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Getting up to Speed

East Union grad finds his niche in RallyCross

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POSTED April 4, 2014 12:42 a.m.

Manteca native Scott Speed continues to prove that he is capable of racing just about anything that has a motor and four wheels.

The 2001 East Union High graduate began his career at the age of 10 in the ultra competitive world of karting. After winning numerous titles he moved into Formula racing in 2001 where he ultimately climbed to the pinnacle of the sport in 2006 when he became the first American to race in Formula One since Michael Andretti in 1993.

In 2008 Speed returned to America to try his hand at stock car racing where he competed in ARCA and all three NASCAR national series – Craftsman Trucks, Nationwide and Sprint Cup. He even dabbled in IndyCar, attempting to qualify for the 2011 Indy 500 for Dragon Racing.

After finding little success with the badly underfunded Leavine Family Racing Sprint Cup team the past two seasons, Speed again moved in a totally different direction by testing his skills in RallyCross where he found immediate success. Speed won a gold medal at the 2013 X Games in Foz do Iguaçu in his first ever race and followed that up with a second gold medal at round 8 of the Global RallyCross Championship in Charlotte Motor Speedway

Speed’s abilities caught the eye of none other than Michael Andretti who asked him to join his new Andretti Autosport Volkswagen venture for the 2014 Global RallyCross Series Championship. Speed’s teammate is Drift racing star and host of the popular TV show Top Gear, veteran Tanner Foust.

“GRC is the most fun I’ve had in a race car. This was a no- brainer,” Speed was quoted recently. “If you look at how quickly this series has grown, and where it’s going, this is going to be the future of motor racing in this country.”

The team will initially compete with modified Polo rally cars built on the chassis that won the 2013 World Rally Championship before switching during the season to the all-wheel-drive GRC Beetle, which has 560 horsepower!

Michael Andretti has high expectations for his new team.

“I’m thrilled to be entering the series and especially happy about teaming with Volkswagen. We are excited about our driver lineup of Tanner Foust and Scott Speed. I believe we have the best drivers in the series and will be a top contender.”

The 10-race 2014 RallyCross schedule begins May 16 in Barbados and includes western U.S. dates in Los Angeles on September 20th and Las Vegas on Nov. 5.

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