Driver

ARX | SANDELL WINS RACE TWO IN ST LOUIS

Monday 15th of July 2019

Patrik Sandell became Subaru Motorsports USA’s third different Americas Rallycross (ARX) Championship race winner in three rounds by driving his Subaru WRX STI to victory in the second leg of the ARX of Gateway double-header at the World Wide Technology Raceway.

The Swedish driver followed up teammates Scott Speed and Chris Atkinson’s victories in rounds one and two with a comfortable victory in round three, leading the final wire-to-wire. Speed himself sealed a Subaru one-two, charging from the back row of the grid following a difficult semi-final and then resisting late pressure from Andretti Rallycross’ Tanner Foust, who finished third. The reining ARX Champion continues to lead the 2019 points.

In the searing afternoon heat, Sandell lined up on the front row for the final alongside Loenbro Motorsports’ Steve Arpin, the Canadian looking to put the disappointment of narrowly missing out on victory in round two behind him. It was Sandell who took the hole-shot, with Australian driver Chris Atkinson making a fast start from the second row to try and go around the outside of Arpin into the first turn. But as Arpin fell back into the clutches of Foust’s Volkswagen Beetle, and with Scott Speed trying to sneak up the inside of the pack, Atkinson was forced wide, which also cost Loenbro’s Travis Pecoy time.

Atkinson continued to finish fourth, but the damage sustained on PeCoy’s car after contact with a tire bale impeded the 18-year-old’s vision, making him run wide onto the grass and out of contention on lap two. It was thanks only to the hard work of the Loenbro Motorsports team that he made the start at all, after colliding with Atkinson in the closing stages of their semi final and hitting some track furniture, damaging the front-left corner of his Ford Fiesta. Earlier in the day, PeCoy had set an impressive fastest time in Q3.

Speed took his joker on lap three of the final, slotting in ahead of Arpin, who would later fall behind Saturday’s winner Chris Atkinson into P5 after all drivers had completed their joker laps. Andretti Rallycross’ Cabot Bigham finished the day P7 having made a mistake on the final lap of his semi final, running wide and letting Speed’s Subaru WRX STI through when it looked like the points leader might miss out on the final.

In ARX2, the official ARX support category, Conner Martell rounded off a perfect weekend to snatch victory from Fraser McConnell on the last lap of the final. The Jamaican driver led from the start, waiting until the last lap to take his joker, cutting across Martell to maintain the lead. But in the penultimate turn, McConnell went in too hot, ran wide into the dirt and allowed Martell through to take the win. McConnell’s collection of points moved him back into the standings lead.

DirtFish Motorsports’ Brad Deberti got his reward for a solid weekend, taking the final step on the podium, profiting from a mistake by JR Hildebrand, with the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing driver finishing P4. Cole Keatts faded after a bright start to the day, eventually coming home in P5, with Alex Keyes in P6. DRR’s Gray Leadbetter and Loenbro’s Michael Leach both dropped out at the semi-finals stage after hitting trouble in each of their races.

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