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Mitchell DeJong Fast in Global Rallycross Lites Bad Luck Prevails at Bristol Motor Speedway

Mitchell-DeJongsTemecula, CA (July 24, 2013) — After a stellar Top-2 qualifying session, Mitchell DeJong’s podium hopes at the high-banked half mile of Bristol Motor Speedway were shattered on Saturday during Round 2 of the Global Rallycross Lites series, when turn-one contact broke a suspension mount eventually forcing him into the safety barrier and onto the flatbed tow truck.

The wild weekend at the “Coliseum” in Bristol, Tennessee started Friday in bright fashion with the debut of the new livery on the #24 Red Bull Olsbergs MSE GRC Lites race car.  As the only Red Bull branded GRC Lite car in the world,  the new look has turned some heads and garnered the attention of GRC fans from all over.  Soon after the livery was placed, Mitchell went to work taking the shiny rocket into the first rounds of practice as he ran consistent lap times and inched his way toward the front.  When it came time to qualify (aka seed) for the first heat race, Mitchell had tamed the steep 30 degree banked pavement course transitions, gravel lined chicanes, and high speed jump to nab the second place qualifier.

With his highest seeding in GRC Lites, Mitchell was now poised and confident to do well in his heat race. Mitchell and his foes sat on the line, when the green light finally flashed giving him the launch signal to grab the holeshot. As the chaos ensued behind him, he stretched out a 12 second gap on the field when his #24 Red Bull and Royal Purple powered Olsbergs MSE came to a halt.  Mitchell pulled to the side and watched his lead diminish into his first GRC Lites DNF. Later inspection found a skid plate had been damaged leaving vital engine components vulnerable to rocks and debris, ultimately forcing the engine to seize.

With head high about his continued improvement and driving performance, Mitchell left the #24 in the hands of his Olsbergs MSE mechanics to have it ready for Saturday’s Heat 2 and Main races. And that they did, by having Mitchell’s Red Bull racer ready to go!
 

Mitchell-DeJongsThe morning dawned with a fresh day to capture a top-2 spot for advancing straight to the main. With a second row start in Heat 2, Mitchell knew he had to make it through turn one to have a chance for a top finish, so he cautiously went wide into the high-banked pavement of turn one.  Mitchell dropped down into the apex when the leader had spun forcing the field to scatter.  Unfortunately, Mitchell became the victim as there was heavy-enough contact to break an A-arm mount. Without knowing of the damage, he raced into the next turn to realize his chance of turning was nill and slid into the K-rail safety barrier. The damage was race ending and left MItchell with only one last shot for the Main event, the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ).
 
As if the bad luck wouldn’t end, Global Rallycross had changed the scheduling for the GRC Lites class to move the LCQ forward. With what was originally a 3 hour break to do any repair, became only 20 minutes, slashing all hopes of racing the LCQ or Main Event.
While the bad luck forces the young DeJong into 7th place in the GRC Lites points series, his continued display of passion and speed makes the very first X-Games Global Rallycross Lites event at Irwindale Speedway on August 4th a must watch event!
 
Down & Dirty Radio Show with Jim Beaver: 
Listen Monday, July 29th at 9:30 am PT as Mitchell joins in on the latest GRC and X Games talk with host Jim Beaver. http://www.downanddirtyshow.com/ 
 
Get Tickets for X-Games Global Rallycross:
 
Watch X-Games Global Rallycross on ESPN:
Sunday August 4th, 5 pm ET on ESPN
 
Mitchell’s GRC LItes Partners:
 
Photos by Matt Kalish and DeJong Racing
About Mitchell: 
At age 15, Mitchell DeJong has taken a different path than most teenage youth, instead of playing ball sports he wakes each day with racing on his mind. Whether it’s a casual game on iRacing driving simulator, racing Losi r/c cars, or strength training, he takes every step today poised to live his dream as a racing champion in every sport he competes in. The passion to drive grew at an early age while helping his dad in the family off-road shop building high-end off-road cars. At first chance Mitchell won karting and off-road championships in 2007, at only age 9. Since then, he has accumulated 9 total championships in 6 seasons putting him on pace to be one of the winningest off-road drivers of all time. Global Rallycross and racing in X Games has always been a dream for Mitchell. He’s turned great success on the track into an opportunity to race GRC Lites and he will begin working hard to be the best amongst great drivers from around the world. 
  

About Global Rallycross Lites Series:

 

Built by top rallycross preparer OlsbergsMSE, the Lites produce 310 HP, just over half the power of the top Supercar vehicles and are designed to be more manageable for developing star drivers.  The cars are purpose-built racers that are fast, nimble, and exciting to watch. They are all-wheel drive and capable of handling the jumps, door-to-door combat and surface changes of a typical rallycross course. The class will run as a support series on the same courses as the Supercars at all US GRC events, with the Last Chance Qualifiers and Finals expected to run immediately before the main Supercar races.

“The racing is going to be close, since all cars conform to the same specification, and driving talent will be the deciding factor in these races,” said OlsbergsMSE CEO Andreas Eriksson, who worked with GRC to develop the class. “There is no better place than GRC Lites competitions to learn the sport.”

“GRC Lites continues the growth of Global Rallycross and will provide the perfect venue for drivers to hone their rallycross skills infront of our thousands of spectators,” said GRC CEO Colin Dyne.

About Global Rallycross:

Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) features the world’s top action sport athletes and combines them with the best elements of circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition to deliver intense action in a variety of fan-friendly environments.  Action sport stars including Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan, Dave Mirra, Bucky Lasik, Marcus Gronholm and Ken Block have described the sport as “motocross – with a roll cage.

2013 GRC LItes Schedule:

July 11: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, NH

July 20: Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, TN

August 4: X Games, Los Angeles, Irwindale, CA

August 10: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA

September 22: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, NC

November 7: SEMA Las Vegas, NV

 
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