McCONNELL SETS SIGHT ON THE USFriday, August 27, 2021
BY RORY DALEY
JAMAICAN Rallycross driver Fraser McConnell ended his 2021 European rallycross campaign on a high, claiming second place at the Swedish round of the FIA RX2e Rallycross Championship last weekend.
“Overall, I'm very pleased with second. It's easy to be disappointed when you're fighting for the wins and you're showing great pace from the beginning of the weekend. We still have to be very happy that we made the podium in such a strong field of 10 drivers with a lot of experience in rallycross, and who have driven on that track,” McConnell told the Jamaica Observer's Auto magazine.
McConnell was part of the trail-breaking set of drivers who debuted the world's first all-electric rallycross series in Spain in July 2021.
“Each time I get in the car I'm a better driver and to be able to show that on a very technical track and within a very talented field of drivers, it's rewarding,” he said.
The second-place finish has dropped McConnell to third in the RX2e Championship, but as he's getting ready to vacate the series, he's not really too concerned.
“As of right now, we're not 100 per cent sure that I won't return to rallycross in Europe, but all the focus is right now going towards Nitro Rallycross in the [United] States.”
While McConnell has enjoyed significant success on the world stage, in 2019 he became the Americans Rallycross RX2e Champion, a title he still holds as the series folded just after its season completion. The pull of North American success is what has drawn McConnell and his team Olsbergs MSE back. The brainchild of American Rallycross driver Travis Pastrana, Nitro Rallycross has taken up the mantle to promote the sport in the United States.
McConnell sees no issue moving back to petrol power.
“There were a lot of new things to learn on the electric car. We could change the regeneration settings of the battery, which affects the driving style of the car like how it behaves off the throttle, and distributing the power, front and rear. A lot of things to think about, but when I'm able to adapt it and change to the settings that I prefer then we're able to get a very fast car. The cool thing were that the RX2e cars are all identical, so there is no differences between cars which really shows the talents of the drivers.”
Nitro Rallycross is scheduled to begin at the end of September at its spiritual home, Utah Motorsports Campus, Salt Lake City, USA. From there five rounds will be held across five states culminating in Jacksonville, Florida, in December. Event organisers Thrill One Entertainment are capitalising on their hugely successful Nitro Circus brand with a significant media push McConnell is hoping to ride.
“The TV coverage for Nitro is going to be like no other! Every sports channel that I've ever heard of is signed up and it's really going to be a fantastic show.”
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