McConnell Leads ARX2 Standings into ARX of Austin
The official Americas Rallycross (ARX) support category, ARX2, returns to the venue of its first-ever event this Saturday at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas.
In that debut ARX2 weekend, held last July, it was Fraser McConnell’s rallycross debut. Now, the Jamaican driver returns to COTA leading the ARX2 points with three rounds of the 2019 season remaining.
McConnell has won three times in the 2019 season, once in the opening weekend of the season at the Cooper Tires ARX of Mid-Ohio, before claiming back-to-back victories at the Grand Prix du Trois-Rivieres in Canada in August. The Canadian event was a breakthrough for DirtFish Motorsports’ McConnell as he twice beat reigning champion Conner Martell to take a pair of wins and hold a firm points advantage over the field.
DRR’s Keatts has finished on the podium three times in 2019 so far, once at Mid-Ohio and in both rounds at GP3R. Keatts also made the podium in the first-ever ARX2 event at COTA last year and returns to Texas with eyes on his first win.
Round 1 winner, Buhl Sport’s Alex Keyes, was forced to miss the ARX2 events in Canada due to damage sustained to his car in a roll at Gateway, but he returns for COTA, where he won the final two rounds of the season last year. Making another start for Loenbro Motorsports will be Michael Leach in the No. 9 American Grinders car coming off of a hand injury he sustained just before the Canadian rounds, while the fields youngest driver, 14-year old Gray Leadbetter, scored a pair of fourth-place finishes in Canada and is looking to take another step forward onto the podium this weekend.
IndyCar star Sage Karam impressed in his rallycross debut at Mid-Ohio for the opening race weekend of the season and set the fastest time in qualifying. He took a pair of second-place finishes and returns with eyes on a victory at a circuit that should suit his tarmac driving experience.
DirtFish Motorsports’ Brad DeBerti returns to the series having claimed a pair of podium finishes so far this year and will be right in the mix for a victory, as DRR’s Lane Vacala makes his second start in ARX2 in the No. 24 Tyler Lane Construction ARX2 machine, after making his international debut in RX2 in Loheac, France earlier this month.
The ARX3 category for the single-make Sierra Cars will also be in action at COTA, with eight drivers vying for top honors in the entry-level, high-performance machines. Headlined by championship leader John McInnes, TV personality Aaron Kauffman returns to the grid along with Bill Shuster, who is currently third in the championship standings. With the largest field of the season, the ARX3 action will provide some of the most intense battles of the weekend.