Just before the X-Games Austin we were lucky enough to grab a few minutes on the phone with F1, IndyCar, and NASCAR vet Scott Speed, who is just starting his second season in Global Rallycross. He knows his way around a fast car, and we wanted to get his opinion on the young racing series and adapting to the new discipline. He gave us a few additional gems besides—including some VW speculation that should excite gearheads everywhere.
COMPLEX: So, It seems like you've gotten off to a pretty good start this year.
Yeah, yeah. Things are goin' good. Soon we'll get our Beetle, and then we'll be doing really good.
I was looking at the GRC Beetle online a few minutes ago, and was wishing that VeeDub would compete with the WRX and call it “Baja” or some such, but I'd be happy if they just put your GRC car into production.
It's getting pushed man, It's really getting pushed. The first goal for them is to make the Beetle more masculine so that the demographic of buyers changes. They want to get some testosterone in it, and the GRC is the way to do that. The next step is to come out with a four-wheel drive, awesome, turbo Beetle.
Sounds perfect to me... I want it.
Hah! Me too
So back to racing and your previously mentioned “good start.” Regarding that, what would you say your edge is?
Mostly a racing background [as opposed to some of the competitors who come from an extreme sports background] really help with qualifying and helps us stay a step ahead of the field, but we're playing a lot of defense right now because of having to run the Polos, which aren't made by us. We're scrambling until we get our Beetles. The Beetle will be a proper Volkswagen-Andretti product. Right now it's very much an interim deal, and that's why, for example, one of the mechanical failures we had was totally preventable and won't happen when we get our stuff. In the mean time we're just having to survive, and we're quite surprised that we're as competitive as we are with what we have.
The next step is to come out with a four-wheel drive, awesome, turbo Beetle.
That's good news for you, isn't it?
Yeah! It's great news. No complaints over here.
Are you planning on making any significant changes once you have the Beetle. Are you going to have a chance to play around with it an get used to it, or will you just have to hit the ground running?
We will be hitting the ground running, very much so. The season is relatively short. Towards the end we'll get a break and some time between races, but so far the team have touched my car for maybe one day, two days maximum, before we're on track. We basically just opened up the cars like Christmas morning a few days ago here.
It's hard for us, since we're a new team and there's a lot to learn for all of us here. We're all, including myself, basically open-wheel guys. It's been more or less just making sure that we're avoiding mistake and failures and being as conservative as possible. I think, at the end of the year when we're hitting our stride, I'm optimistic that our performance level will be really good.