McConnell looks to conquer US, again

Friday, July 13, 2018

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FRASER McConnell will make his second attempt at entering the North American motorsport scene as he heads to The Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, as part of the four-car DirtFish Rallycross team.

“It's finally here. We've gone up for testing. The time has finally come, so we're going there and see if we can deliver and how we stack up against the competition there,” McConnell told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

McConnell has won several championship titles, including back-to-back circuit racing titles, and is the current Driver's Rallysport Club Stages Rally champion. He will race in the ARX2 class of the newly formed Americas Rallycross Series (ARX).

“The RX2 car is a Ford Fiesta body, four-wheel drive with a naturally aspirated motor around 300hp and sequential gearbox, all the works. Really nice car; driver-friendly. Can't wait to get into the seat,” he said.

McConnell's first attempt at international motorsports came in 2015 when he finished first in his class in the Canadian Rally of the Tall Pines. His current drive came as that performance was sufficient enough to impress, gaining him a test drive last summer.

“We found rallycross through a friend from a rally we did in Canada once. They introduced us to DirtFish,” McConnell explained.

The test went well, netting him the drive, currently for two events. Saturday's round two, DirtFish ARX of COTA, and round four in September are at the same venue.

“I was two seconds faster than their driver on their track, which was pretty impressive. That kind of sparked their interest.”

Rallycross is best described as a mix of circuit racing and rallying as multiple cars race at the same time on a track with variable surface types, mostly gravel and tarmac. Since brought to American shores in 2009, it has seen the likes of famous American talents such as Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, and ex-F1 driver Scott Speed. ARX has the participation from major manufacturers like Subaru and Volkswagen. McConnell will be joined by family friends in Texas, including local sponsor Jeffrey Panton, managing director of Kingston Industrial Garage —dealers for the Subaru motor car brand.

“I hope to bring a new kind of vibe to the series to the rallycross genre; hope they love me and give it all I got,” McConnell said.

— Rory Daley

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