Scott Speed: Season Review

(December 10) – Ex-Formula 1 driver Scott Speed didn’t get his inaugural Americas Rallycross (ARX) season off to the best start, and had to fight his way to a podium finish in the opening event of the year.

In his first visit to Silverstone, UK as a rallycross driver – he had twice raced at the circuit in F1 – Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross driver Speed was second fastest to Volkswagen Beetle teammate Tanner Foust in Q1, but lost time in Q2 when he hit a tire wall. With fastest time in Q3 he lifted himself to second in the Intermediate Classification, and won semifinal two to line up on the front row of the final. But, at the start of the final Speed was passed by first Timo Scheider through turn one, then by Liam Doran over the jump, the Brit completing the move at the hairpin. Speed took a lap one joker and when all of the other drivers took theirs, he finished second to Foust.

It was payback time for Speed in round two at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, where he started on the pole for Q1 and set fastest time in the first three qualifiers. Fifth in Q4 didn’t drop him from top of the Intermediate Classification and he then led his semi and final to take his first ARX win.

As ARX headed north to Trois-Rivieres in Canada, Speed was almost untroubled and completed the best result possible in an ARX weekend, known as the ‘clean sweep’ by winning all four qualifiers, the semi and final to take maximum points. That result put the VARX driver in touching distance of the title with one round to go.

In the final weekend, in a return to COTA, Speed made an unusual mistake in Q1 after taking the hole shot from fourth on the grid and took a second joker in error. He was fifth quickest again in Q2 when he was spun after contact with Ken Block’s Ford Focus on lap one. In Q3, Speed finished second to teammate Foust on track but due to rain during the session, was fifth quickest yet again. Fastest time in Q4 took speed to second in the Intermediate Classification, and he won semi two to put his name on the first ever ARX champion’s trophy. Speed started on the front row of the final next to Foust, but could do nothing to stop his teammate taking a second win of the year.

Just weeks after the season, Speed announced he would switch to Subaru Rally Team USA for ARX 2019.


Tiernay Oliver