Scott Speed Anticipates a Tight Battle for the ARX Championship
Reigning Americas Rallycross (ARX) Champion and early 2019 standings leader Scott Speed says winning the first round of the season at the Cooper Tires ARX of Mid-Ohio was a weight off his shoulders.
Speed switched to Subaru Motorsports USA over the winter and started his new journey with the first fastest Free Practice time of the year at the Mid-Ohio Sports Course. He was then quickest in Q1, but a crash at the first turn of Q2 gave the Subaru mechanics a substantial amount of work into the night. “We had bad luck in the second qualifier and we were looking really good up until that point. The guys had to stay up ‘til midnight.
But I sat them down, told them ‘look, we’re the fastest car here, we’ve got a great shot at winning this championship and we need to take it just one step at a time and it will eventually work out’. Then on Sunday we took a huge step. That’s rallycross, it’s up and down and that’s what makes it so fun to watch.”
Coming off the back of a dominant season driving for the Andretti Rallycross team on his way to the inaugural title last year, Speed’s shock move brought questions as to how he would perform in a different stable in 2019. “The first race is always the most exciting of the year, to find out where you stand. We worked really hard on the car and the launches, but you don’t know where you are going to line up until you get out there for the first race,” he said. “Mostly it’s the first practice, to see where you stack up and to be able to put it up there in number one in the first practice, then it’s like ‘ok at least we have a shot this year’. It’s going to be really, really tough because everyone is really fast, but we have a car that at least we have a shot at it. No question it will be the most difficult year. All the cars can win and we’ve never had that in rallycross in America before.”
The victory was Subaru’s first in the ARX, and it’s first in rallycross in the US for several years. Speed is excited to be heading to the second weekend of the season, the first ever ARX double-header at the ARX of Gateway, Madison, Illinois, on top. “It’s obviously exciting to be leading the points, but I’m more relieved as well to be able to tick this off for Subaru, this is a huge deal for the company and to represent these colors and this livery like this in first race out, is a little bit of weight off my shoulders now, it feels great.”
ARX visits World Wide Technology Raceway for the first ARX Supercar and ARX2 double header weekend, July 13-14. Tickets to the ARX of Gateway are available for purchase online at ARXRallycross.com/tickets.