Sparse crowd sees Rhys Millen take checkered flag in inaugural Rallycross at Daytona International Speedway

YouTube download videos by KTrain2787 & Buddybryan3 /
Raw clips from Daytona International Speedway show several hundred spectators cheering on Rallycross racers, including winner Rhys Millen who salutes them after winning the final heat in the heat of the sunshine state.
 

Rhys Millen salutes the fans at Daytona International Speedway after his Rallycross win / Headline Surfer®DAYTONA BEACH -- Attendance was sparse for Saturday's inaugural Red Bull Global Rallycross at Daytona International Speedway.

But the spectators who dared challenge the hot Florida sun in two bleacher sections saw Rhys Millen take the checkered flag in this high-flying race on dirt and asphalt, even as his engine failed on the final lap.

Photos for Headline Surfer® /
Cars are lined up before the start 0f the race at Daytona.
 

Millen became the fifth different winner in six races in this daredevil motor-sport series, featuring souped-up compact cars.

Driving for his own Hyundai-backed team, beat Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block and Subaru Rally Team USA’s Bucky Lasek to the line.

“To my team, really is where I need to tip my where I tip my hat,” Millen said.

“The car put a huge smile on my face in our test on Monday," he said. "We came here and, in the first time all year that we had a track this long, we were very surprised with where we were and how amazing the car brakes and turns into tight corners. That was the recipe to get the job done here.”

Rallycross driver Rhys Millen gives the No.1 signal after his win at Daytona / Headline Surfer®“To my team, really is where I need to tip my hat,” Rhys Millen said after his Rallycar win Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. “The car put a huge smile on my face in our test on Monday. We came here and, in the first time all year that we had a track this long, we were very surprised with where we were and how amazing the car brakes and turns into tight corners. That was the recipe to get the job done here.”

Having qualified fourth, Millen overcame a cam belt failure in Friday’s heats to take the win in his semifinal and earn the top starting position in the main event here Saturday.

Rallycar race at Daytona / Headline Surfer®At far left, a car flies off a dirt ramp while another sits stalled. In the inset, the several hundred fans enjoy the jumps and fender rubbing at the Rallycross race.
 

A strong start enabled Millen to jump out to a commanding lead, as Block separated himself from the field to make a late charge from second.

In the end, Millen’s gap was large enough to preserve the victory, even as his engine failed on the final lap. In post-race inspection, the winning car was found to have equipment not permitted under section 14-9.1 of the Red Bull GRC rulebook.

Rallycar racing at Daytona International Speedway / Headline Surfer®Cars leave the asphalt and head onto the dirt. In the inset, cars trade paint down the stretch.
 

However, upon further inspection by the Red Bull GRC technical team, it was found that this equipment did not provide any performance advantage.

Millen's win will stand, but the team will be penalized 50 points and a fine will be imposed by the series, Red Bull officials said.

FAST FACTS: Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona results:

Rhys Millen wins Rallycross race at Daytona / Headline Surfer®Rhys Millen does doughnuts after his win at Daytona.
1. Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Veloster Turbo
2. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
3. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
4. Patrik Sandell, #18 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
5. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
6. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo R
7. Joni Wiman, #31 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
8. Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
9. Austin Dyne, #14 Barracuda Racing Ford Fiesta
10. Scott Speed, #77 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo R
11. Emma Gilmour, #27 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Veloster Turbo
12. Steve Arpin, #00 Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
13. Pat Moro, #59 Chevrolet Sonic Racing/PMR Motorsports Sonic
 
Championship points totals:
1. Nelson Piquet Jr., 245
2. Ken Block, 205
3. Scott Speed, 190
4. Joni Wiman, 188
5. Steve Arpin, 170

Multi-media: 

YouTube download / Video by Red Bull Global / Highlights of a practice lap at Daytona International Speedway by Rhys Millen who won the inaugural Rallycross here on Saturday.

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.