Event Preview: Americas Rallycross Begins a New Chapter in Canada
TROIS-RIVIERES, Que., Canada (August 3, 2018) – The famous Grand Prix de Trois-Riveires street circuit hosts the third round of Americas Rallycross (ARX) this weekend, where the series begins a new chapter by racing in Canada for the first time (August 4 – 5) as it enters the second half of the year.
Following his maximum points victory last time out at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas for the first ever USA round of ARX, Volkswagen Beetle driver Scott Speed leads the Championship into Round 3, just one point ahead of his Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teammate, Tanner Foust, who won Round 1 at the Speedmachine Festival in Silverstone, UK.
Both Volkswagen drivers have had an event of domination so far, but with the arrival of the Loenbro Motorsports with Hoonigan Racing team, with drivers Ken Block and Steve Arpin at COTA, Speed had to work hard to hold off Block’s challenge for victory at the start of the final, Block racing a Ford Focus RS RX.
The ARX drivers face a new challenge this weekend on the GP3R street circuit, racing down the long straightaway across the start/finish line, between the narrow concrete walls and over the impressive jumps at the historic venue.
Arpin will be one of two home heroes racing north of the border, as 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner and 1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve makes his rallycross return, driving a Subaru WRX STI for Subaru Rally Team USA, together with permanent ARX drivers Patrik Sandell, from Sweden, and Chris Atkinson, from Australia.
Third in the championship, Sandell has qualified for the final in both ARX rounds so far and just missed out on a podium at Silverstone. Driving the third WRX STI, action sports legend Travis Pastrana also scored a fourth-place finish for the team at COTA. Run by Vermont SportsCar, who’s shop is located just south of the Canadian border, the team is pushing hard for its first ARX podium this weekend.
Britain’s Oliver Bennett joined the ARX field with his Mini Cooper SX1 Supercar at COTA and only just missed a place in the final. He had expected to return to Europe following his ARX debut but is keen to continue in the series and is back this weekend. Germany’s Rene Munnich also returns after racing in the inaugural ARX round in May. Then he drove a Seat Ibiza RX, this weekend he will drive a Ford Fiesta run by the STARD team.
ARX2, the official support category to ARX, will run a doubleheader over the GP3R weekend, where Americans Cole Keatts and Conner Martell will be on double-duty as they race in the FIA World Rallycross Championship support category, RX2 International Series, and ARX2.
It was DirtFish Motorsports – the official rally school of ARX and the title partner of DirtFish ARX of COTA – driver Martell who dominated the ARX2 final at COTA following some of the most exciting racing in the class in recent rallycross memory. He shares the lead of the Championship with Jamaica’s Fraser McConnell, who starred on his rallycross debut at COTA. American Christian Brooks is just one place behind the leading pair in the standings ahead of the GP3R doubleheader. Former rallycross champion, Cabot “The Big Ham” Bigham will make his ARX2 debut with Dreyer and Reinbold racing this weekend.
As the second half of the Championship begins in Canada, can the Fort Frances, Ontario, Canadian Steve Arpin steal the show and beat the Volkswagen and Subaru contingents? Will the ARX2 Championship shakeup with a doubleheader event and the addition of “The Big Ham”?
To watch ARX of Canada live, go to Facebook.com/ARXRallycross. Coverage from Canada begins at 1:40 p.m. ET with Qualifying 1. For more information about ARX, go to ARXRallycross.com and follow @ARXRallycross on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Tickets and information: GP3R.com or 1-866-416-9797.