With apologies to last weekend’s Nitro Rallycross, this weekend’s inaugural FIA World Rallycross of the United States is set to be the largest rallycross event of the year in America. It’s not just a World RX event though: it also serves as the season finale for Americas Rallycross, the start-up that emerged in place of Red Bull Global Rallycross this spring and joins the lineup at Circuit of the Americas on Saturday and Sunday.
As we look to the end of ARX’s abridged 2018 title chase, there are still plenty of loose ends to tie up for the year. These three storylines should serve to define this weekend’s action for the cars and stars of the American circuit:
Which Beetle are you backing for the title?
Tanner Foust won the ARX opener at Silverstone, but Scott Speed went back-to-back in the past two rounds to take a nine-point lead into the event. The winner of the final three Red Bull GRC Supercar titles, Speed has a chip on his shoulder after being taken out of the lead on the first lap of the Nitro Rallycross final. But Foust has to be sick of having to keep finishing second to his teammate, especially when he was the driver through whom the sport first gained its American audience. Expect no punches pulled.
How will the ARX Supercars compare to their World RX counterparts on the speed charts?
Back at Silverstone in May, we got our first glimpse of how strong America’s Supercar contingent really was: in an early practice session, three of the top five times were set by teams based on this side of the Atlantic. Now, think about the fact that while the World RX squad hasn’t raced at COTA yet, ARX got a full event in here in July to break in the course. As world-class as the World RX teams are, don’t sleep on the ARX paddock in practice.
Does Conner Martell have a perfect season in him?
One of America’s top rallycross driving prospects, DirtFish Motorsports’ Martell held off Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Christian Brooks in all three ARX2 rounds so far. But aside from Martell, the 10-car ARX2 grid features three other past GRC Lites race winners in Brooks, Alex Keyes, and Cabot Bigham, as well as past podium finishers Cole Keatts, Scott Anderson, and Travis PeCoy. And don’t forget the perpetually quick James Rimmer, or 2018 newcomers Fraser McConnell and Matt Carpoff.