by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Scott Speed (1); Subaru Rally Team USA (2), DirtFish (3)
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An abridged debut season for the new Americas Rallycross series comes to an end at Circuit of the Americas as part of this weekend’s World Rallycross of the United States. The fourth and final round of the ARX championship marks the second visit of the season to COTA, which a majority of its drivers previously had a chance to experience in July.
But while the season has been shorter than in years past, the month of September has been a busy one. A majority of the field comes into Texas having raced last weekend at Utah Motorsports Campus for Nitro Rallycross, which produced a number of thrilling moments with a massive gap jump and high-banked dirt corners. Tanner Foust was the top ARX regular in the high-attrition event, placing third.
If you’ve watched the sport during the Red Bull Global Rallycross era, it should come as no surprise to you that Foust and Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teammate Scott Speed are once again atop the standings in the inaugural season of ARX. As was the case over the final three Red Bull GRC seasons, it’s Speed on top right now with 86 points, taking only a nine-point advantage over his teammate into the decisive round of the championship.
Subaru Rally Team USA’s Patrik Sandell sits third in points with 58, while teammate Chris Atkinson is tied with Loenbro Motorsports/Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block for fourth at 49 apiece and Block’s teammate Steve Arpin sits sixth at 33. All six will return to action after having competed at Nitro Rallycross,
But there are nine drivers on the Supercar entry list, and the other three are no strangers to the six who just raced in Utah. Toomas Heikkinen (in the third Subaru) and Liam Doran (shifting his focus from FIA World Rallycross for the weekend with GC Kompetition) were both GRC regulars in 2013, where they regularly battled Foust, Speed, Arpin, Block, and Sandell. In fact, Doran took third in the ARX season opener at Silverstone in his first race of the year. And Oliver Bennett’s Xite Racing Mini returns to action for its third ARX round of the year, as the Brit has split his time between both major rallycross series.
ARX2 also wraps up its 2018 season at Circuit of the Americas, and the biggest question is if DirtFish Motorsports’ Conner Martell can complete the perfect season. Despite winning the first three rounds of the year, he’s only got a seven-point advantage over Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Christian Brooks, who has finished second in each event. As has been the case all season long, the ARX2 entry list actually outnumbers the Supercars, with 10 drivers prepared to take on the track this weekend.
The season concludes for a majority of these drivers and teams after this event, but not all. Subaru Rally Team USA will shift its focus to American Rally Association competition the following weekend for the ARA season-ending Tour de Forest, while ARX2 driver Cabot Bigham will return to action in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park toward the end of the month. And Doran will return to GCK for its final two World RX races of the season as part of a three-car effort alongside Guerlain Chicherit and Anton Marklund, who are also competing in Austin this weekend.