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Atkinson and Sandell share wins as Subaru streak continues

ARX

16 Jul 2019

Credit: Louis Yio/ARX Rallycross

Subaru continued its fine start to the 2019 Americas Rallycross season, with Chris Atkinson and Patrik Sandell making it three wins from three events for the factory-backed squad in St. Louis.

In the first supercar double-header in ARX history, Atkinson defeated a dominant Steve Arpin with a bold pass up the inside of the Canadian on the final turn of the final lap.

The questionable move let to plenty of deliberation once the chequered flag fell, but ultimately the stewards decided not to take any further action.

Atkinson’s win in the six-lap final was his first event win since he made his rallycross debut mid-way through the 2016 season. Arpin crossed the line second, albeit facing backwards after the contact with the Australian, while Sandell made it a double podium for Subaru with a third-place finish.

Mid-Ohio winner Scott Speed challenged Arpin for the lead early on but had to settle for fourth after encountering problems. He beat Travis PeCoy who impressed before encountering issues of his own. Tanner Foust was classified sixth in the final after retiring on the opening lap.

ARX of Gateway I final results

1. Chris Atkinson 03:58.084
2. Steve Arpin 03:58.653
3. Patrik Sandell 03:59.459
4. Scott Speed 04:33.499
5. Travis PeCoy DNF
6. Tanner Foust DNF

 

Arpin was arguably the strongest driver over the weekend at Gateway, but endured poor luck in both finals – Credit: Larry Chen/ARX Rallycross

On Sunday it was Sandell’s turn to taste victory. The Swede had been winless since he joined Subaru, last claiming an overall event victory in the Dallas round of the 2016 Global Rallycross season.

Sandell’s win was a dominant one, leading the final from the start, with Speed making up for his disappointment the day before to climb from the back row of the grid to settle into second place.

Once again Arpin proved to be lightning quick off the line, but he was squeezed out by the Subaru trio and Tanner Foust on the opening lap of the final.

Foust held on to claim third, ahead of Atkinson who battled back after making contact with a tyre barrier on the opening lap. Arpin was fifth, ahead of team mate PeCoy, who made contact with the tyre barrier that was thrown into the air by Atkinson.

ARX of Gateway II final results

1. Patrik Sandell 03:55.164
2. Scott Speed 03:58.367
3. Tanner Foust 03:58.830
4. Chris Atkinson 04:02.988
5. Steve Arpin 04:04.537
6. Travis PeCoy 04:05.368

 

Sandell’s maiden ARX win was also his first for Subaru and his fourth overall in US rallycross – Credit: Louis Yio/ARX Rallycross

While every winner this season drives for the same team, the first three events of the 2019 season mark the first time since 2017 where three consecutive events have been won by three different drivers. in the 2017 GRC season the opening four races were won by four different drivers, with Arpin breaking the run by taking a second win on home soil in Ottawa.

Despite failing to add to his stellar wins tally, Scott Speed continues to lead the ARX standings, holding a 12-point advantage over former team mate Tanner Foust.

Behind Speed, the points battle is incredibly close, with Foust, Atkinson, Sandell, and Arpin separated by just three points.

Rookie Travis PeCoy is six points behind fellow Loenbro Motorsports driver Arpin in sixth, while Cabot Bigham, who is yet to make a final so far this season, is seventh on 41 points.

ARX points standings (after Gateway II)

 

1. Scott Speed 79
2. Tanner Foust 67
3. Chris Atkinson 66
4. Patrik Sandell 66
5. Steve Arpin 64
6. Travis PeCoy 58
7. Cabot Bigham 41