Mitchell DeJong’s Ready for Las Vegas GRC Lites Finale
Final GRC Lites Round in Las Vegas on November 6-7:
The final Global Rallycross race in Las Vegas, Nevada will take place amongst thousands of automotive racing fans and industry professionals during SEMA week on November 6-7. Live television coverage starts on Thursday at 7:00 pm Eastern on ESPN2.
When Mitchell isn’t revving the #24 Red Bull GRC Lite around the Las Vegas race course next week, you’ll likely find him spinning some cool tricks with his Radio Controlled Vaterra Red Bull Rally Car. He will also be hanging out at the Royal Purple booth on Friday at SEMA, Central Hall #23713 from 10am – 12pm.
For tickets to the season finale, go to www.globalrallycrosstickets.com and enter Promoo Code: GRCVEGAS to receive $10 off!
The Dirt Track at Charlotte Re-Cap:
Coming off another Silver Medal finish in Atlanta and a lengthy month long gap in the Global Rallycross schedule, Mitchell was itching to take the wheel of his #24 Red Bull GRC Lite on the famous Dirt Track at Charlotte. Mother Nature must have known the GRC race was scheduled, in typical GRC Eastern-track fashion the sky began to grumble and drop buckets of water turning the Dirt Track into a Charlotte pond.
While the GRC crew bailed water from the track, Mitchell received an unexpected surprise when the chief of Travis Pastrana Racing asked if he would like to “shake-down” one of their Red Bull Dodge Dart SuperCars. Without a hint of hesitation Mitchell said, “ABSOLUTELY!” Mitchell strapped into the #99 Red Bull rocket and torched the wet asphalt with some blistering start-line launch tests. Mitchell exclaimed, ” The power is unreal and unlike anything I’ve ever felt, a total adrenaline rush!”
Mitchell’s test session also stamped the strength of Andreas Eriksson’s GRC Lites program as a perfect training ground to mold and prepare a potential GRC SuperCar driver. The acknowledgment and opportunity from Travis Pastrana’s SuperCar team was humbling and the best birthday gift the young 16 year old could have ever wished for.
With spirits at an all time high, Mitchell took his #24 Red Bull racer to the dried out Charlotte track for the GRC Lites heat race. With RPM’s pegging the red, he launched from the start and stole the holeshot. Mitchell never looked back as he hit each of his marks, turn by turn clocking the fastest lap time of the heat and eventually driving away to his very first heat win of the season!
With millions of hungry GRC fans glued to the Live ESPN broadcast, Mitchell and the rest of the GRC Lites arsenal was staged to make a dash into the always exciting and chaotic first turn. The green light flashed sending Mitchell into the wildest 100 yard dash of his life as he raced 3-wide while bumping doors on both sides. As Mitchell literally felt the squeeze by both competitors rubbing on each side of him, he tried to tuck behind Joni to avoid a disastrous turn one pile up. Just as he took the turn, he also took a hard hit in the driver rear quarter panel from a car charging from behind him. The hit was hard enough to throw his Simpson Racing shoes off the pedals to lose valuable positions.
Mitchell pressed hard from the back and despite the engine overheating and going into limp mode, he never let off, just trusting the Royal Purple oil would carry the injured “Bull” into a battle for third place. Reminiscent of his previous high flying battle with Sebastian Eriksson in Atlanta, the two young racers were caught in a new fight for the final podium spot. Just as Mitchell put himself in position for the third place takeover, he fell victim to an unusual GRC course layout error where Sebastian’s brief penalty box stop allowed him an advantage by actually giving him a shorter approach to the finish line. The controversy resonated with the Officials enough to make a course change for subsequent races, sadly there was little they could do to help Mitchell’s finishing position.
Mitchell proved to himself, his fans and the millions of people watching GRC on ESPN that staying poised and focused no matter what happens can still result in a top finish. Mitchell’s 4th place finish put him securely into the 3rd place GRC Lites points standings, and only 7 points from nabbing 2nd place.
The young gun’s consistent results have also earned him a valuable position to test drive GRC SuperCars on November 8th after the season finale.