Images via DirtFish
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After an extra long offseason for the rallycross wing of DirtFish Motorsports, the team finally returns to action tomorrow at DirtFish ARX of Circuit of the Americas. The team expands from two cars to four this year, with the returning Conner Martell, newcomer to the team Scott Anderson, and newcomer to the sport Fraser McConnell filling three of the seats in the ARX2 field for Supercar Lites vehicles.
The fourth is filled by a familiar face representing DirtFish the world over: James Rimmer. And while Martell is somewhat of a proven commodity, and Anderson and McConnell still relative unknowns, most of Rimmer’s most recent results suggest that he’s on the cusp of a breakthrough year.
From a young age, Rimmer has always been exposed to the sport of rallying. First climbing behind the wheel at the age of 12, the current Washington native (by way of the United Kingdom) has had experience in cars that some of us might only dream of seeing in person, much less driving. After all, how many of us can say we’ve taken on Goodwood’s forest rally stage in a Ford Escort Mk1 RS1600?
Rally was Rimmer’s first love, and he competed in the Cascadia International Rally Championship, NASA Rally Sport, and the Canadian Rally Championship in a rear-wheel drive Subaru BRZ in each, continuously improving in his results. But with the early successes of DirtFish’s Global Rallycross Lites program, it was only a matter of time before Rimmer would be drafted into the rallycross team as a teammate to Martell.
After a limited program in 2016, starting at the team’s home event in Seattle, Rimmer went full-time in 2017 and earned sixth in points. His most heroic drive of the year came at Evergreen Speedway: after Martell suffered a heavy crash on the first day of racing and wasn’t cleared to complete the doubleheader, Rimmer stepped up in a huge way, sweeping all of his heats and earning the inside front row spot for the final. It was only contact from other drivers that damaged his car that kept Rimmer from taking the first win of his Lites career.
Even with a rallycross championship to chase, though, Rimmer hasn’t shied away from the stages, taking on a number of west coast events in multiple series. His last round, this May’s Olympus Rally, saw him posting competitive times throughout the event, until a major incident that briefly sent him to the hospital—but fortunately, saw him escape without significant, or permanent, injury.
Tomorrow will represent Rimmer’s first race action back behind the wheel since then, as he goes for the gold in Texas. He’s been preparing for this race all offseason long, just waiting for the opportunity to take the fight back to the top up-and-comers in rallycross. He knows just how fast he is already—and you can bet that, after a frustrating end at Olympus, he’s got plenty to prove on Saturday.