Subaru Motorsports USA's Patrik Sandell claims first Americas Rallycross victory at ARX of Gateway07/15/2019
Subaru’s Patrik Sandell holds off all challengers at Gateway Motorsports Park on Sunday.
Score yet another in the win column for Subaru Motorsports USA as Patrik Sandell became third different Americas Rallycross (ARX) Championship race winner from the team in as many rounds by driving his Subaru WRX STI to victory in round 3 of the ARX of Gateway doubleheader at the World Wide Technology Raceway on Sunday.
The Swedish driver followed up teammates Scott Speed and Chris Atkinson’s victories in rounds 1 and 2 with a comfortable victory, leading the final race wire-to-wire. Speed himself sealed a Subaru one-two finish, charging from the back row of the grid and then resisting late pressure from Andretti Rallycross’ Tanner Foust, who finished third.
Speed, the reigning ARX Champion, leads the 2019 drivers’ championship standings, now by 12 points over Foust.
Sandell lined up on the front row of the final alongside Loenbro Motorsports’ Steve Arpin. Sandell took the hole shot, with Australian driver Chris Atkinson making a fast start from the second row to try and go around the outside of No. 00 cbdMD Ford Fiesta ST of Arpin into the first turn. Arpin fell back into the clutches of Foust’s Volkswagen Beetle R and with Scott Speed trying to sneak up the inside of the pack and Atkinson was forced wide, which also cost Loenbro Motorsports’ Travis PeCoy ability to contend with the rest of the field.
Atkinson finished fourth, but the damage sustained on PeCoy’s car after contact with a tire stack impeded the 18-year-old’s vision, making him run wide onto the grass and out of contention on lap 2. PeCoy made the grid for the start of the final after a collision with a tire stack at the end of the second semi-final, damaging the front-left corner of his Fiesta.
Speed took his joker on lap 3 of the final, ahead of Arpin, who would later fall behind Saturday’s winner Chris Atkinson into fifth after all of the six drivers completed their joker laps. Andretti Rallycross’ Cabot Bigham finished seventh after making a mistake on the final lap of his semifinal, running wide and letting Speed’s Subaru WRX STI through when it looked like the points leader might miss out on the final.
In ARX2, the ARX support category, Conner Martell rounded off a perfect weekend to steal the victory from Fraser McConnell on the last lap of the final. McConnell has standings lead, just four points ahead of Buhl Sport Detroit’s Alex Keyes.
ARX heads north of the United States border to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada for the ARX of Canada, August 3-4.
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