Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen continued his impressive campaign by winning his second consecutive race in the 2013 Global Rallycross season at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Thursday. Topi is the only GRC driver this year to take the podium in all 4 races and win all of his qualifying heats. He is officially the wheelman to beat this year.
Grey skies and rain could not deter the enthusiasm of fans who arrived to see a fierce competition now that the season is in full swing. People swarmed racing legends like Tanner Foust, Travis Pastrana and Ken Block for autographs, but a new excitement surrounded another driver: Topi Heikkinen.
Though surrounded by a rambunctious crowd, Topi looked calm and collected. His wins this season, including a recent Gold and Bronze double podium finish at the X Games in Munich, meant he was finally getting recognition for his skills. In particular, his masterful handling on the difficult banked hairpin of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway earned the second fastest seeding and third quickest heat times during the qualifying rounds, guaranteeing a first-row start.
Excitement pulsed through the air as the cars pulled up to the starting line. When the light flashed green, Topi opened up full throttle and made a play for the lead— but it was Foust who gained the holeshot. Patrik Sandell and Topi immediately settled into second and third, respectively, behind Foust. As always, Topi didn’t kid around and went straight for the Joker lap early. The New Hampshire Motor Speedway possessed a unique Joker that actually made one lap longer. Topi’s strategy served him well as Sandell took his Joker late and ceded his position near the end of the race. Topi, of course, wasn’t satisfied with second place.
Handling his OMSE Ford Fiesta ST precisely, Topi stayed hot on Foust’s trail. Although behind, it was actually Topi who was setting the pace in the final lap by taking incredible racing lines and clean drifts. With the victory seemingly in Foust’s hands, a dramatic braking and handling mistake forced the race leader to nearly slide into the wall during the very last turn. With a clear path to first place, Topi raced through the finish line for his second consecutive victory.
The young Finn’s enthusiasm was infectious as he celebrated with his crew. He has gained the podium every race this year, but has managed to remain humble. When asked about his racing future, he simply smiled and responded, “One race at a time.”
With this latest win, Topi is now 25 points clear of his closest competitor and has gained more momentum towards a potential championship season at just 22 years of age. Bluebeam is extremely proud of everything he has achieved this season, and we wish him the best of luck in GRC Round Five at the Bristol Motor Speedway and the upcoming X Games in Los Angeles! Watch the GRC New Hampshire race footage on ESPN.com.