28 Oct 2019
Tanner Foust claimed his maiden Americas Rallycross title, and his third professional US rallycross crown, at Mid-Ohio as Chris Atkinson claimed his second career win.
While the American didn’t make the final after he received a penalty for cutting in the semi-final, he had already claimed the championship with the points he accumulated in qualifying.
After a downpour prior to the semi-finals, drivers were left struggling for grip on the muddy track and the majority of the field struggled to get away well, with only front row starter Atkinson and Travis PeCoy – who launched from the back row of the grid up to third – making good starts.
Atkinson was never troubled for the race lead, with the rest of the field squabbling over second in the treacherous conditions.
Steve Arpin and Anreas Bakkerud, once again filling in for the injured Scott Speed, battled hard for that second spot. Arpin, who had taken the joker on lap two, needed to remain ahead of Bakkerud who hadn’t yet jokered. The battle cost him time, allowing Atkinson to eke out a near-seven second lead by the halfway point in the six-lap race. Bakkerud eventually retired, with the build up of mud on his windscreen proving too much for him to be able to continue safely.
As Arpin and Bakkerud battled, Patrik Sandell and Joni Wiman closed in, leading to a three-car fight for the second spot in the closing laps. It was Arpin who prevailed, despite two bold passing attempts from Sandell on the back straight.
Sandell would finish second after getting by Wiman on the final lap. The Swede had momentarily dropped behind his Subaru team mate late on, but capitalised on the better grip offered by the joker lap to pot a quick final lap and retake the final podium spot.
After his strong start, Travis PeCoy stuggled in the conditions, eventually finishing fifth behind Wiman.
As well as Foust, who claimed seventh spot overall for the event, Cabot Bigham was the other driver to miss the final, marking the first time since the Global Rallycross round at MCAS New River in 2015 that both Beetles missed the final.
With the title already wrapped up ahead of the final, Atkinson’s second win on the season means that he takes second overall in the points, narrowly beating Sandell by a single point. Loenbro Ford pair Arpin and PeCoy complete the top-five, ahead of Speed who looked set to claim a fifth-straight US rallycross crown until his season was ended prematurely after he sustained a back injury at Nitro Rallycross in August.
In ARX2 Fraser McConnel claimed the season honours after a dominant campaign, beating Cole Keatts and 2018 champion Conner Martell who didn’t run the full campaign.