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McConnell on world stage

Friday, May 10, 2019

One of the names missing from circuit racing for this year has been Fraser McConnell. The multi-disciplinary champion has been focusing on his international career, having made his debut in the RX2 class at the second round of the 2019 World Rallycross (World RX) series.

McConnell went on to finish second overall at the World RX of Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, last month and will contest the third round, Spa World RX of Benelux, Belgium, this weekend.

“Having a podium finish for my debut outing in Europe is a huge confidence builder going forward. But this one is really sweet because the weekend wasn't looking so well at start, so I'm more than pleased with my recovery, finding a lot of pace and consistency,” McConnell told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

After a tough opening qualifying session, which saw heavy frontal contact that dropped him to 5th, he recovered to win the second qualifying heat. Once back with the leaders, he put in a spectacular drive including a late last lap pass in second place that World RX commentator Andrew Coley termed a 'legendary move'.

Last year, McConnell made a dent in the international scene when he contested several rounds of the American Rallycross Series (ARX) and finished fourth overall in that championship's ARX2 class. Like its American brother, World RX2 uses a one-make formula putting all drivers behind the wheel of identical mid-engined cars powered by a 310bhp, 2.4-litre, naturally-aspirated motor and equipped with four-wheel drive. It's designed to be a feeder class for the more powerful Supercar class, which features turbocharged cars with double the horsepower.

“Both of the series, ARX and World RX, are stacked with very talented drivers. The only difference in my opinion really is that we will visit some tracks this year that some of my competitors have already been to. This gives them a clear advantage but we're not focusing on that too much.”

McConnell said when opportunity to compete in World RX materialised he jumped at the chance. His April debut meant he wasn't at Dover Raceway, St Ann for the Easter Monday event. He confirmed he will also miss the upcoming Jamwest meet as he will be in England for the fourth round of World RX.

— Rory Daley