FOUST AND McCONNELL SECURE ARX TITLES
Monday 7th of October 2019
Former FIA World Rallycross Championship event winner Tanner Foust is the 2019 Americas Rallycross (ARX) Champion, with RX2 International Series star Fraser McConnell securing the ARX2 Championship title after a compelling final day of the season at the Cooper Tires ARX of Mid-Ohio.
In the season finale at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, McConnell made history by becoming the first Jamaican to win a top-class rallycross title, as Australian driver Chris Atkinson ended the ARX Supercar season with a dramatic victory for Subaru Motorsports USA.
Atkinson survived incredibly challenging wet and slippery conditions to take his second win of the season and secure the ARX Team Championship for Subaru Motorsports USA, as newly crowned 2019 Champion Tanner Foust, who secured his title after the qualifying rounds, missed out on a place in the final after a track limits penalty halted his progress in the semi-finals.
Starting on the front row, Atkinson took the lead into the first corner as pole starter Patrik Sandell had a slow getaway from the grid and dropped to sixth. Loenbro Motorsports’ Steve Arpin climbed from the second row up to second-place on Lap 1, in front of FIA World Rallycross Championship title-contender Andreas Bakkerud.
With grip almost non-existent for much of the six-lap final thanks to additional rain before the start, the 600bhp supercars slid their way around the circuit as some of the world’s best rallycross drivers battled against the conditions. Sandell stopped in turn two and was only just avoided by teammate Joni Wiman. Bakkerud overtook Arpin for second on Lap 2 before Arpin slid his No. 00 cbdMD Ford Fiesta ST back up the inside of the joker lap merge at the keyhole. Bakkerud was forced to retire on Lap 3 with a mud-covered windshield.
Up front, Atkinson built a comfortable lead on the way to victory in the sixth and final round, as Arpin battled with Sandell in the later stages of the race. Wiman pressured Arpin to the line to initially complete the podium but dropped to fourth after he was given a five-second penalty, promoting Sandell to third-place in the process. Loenbro’s Travis PeCoy brought his machine home in fifth. The Andretti Rallycross team of Foust and rookie teammate Cabot Bigham failed to make it to the six-car final.
With Foust having already clinched the second-ever ARX title prior to the final, Atkinson’s win saw him beat Sandell to second in points for Subaru by a single point. Arpin ended the season with fourth-place in the standings.
In ARX2, the official support series to ARX, Jamaican driver Fraser McConnell capped off his record-breaking title-winning season in style by mastering the extreme conditions to take his fifth win of the year.
DirtFish Motorsports’ McConnell battled with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Sage Karam at the front of the semi-finals, but in the final, the Jamaican driver took control and stormed to victory. As the single-make ARX2 cars battled to find traction throughout the race, Karam finished second, claiming his fifth consecutive rallycross podium in his first season. Buhl Sport’s Alex Keyes handled adversity all weekend-long and rounded out the podium in third.
Keatts concluded the event fourth, which also secured him second in the ARX2 Championship behind McConnell. Loenbro Motorsports’ Michael Leach finished fifth, with DRR’s Lane Vacala finishing in sixth after his most successful weekend to date in rallycross.
Outgoing ARX2 Champion Conner Martell missed out on the final with a mud-covered windshield early in the semi-finals. 14-year old Gray Leadbetter also missed out on the final despite showing impressive speed throughout the entire weekend.
After podium finishes by Karam and Keatts this weekend, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing claimed the ARX2 Team Championship.
See full Cooper Tires ARX of Mid-Ohio results here.
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