Both Dodge Dart Global RallyCross teams struggle in Munich – Travis Pastrana skips the race

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wrecked rally dart

The Dodge Dart Global RallyCross teams headed to Munich Germany this past weekend for a double header event (to make up for the cancelled race in Spain) but both teams might have well stayed at home – just like Travis Pastrana did.  Rather than make the trip to Germany to race in the Global RallyCross XGames races, Pastrana stayed in the US to race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night where he started 2nd and finished 15th.  In his place, Russian European RallyCross driver Timur Timerzyanov drove the #199 car while Bryce Menzies was back for his second and third start of the 2013 season.  Menzies finished last at the first XGames GRC race of the year in Brazil and things really didn’t get any better in Munich.

Timerzyanov and his Dodge Dart took to the track first on Saturday where he would go head to head with Brian Deegan, Liam Doran and Bucky Lasek.  Timur got off to the early lead with a great launch with Deegan and Doran close in tow and he would continue to build his lead until he got a bit too far sideways at a point on the track where the surfaced changed from tarmac to gravel/dirt.  This let Doran and Deegan catch up and on the 5th lap, Deegan used the joker shortcut turn to get inside of Timur and claim the lead.  Deegan and Timerzyanov went door to door as they went into the first turn but as they came out of the other side – Doran had claimed the lead.  Deegan took the second spot in the heat and forced Timur into the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ).  In the LCQ, Timerzyanov got out to an early lead and he never looked back – handing the field a beating and reminding us just how good the new Dodge Dart rally car can be when driven well.

In the final shootout of Saturday’s GRC race in Munich, Timerzyanov started on the back row and was tangled up early with Ken Block.  This let the field get out away from the only Dart in the final round and on the second lap of the race, Block and Timur again got together in the first turn – sending the Dart spinning into the outside wall and bringing out a red flag.  Timerzyanov was able to get his car back to the starting line for the restart but he wrecked shortly after the start and finished 10th out of 10 cars in the final race field.

For Menzies, things started off well in Saturday’s heat race #3 with the Dodge Dart leading the field until one of the Subarus broke down on the track, bringing out the red flag.  On the restart, Menzies and Ken Block pulled away from the field in a hurry but after just a couple of laps, Menzies ran into a technical problem that took him out of contention.  Menzies’ team would get the car up and running for the LCQ but he never got close enough to the front to make a real push for one of the final two spots in the medal race.  Menzies technically finished 16th in the 17 car field.

On Sunday, both Dodge Dart rally car teams had a tough uphill battle even to get on the track.  After the series of crashes on Saturday, Timerzyanov’s team spent the evening trying to repair the chassis and suspension of the car while Menzies’ team also worked to overcome the mechanical problems that took him out of contention the night before.

Bryce Menzies was the first Dart driver to hit the track on Sunday but it wouldn’t be a particularly memorable run.  Menzies was in 4th place as the field came out of the first turn of the race and he would remain in the last spot until quietly disappearing from the track a couple laps into the race.  Menzies would come back out for the LCQ that had three restarts and as was the case in the heat race, Menzies quietly removed himself from the field before one of the restarts.  Menzies would finish 17th – last.

Things started off rough for Timerzyanov on Sunday as he struggled to catch Brian Deegan and Tanner Foust during heat race #4; eventually settling for third and being forced into the LCQ.  After a series of restarts, only four of the nine cars slated to run in the LCQ were lined up for the green lights with Timerzyanov’s Dart being one of them.  As those four cars left the line en route for the first turn, the powerful Dart easily jumped into the lead but a huge puff of smoke in the first turn spelled doom for the team as the turbocharged 2.0L engine failed a short way through the first lap.  Timerzyanov finished 12th on the day.

Considering how strong the #199 Dodge Dart rally car was with fill-in driver Timur Timerzyanov behind the wheel, we have to wonder if Travis Pastrana wouldn’t have had a good chance of being a front runner in the Munich Global RallyCross races but since he decided to stay in the States to race his Ford NASCAR Nationwide car – we will never know.  In his absence, the Dodge GRC program was a real mess.

Full results for each event and a video of each day’s races are included below for those who missed the airings on TV.

Saturday Global RallyCross Results:
1 Liam Doran
2 Ken Block
3 Toomas Heikkinen
4 Anton Marklund
5 Mattias Ekstrom
6 Tanner Foust
7 Brian Deegan
8 Patrik Sandell
9 Scott Speed
10 Timur Timerzyanov

11 Guiga Spinelli
12 Steve Arpin
13 Townsend Bell
14 Bucky Lasek
15 Dave Mirra
16 Bryce Menzies
17 Sverre Isachsen


Sunday Global RallyCross Results:
1 Toomas Heikkinen
2 Liam Doran
3 Tanner Foust
4 Mattias Ekstrom
5 Ken Block
6 Steve Arpin
7 Townsend Bell
8 Guiga Spinelli
9 Sverre Isachsen
10 Brian Deegan

11 Bucky Lasek
12 Timur Timerzyanov
13 Patrik Sandell
14 Dave Mirra
15 Scott Speed
16 Anton Marklund
17 Bryce Menzies

Still image above captured from the video of the Saturday racing.

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