Cole Keatts: Season Review
(December 19) – Cole Keatt’s season in ARX2, the official support class to Americas Rallycross (ARX) began with a bang in the opening round at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.
Racing the Keatts Motorsport #53 car, Keatts finished on the podium after a dramatic final at COTA in July and was in the final for a second time in round two as ARX headed north to the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in Canada. But gearbox problems in round three on the second day of the double-headed dented his points total.
“The 2018 season was pretty crazy, it was really nice to be back in the US racing rallycross again which I really missed. It was really tough though, we started out the year pretty good and were on the podium in the opening round. That was the most gratifying moment of the year for me, being on the podium with Christian (Brooks) and Conner (Martell). I’ve raced those guys for many years and it was really cool to be back on track in the US racing each other pretty hard,” said Keatts. “It was a wild battle to the finish in COTA which made it a real deserving result.”
From the year high in COTA, Keatts then describes the Canadian rounds as the most difficult weekend of the season. “Probably my least favorite moment was in Canada, even though I love that track and we were really fast there. The gearbox failure ended our weekend. It was pretty crazy because I had to just slam the car into gear on the start line because the clutch was falling apart. It was a bummer to end it that way, we had really good speed and me and Conner were the fastest ones there. But, our team showed really good speed, which I was really happy about.”
Going to the final race weekend of 2018, back at COTA in September, Keatts made the final in the last race day but a DNF following a crash in Q2 had hurt his chances, then he was hit by further issues in the final. Finishing the inaugural ARX2 season sixth, the 17-year-old is looking forward to visiting new circuits in 2019. “I’m really looking forward to Mid-Ohio, it will be cool to branch out of the south a little bit and keep working our way across the US. I’ve heard a lot of rumors about the track and Mid-Ohio is just a known famous place in US motorsports. Hopefully we can be running there pretty competitively and learn this track pretty fast.”
PHOTOS OF COLE KEATTS FROM THE 2018 ARX2 SEASON