Conner Martell Sweeps in Trois-Rivieres
The ARX2 Championship racers had a busy time North of the border last weekend, as they took part in a double-header event at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, held over two days, where it was Championship leader Conner Martell who continued his winning run in the official Americas Rallycross (ARX) support category.
DirtFish Motorsport’s Martell hit the ground running in round two on Saturday, setting quickest time in Q1 and Q2, but crashed out of Q3 after contact, as Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Travis PeCoy set the best time and claimed TQ (top qualifier) in the Intermediate Classification. Joined on the front row of the grid for semi-final one, PeCoy was then beaten to race victory by his Dreyer & Reinbold teammate Christian Brooks, as Martell won semi-final two ahead of Keatts Motorsport’s Cole Keatts, despite Martell having broken and bent rear suspension.
From the outside of row two in the final, Keatts tried a move around the outside at the first turn but spun out and dropped to the back of the field. Martell, with his car fixed up by his team, led Brooks and PeCoy up front, the top three taking their joker on lap six. At the joker exit, Keatts tried to pass PeCoy but hit the wall on the dirt. In his return to the sport, Dreyer & Reinbold’s Cabot Bigham took his joker on lap four and finished fourth, in front of DirtFish’s James Rimmer and Keatts. Scott Anderson was on target to make the final but spun his DirtFish car into the turn one wall in the semi-final and just finished ahead of Dreyer & Reinbold’s Matt Carpoff. Robbie Burl’s Alex Keyes had made it into the final in semi-final two but was given a five-second penalty for track limits and dropped to fourth in front of Fraser McConnell, who had spun out.
In round three on Sunday, PeCoy was quickest in Q1 but his motor blew in Q2, putting him out of the event. Bigham suffered a similar problem after being fastest in morning warm-up – his problems also put him out. Brooks was then quickest in Q2 and Q3 to take TQ and pole for semi one, Martell second quickest in Q2 and Q3 to take pole for semi two.
The two drivers won their semis and ran door-to-door to turn two in the final, Brooks taking the lead. Martell took his joker on lap three, ahead of McConnell, before Brooks and Keyes took their jokers on lap four. Brooks held the lead, but Martell put his car on the inside of the last two corners on lap five and took the lead to win his third round in a row. Brooks was second and Keyes made the podium. Rimmer and Andersson finished fourth and fifth, but McConnell stopped on track on lap five.
“Oh man this is unbelievable, me and the Dirtfish team have put so much work together for this year. Christian (Brooks) definitely put up more of a challenge on Sunday, that’s awesome – that’s just what I want. I’ve never come away from a double-header with two wins so it’s awesome,” said Martell after the round three final.
With another double-header weekend coming up for ARX2 at the Circuit of The Americas next month, Martell leads the Championship by seven points from Brooks. Keyes and Rimmer are tied for third, one point ahead of Anderson, with McConnell another point further back.