The 2019 Americas Rallycross season enters its penultimate event of the year on Saturday, when the series makes its return to Circuit of the Americas for a single-day affair for both Supercars and ARX2 teams. While FIA World Rallycross won’t be rejoining ARX at COTA this time around, this weekend’s event still has plenty of storylines for fans to dive into.
The biggest one, of course, is the battle to take over Scott Speed’s vacated throne as Supercar champion. Speed’s back injury at Nitro World Games will have him out for the rest of the year, and Subaru Motorsports USA’s championship chase will focus on Patrik Sandell and Chris Atkinson, who are tied for third in the standings with 86 points each. Andretti Rallycross’ Tanner Foust, who sits five points behind Speed, enters as the de facto championship leader and defending race winner.
In Speed’s place, Subaru’s third car will be in the capable hands of Andreas Bakkerud, who currently sits second in World RX points and has run at the track in both that series and at X Games Austin during the Red Bull Global Rallycross era. But that’s not all: after building a fourth car for Travis Pastrana to run at Nitro World Games, Subaru will also bring that car to the track in ARX with 2014 Red Bull GRC champion Joni Wiman behind the wheel.
Despite Subaru’s talented newcomers, don’t count out the rest of the Supercar field for the win. With Cabot Bigham’s runner-up finish to Foust at August’s Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, all seven drivers to compete in the class in 2019 have scored podiums. Loenbro Motorsports put both veteran Steve Arpin and rookie Travis PeCoy on the box in the Mid-Ohio season opener, and Arpin will aim to return to the podium at COTA as he did last year.
In ARX2, DirtFish Motorsports’ Fraser McConnell enters COTA as the points leader by 21 over Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Cole Keatts. McConnell comes off of a sweep of the last two ARX2 rounds in Trois-Rivieres, and finished second in the 2018 ARX2 season finale from COTA. IndyCar star Sage Karam will return to DRR as the team expands to five cars, putting him alongside Keatts, Gray Leadbetter, Lane Vacala, and defending ARX2 champion Conner Martell, while Brad DeBerti returns to partner McConnell at DirtFish.
Saturday’s Americas Rallycross event from Circuit of the Americas will stream on Facebook Live throughout the day. Following the annual COTA stop, the ARX season will conclude its only back-to-back competition weekends of the year with a doubleheader at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on October 5-6 and the first annual ARX2 combine for prospective new driving talent on October 7.