04 Aug 2019
Tanner Foust led an Andretti Volkswagen one-two at Circuit Trois-Rivières in Canada, ending Subaru’s unbeaten run in the 2019 Americas Rallycross season.
The two-time US rallycross champion didn’t make the best getaway but found his way to the front in turn one on the opening lap as Cabot Bigham faced pressure from Steve Arpin and Chris Atkinson.
Bigham, who enjoyed a massive upturn in form this weekend, started the final from pole position after taking an impressive win in his semi-final. He was beat off the line by fellow front row starter Arpin and Atkinson who had rocketed forward from the second row of the grid but with Arpin running wide at the first corner and Atkinson making contact with Subaru team mate Patrik Sandell, he was able to slot in behind Foust.
Behind the two Beetles there was a fight on for the final podium spot. Patrik Sandell, who topped qualifying, was wiped out of contention on the second lap with contact with Travis PeCoy at turn nine. The incident sent him into one of the street circuit’s unforgiving concrete walls, ending any hope of a podium for the Gateway race winner.
With Sandell out of contention, attention turned to Arpin and Atkinson for third, although behind them Scott Speed, who started at the back of grid, was quietly banking fast laps and was just 1.8 seconds behind Foust when he took the joker on lap five.
Once the top four runners had all jokered, Speed was in the lead of the race, and when he took the longer route on the final lap of the race, he emerged in third. The result was something of a surprise given that Subaru was forced to make a full gearbox change in Speed’s car in just 20 minutes before the final.
Despite backing off towards the end of the six-lap contest, Foust took the chequered flag just under seven tenths of a second ahead of Bigham who claimed the first top-level podium of his Supercar career. Speed maintained his position to take third, giving him his third podium finish from four starts this season – a series best.
Chris Atkinson was classified fourth after a post-race penalty for contact pushed Travis PeCoy down the order. PeCoy, who was the overnight qualifying leader, ended up fifth, one spot ahead of Loenbro Motorsports team mate Arpin who eventually finished sixth after making contact with the wall.
With seven cars being allowed to run in the final for the first time, Patrik Sandell was the only runner in the final to not score points. He retired after his run into the wall.
* Travis PeCoy was handed a five-second penalty for contact with Patrik Sandell after the race
Foust’s win, his first since the 2018 season finale at Circuit of the Americas, means that Speed’s lead at the top of the points has decreased from 12 points to just five with two rounds to go. Although he missed out on scoring in the final, Sandell maintains third, one point ahead of fellow Subaru driver Chris Atkinson and four ahead of Steve Arpin.