24 Sep 2019
Subaru Motorsports USA has announced that Andreas Bakkerud and Joni Wiman will join its lineup for the final two rounds of the 2019 Americas Rallycross season.
Bakkerud joins the team while in the midst of fighting for the World Rallycross title. The Norwegian driver currently sits one point off the lead of the championship with one round remaining.
While Bakkerud hasn’t competed in the national US series before, he has raced at COTA. In last year’s World RX round at the Texas track he finished on the podium.
Wiman meanwhile was the last US rallycross champion before Speed, winning the 2014 Global Rallycross title. His US CV also includes 10 podium finishes and a single victory which came in Las Vegas in 2015. He also won every single event on the 2013 GRC Lites calendar to clinch the development series crown. This year he has made a handful of appearances in the World Championship, where he finished second to Bakkerud in Belgium.
“Having to continue the season with Scott watching from the sidelines will be tough,” said Bill Stokes, Motorsports Manager for Subaru of America. “He has the team’s full support and we’re all looking forward to welcoming him back next season. At the same time, Andreas and Joni are two of the best rallycross drivers in the world – we’re excited to bring them in to compete alongside Chris and Patrik, and put even more top-level rallycross talent in front of US fans.”
The expanded four-car roster for the team comes after it was announced that Scott Speed would be missing the rest of the season due to an injury sustained at the Nitro World Games in Utah last month.
The former-Formula 1 driver fractured three vertebrae after a hard landing from a jump and is now in the midst of a lengthy rehabilitation period.
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 his run of titles will come to an end.
For Subaru, its hopes of claiming a maiden rallycross crown now lie with Patrik Sandell and Chris Atkinson. The former-World Rally Championship duo currently occupy third and fourth in the ARX standings, tied on 86 points.