by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Andretti Autosport (1); Subaru Motorsports USA (2)
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Tanner Foust and Cabot Bigham finally put the Andretti Rallycross Volkswagen Beetles where we all thought they’d be this Americas Rallycross season: first and second on the podium.
The American duo capitalized on a first lap mistake from Loenbro Motorsports’ Steve Arpin to finish 1-2 as ARX rejoined FIA World Rallycross for the only time this season at Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres. Foust became the fourth different winner in four races this season, while Bigham followed up a semifinal win with his first career Supercar podium in his first main event appearance with the team. Former Andretti driver Scott Speed completed the podium for Subaru Motorsports USA and extended his points lead.
Andretti entered the season as the presumptive favorite thanks to four consecutive championship seasons with Speed, but Subaru flexed its muscle in the first three rounds with wins by Speed, Chris Atkinson, and Patrik Sandell. The only remaining factory rallycross effort at a major international level, Subaru showed its speed once again during the weekend by posting the fastest lap times of any World RX or ARX team.
But the race isn’t won on the timesheets—it’s taken head-to-head, and truthfully, Speed almost won there, too. A gearbox issue in his semifinal led to a mad thrash to reassemble the car before the main event, and Speed inherited the lead when Foust and Bigham jokered, only to have to give it up on the final lap by taking his own joker.
A smaller ARX2 grid saw only six cars compete during the weekend, with DirtFish Motorsports’ Fraser McConnell scoring both race victories during the doubleheader. McConnell’s points lead is now up to 21 over Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Cole Keatts. DRR’s Conner Martell and Keatts finished second and third on each day of racing.
The Americas Rallycross season now takes an extended break before returning for a single-day show at Circuit of the Americas at the end of September. But for the sport’s Supercar teams, they’ll be back in action two weeks from now: Nitro Rallycross returns to Utah Motorsports Campus on August 17, promising the biggest event of the year with the return of Travis Pastrana, Ken Block, and the crossover gap jump.