Nelson Piquet Jr. to run Global Rallycross with SH Racing

Nelson Piquet Jr. will be racing on and through a piquant mix of dirt, tarmac and assorted obstacles.
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Nelson Piquet Jr. will compete in the upcoming Global Rallycross season with new entrant SH Racing.

Piquet spent almost two full seasons in Formula One before moving to NASCAR in 2010. The Brazilian ran two full seasons in the Truck Series, where he won two races in 2012, and ran the full Nationwide Series schedule last year.

SH Racing is owned by James Sullivan, a partner in IndyCar Series team KVSH Racing. The IndyCar team won the Indianapolis 500 last season with Tony Kanaan.

SH Racing was formed in 2010 initially competing in motocross, but first tried Global Rallycross in the 2013 X Games with driver Scott Speed. The team will run the full season this year with Piquet driving the No. 07 Ford Fiesta ST. The car will be sponsored by N.O.-XPLODE in six of the 10 events, including the X Games Austin.

"We have strategically built this team to win," Sullivan said Tuesday. "We are up against some steep competition, some of which we compete against in IndyCar, but we're in it to win it bar none."

Sullivan is the third IndyCar-affiliated owner to venture into GRC for the 2014 season.

Andretti Autosport will field two entries this season for Speed and Tanner Foust, and team owner Bryan Herta has partnered with former sponsor Barracuda Networks to form a team that will field a car for Austin Dyne. A rookie in rally racing, Dyne has raced one season each in NASCAR's K&N Pro Series West and Pro Series East.

NBC Sports Group, meanwhile, announced earlier this month a deal with the series through the 2015 season to present nine of the events a year. ESPN holds the rights to the X Games.

Regular coverage of the series, which is sponsored by Red Bull, begins May 24 on NBC with the tape-delayed May 18 season-opener from the Top Gear Festival in Barbados.

For Piquet, the series is a new opportunity after a lack of sponsorship ended his tenure with Turner-Scott Motorsports in NASCAR.

He became the first Brazilian to win a NASCAR national series race in 2012 when he won the Nationwide event at Road America, and he scored Truck Series wins at Michigan and Las Vegas.

"I am so excited to be embarking on this new challenge," said Piquet. "SH Racing have a serious set up with the Ford factory Fiesta, they're an experienced team and I have no doubt we will be fighting for wins. Competing in GRC is such an exciting prospect for me. I've always loved being diverse in my racing career and cannot wait to see what this year brings."

The Rallycross venues are between a half-mile and one-mile in length, and feature a mix of dirt, tarmac, and other obstacles. GRC vehicles are capable of producing 600 horsepower, can accelerate from 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, withstand 70-foot jumps and do not include traction control.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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