Sierra ARX3 Machines Look to Conquer Pikes Peak with Andreas Bakkerud and Aaron Kaufman

Photo courtesy of Sierra RX

Photo courtesy of Sierra RX

The Sierra RX, the single-seat car used in Americas Rallycross (ARX) third-tier – ARX3 – will be put through its paces this weekend by FIA World Rallycross Championship star Andreas Bakkerud as he takes on the famous Pikes Peak International Hillclimb in Colorado.

The Sierra cars, built in Salt Lake City, Utah, made their first rallycross appearance as the official vehicle of the 2018 World RX of USA celebrity event, featuring drivers like skateboarding legend Bucky Lasek, TV personality Aaron Kaufman and NASA astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station, Tim Kopra. This year, the buggies are a full-time part of ARX, and Bakkerud’s run at Pikes Peak, with the car in identical setup as it is in rallycross, apart from the use of slick tires, is to help with the development of the car and series.

“We take the racing serious, but the cool personalities that we want to surround ourselves with have really defined our program over the last year. When I chose Andreas for this role it was so much because of his personality and we have a lot of mutual friends but we’d never worked together on a project. The whole idea was to take a world class rallycross driver and put him in an ARX3 spec car, with the only change being the slick tires. Even the alignment is the same as what we run in rallycross,” said Cole Powelson, owner of Sierra RX. “We’re doing this to spread awareness of rallycross around the world and the new rallycross events in America. Andreas is a great guy to have around in the pits, he’s going to overall help our program with rallycross and my program for developing drivers. And this is also about having fun, if you’re not having fun you’re not in our pits.”

Bakkerud is looking forward to the new challenge in a weekend ‘off’ between World RX events, climbing into the 200hp six-speed sequential machine weighing in at 900lbs and launching from 0-60mph in under 2.8 seconds. “I’m going to tackle the American mountains this weekend on Sunday. I’m racing at Pikes Peak, for those of you that don’t know it’s a 4,400-meters tall, or big, or high, mountain, with an awesome Sierra rallycross car. It’s my first time at Pikes Peak and also my first time driving the Sierra car. My mum is scared, I’m scared, but it’s going to be an awesome weekend,” said Bakkerud.

As Bakkerud’s experience will aid the Sierra team and Powelson is excited for the next round of ARX at the ARX of Gateway in two weeks. “The first event at Mid-Ohio for us was a huge success in a lot of different ways, from the car count we were able to bring to the reaction from the fans, to the quality of the racing, it was top notch. There was battles from the front to the back and it couldn’t have gone much better form my perspective,” he said. “I think we’re bridging the gap between your blue-collar guy and the ability to enter rallycross. This is a working man’s car, as far as race cars go and as we’ve demonstrated, they’re fast. I hope it’s the beginning of a grassroots movements of rallycross in America. I can’t wait to meet the fans at Gateway, I want to meet the people that are excited to have rallycross come to their track. We’re just laying this big web of rallycross across the United States.”

Tiernay Oliver