Scott Barglof RaceOnTexas.com email@example.com
Americas Rallycross (ARX) Thrills Crowd At Circuit Of The Americas
Circuit of the Americas hosted the Americas Rallycross Series this past Saturday in a special treat for Texas race fans of both the dirt and asphalt persuasion.
The world class Circuit Of The Americas located just outside of Austin is a gem of a facility that hosts F1, MotoGP and the Indycar Series among the events on its slate.
Circuit Of The Americas rolled out the red carpet to welcome in the stars and cars of the Americas Rallycross Series (ARX) Saturday afternoon in a racing event that lived up to it's Texas sized expectations.
Rallycross racing is a beautiful hybrid of multiple racing disciplines featuring high horsepower cars on short courses that blend an asphalt and dirt/gravel configuration.
The circuit also features one jump and each race includes a mandatory "Joker" Lap which extends the length of the course once for each driver per race.
The Joker lap adds a strategy variable to the already flat out and intense nature of the racing discipline that is Rallycross.
Short, six lap races that at some point of each lap, produce high speeds, sideways hand braking into a near stop turn, max acceleration, max brake and dozens of up and down shifts during the relentless pursuit of the car in front of you.
The ARX cars go 0-60 in about 1.7 seconds which is an astonishing rate of speed off the start. The speed and reflex of the start can often dictate the outcome of the race.
Immediately in the Finals cars were three wide into the joker lap at Circuit Of The Americas. Many drivers took full advantage of the ability to joker on the opening circuit on the COTA course allowing them to make up time on those electing to make a later joker lap.
In an era of hype and hyperbole in racing that is often met with lukewarm reactions from the fans the ARX series is carving out their motorsports niche across a broad audience with balls to the wall excitement.
Scores of international fans made the trip to Austin and mixed in with a wide array of asphalt, road and dirt racing Texas fans who dropped in to check out the action.
Fans were treated to a brisk and efficient show under ever the changing Central Texas skies. Cloud cover mixed with some classic Texas baking sun gave the crowd an ever changing racing surface.
Three divisions of ARX were in competition on Saturday with ARX2 and ARX3 joining the racing bill.
Each division produced edge of your seat and wild racing during their on track action and showed the fans in the Lone Star State that Rallycross has arrived on the map of must see racing events in Texas.
The annual visit to Circuit Of The Americas greeted the ARX teams with a light rain shower in opening practice.
The early shower that made a slick racing surface a challenge for the factory teams and a blast for the fans streaming into the venue getting their first looks at ARX in action.
ARX events feature an open paddock for all spectators that allows you an up close look at the teams and cars throughout the event. Drivers and crews were absolutely fantastic to the fans throughout the event and was a great sight to see in today's motorsports.
Andretti Rallycross Driver Tanner Foust and the Volkswagen Team found speed at the beginning of the practice session holding a nearly half second edge over the field.
Foust was able to translate that into a dominating performance throughout the day scoring the Heat 1 win from the fourth starting spot.
Tanner Foust won his Semi-Final round by two seconds and gridded P1 in the Final.
Foust survived a haymaker of a turn 1 entry with Norweigian Rallycross Superstar Andreas Bakkerud showing the American crowd he didn't come to Austin just for the BBQ and 6th Street.
Bakkerud was able to hold off the Lap 1 charges Foust threw at him into the jump and onto the frontstretch. Foust was able to attack Bakkerud back on lap 3 in the same spot he was overtaken.
Foust countered Bakkenrud with a haymaker of his own to the inside of Bakkerud and the two battled to the jump with Bakkerud tossing the people's elbow back to the inside of the Rockstar Energy Andretti Rallycross 34.
Foust made a brilliant recovery exiting the jump and was able to keep the Norweigan clear of his bumper heading into the frontstretch turn.
Foust put a gap between himself and Bakkerud with Chris Atkinson, Patrik Sandell and Steve Arpin battling among themselves after taking the Joker on the opening circuit.
Chris Atkinson would spin heading to Lap 5 and gave Patrik Sandell some space to operate as Foust and Bakkerud prepared for their Joker. Foust took a 1.3 second advantage over Bakkerud heading into the Joker with Sandell 2.36 behind.
Foust made a smooth Joker and was able to exit just ahead of Sandell who gave him a Subaru blue nudge heading off to the jump. Foust swung a wide line down the frontstretch and set himself up for a run to the checkers. Foust grabbed the win and gave an epic celebratory drift to the fans on the frontstretch.
35 Fraser McConnell
24 Sage Karam
21 Conner Martell
4 Alex Keyes
28 Gray Leadbetter
53 Cole Keatts
Americas Rallycross (ARX) wraps up their 2019 season October 5th & 6th with the Cooper Tires Americas Rallycross at Mid-Ohio