into the first corner of the race, taking the lead and roaring away from the nine-car field. Block was steady on his tail but just couldn’t catch him, allowing Heikkinen to beat him to the checkered flag by just 2.054 seconds. Deegan came in third place for the second weekend in a row. The win boosted Heikkinen’s lead in the SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Cup to 10 points over Block, while Deegan and Patrik Sandell are just 11 points behind, both vying for third.
“It means a lot to me to win, it will be another great memory for me,” said Heikkinen during the television broadcast. “We had a great car and had a great race.”
Point standings for the four-round ‘championship within a championship’ are heating up as drivers are officially halfway through the SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Cup series, where the winner will walk away with $20,000 and one of the largest trophies in all of rally racing. The fight started with last week’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway where Heikkinen beat out Tanner Foust, Deegan and Sandell in a thrilling last lap win.
The next race is scheduled Aug. 11 in Atlanta and will wrap up at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sept. 22.
“This is the type of racing that keeps you on your feet – you just never know what’s going to happen or who is going to win until the Final round,” said Joe Verbanic, marketing manager, SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting. “We are looking forward to seeing these great drivers continue in the battle for the $20,000 prize and the honor of taking the inaugural SYLVANIA SilverStar® zXe Cup.”