Tanner Foust is the 2019 Americas Rallycross (ARX) Champion, with Fraser McConnell securing the ARX2 Championship title after a compelling day at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday.
Australian driver Chris Atkinson and Fraser McConnell ended the 2019 ARX season with dramatic victories for Subaru Motorsports USA and DirtFish Motorsports at the Cooper Tires ARX of Mid-Ohio.
Atkinson survived incredibly challenging wet and slippery conditions to take his second win of the season and secure the ARX Team Championship for Subaru Motorsports USA, as newly crowned 2019 ARX Champion Foust, who secured his title after the qualifying rounds, missed out on a place in the final after a track limits penalty halted his progress in the semifinals.
Starting on the front row, Atkinson took the lead into the first corner as pole starter Patrik Sandell had a slow getaway from the grid and dropped to sixth.
Loenbro Motorsports’ Steve Arpin, who is from Fort Frances, climbed from the second row up to second place on Lap 1, just in front of Norwegian Subaru driver Andreas Bakkerud.
With grip on the track almost non-existent for much of the six-lap final thanks to additional rain before the start, the 600bhp supercars slid their way around the circuit as some of the world’s best rallycross drivers battled against the conditions.
Sandell stopped in turn two and was only just avoided by teammate Joni Wiman. Bakkerud overtook Arpin for second on Lap 2 before Arpin slid his No. 00 cbdMD Ford Fiesta ST back up the inside of the joker lap merge at the keyhole.
Bakkerud was forced to retire on Lap 3 with a mud-covered windshield.
Atkinson built a comfortable lead on the way to victory in the sixth and final round, as Arpin battled with Sandell in the later stages of the race. Wiman pressured Arpin to the line to initially complete the podium but dropped to fourth after he was given a five-second penalty, promoting Sandell to third-place in the process.
Loenbro’s Travis PeCoy brought his machine home in fifth. The Andretti Rallycross team of Foust and rookie teammate Cabot Bigham failed to make it to the six-car final.
With Foust having already clinched the second-ever ARX title prior to the final, Atkinson’s win saw him beat Sandell to second in points for Subaru by a single point. Arpin ended the season with fourth-place in the standings.
The 2020 season was slated to begin yesterday with the inaugural ARX2 Cooper Tires Combine, giving drivers from around the world an opportunity to test an ARX2 car, with thanks to Cooper Tires and ARX2 teams.
ARX2 Champion, Fraser McConnell, will also get to drive the No. 00 cbdMD ARX Supercar of Arpin, courtesy of cbdMD. For the 2020 season, McConnell will have his entry fees waived and be provided with complementary Cooper Tires for his entire 2020 ARX or ARX2 program.
In addition, he will receive four free one-day DirtFish Rally School courses in one of its four-wheel drive prepared Subaru vehicles.