11 Sep 2019
Subaru Motorsports USA driver Scott Speed has confirmed that he will sit out of the remainder of the 2019 Americas Rallycross season.
The four-time US rallycross champion fractured three vertebrae after a hard landing from a jump in his first heat race at Nitro Rallycross last month. After scans in the aftermath of the incident it was determined that Speed would not need surgery, but he still faced a lengthy rehabilitation period.
Now the former-Formula 1 driver has given an update on his recovery in an Instagram post, confirming that he will miss the final two ARX rounds at Circuit of the Americas at the end of this month and Mid-Ohio in the first weekend of October.
“[It] was a good news day. All the scans show that the bone is healing well, and the docs said following a CT scan in two months he is 90 percent sure I’ll get the okay to race again come January.” Speed posted. “Obviously I’ll be out for the rest of the year. But I’ll most certainly still be going to the last races to support my amazing team at Subaru Motorsports USA in their bid for the ARX Championship.”
“I still have one more month before I can really start the PT (personal training) but knowing that I’ll race again has me fired up! I am not sure I have ever been more motivated!”
Speed currently leads the ARX standings with 100 points – five more than former-team mate Tanner Foust. However, his confirmed absence all-but-confirms that the top level of rallycross in North America will have its first different champion since 2014.
Speed has been the benchmark since 2015 when he won the Global Rallycross title in his second season at Volkswagen Andretti. He followed that up with two more GRC titles, before winning the inaugural ARX crown last year.
Before Speed’s fine run of form, Tanner Foust won the first two professional US rallycross titles in 2011 and 2012. Topi Heikkinen won the 2013 GRC title with five consecutive final victories – a US record which still stands to this day; and another Finn, Joni Wiman, was 2014 champion.
Subaru has so far yet to confirm whether a replacement driver will be drafted in to drive Speed’s car during his absence.
Before Speed’s signing ahead of the 2019 season a rotating cast of Subaru rally drivers David Higgins and Travis Pastrana, 1997 Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, and Heikkinen shared driving duties in Subaru’s third car.