Fraser McConnell (FC1-X) won the fourth round of the 2022/23 Nitro Rallycross Series on Sunday (October 30) at Glen Helen Raceway near San Bernardino, CA. The Jamaican won the final from his teammates at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing JC Robin Larsson (FC1-X) and Andreas Bakkerud (FC1-X). For McConnell it was his first win in Nitro Rallycross.
The second day of racing at Glen Helen Raceway started with the heats for Group E. Following yesterday’s Top Qualifier for Fraser McConnell he was allowed to choose his starting position and he went for pole in the second heat race. The first heat race with Oliver Eriksson (FC1-X) and Kevin Eriksson (FC1-X) on the front row and Travis Pastrana (FC1-X) and Series points leader Robin Larsson (FC1-X) on row two was eventually won by Larsson who qualified straight for the final. McConnell drove from lights to flag in the second heat race beating Oliver Bennet (FC1-X) and Andreas Bakkerud to secure his front row starting position for the final.
Next up for the remaining drivers was the semi-final with the first two making it through to the final. Kevin Eriksson won it from pole from Andreas Bakkerud. Then the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) was used to decide the starting positions for the final (third and fourth row) for the drivers who were not yet “qualified”. Among them was Nitro Rallycross co-creator Travis Pastrana who did not finish his heat and afterwards in the semi-final struggled with visibility issues and ended up in the wall. Unfortunately for the American his car was not ready in time for the LCQ. As a consequence of his ‘DNS’ in the LCQ he was not allowed to take the start in the final.
The 6-lap-final with Fraser McConnell and Robin Larsson on the front row and Kevin Eriksson and Andreas Bakkerud on the second row went eventually underway with seven cars. McConnell won the start and went into the lead ahead of Larsson and Bakkerud. Larsson went into the joker lap section in the second lap joining the main track again as fourth behind McConnell, Bakkerud and Oliver Eriksson. The top three then only went into the joker lap section in the final lap with McConnell being able to hold off Larsson after the merge. Therefore Fraser McConnell scored his first Nitro Rallycross event win with Robin Larsson and Andreas Bakkerud completing the success for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing JC. Oliver Bennett beat Kevin Eriksson for fourth place with Oliver Eriksson and Conner Martell the last finishers on places six and seven.
“I approach every weekend with the same mindset, trust my instincts, trust the preparation, and achieve the best as I can,” said McConnell afterwards.
“It does help when you have really good support like I did this weekend.
“It’s good to bounce back after the last event and put in some good laps this weekend – big up to DRR JC for the A-Shock FC1-X, huge thanks to the team they worked their ass off for this so I’m really happy to bring it home.”
In the standings after four events Robin Larsson (208 points) is leading it from Andreas Bakkerud (185 points) with today’s winner Fraser McConnel (172 points) going into third.
In NRX Next the win was for Sweden’s Casper Jansson (NRX Next) who beat yesterday’s winner George Megennis (NRX Next) . Third place went to Jimmy Henderson (NRX Next).
The 2022/23 Nitro Rallycross Series continues in two weeks time (November 12-13) at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park neat Phoenix, AZ.
Group E (Sunday): 1. Fraser McConnell (JAM), FC1-X; 2. Robin Larsson (S), FC1-X; 3. Andreas Bakkerud (N), FC1-X; 4. Oliver Bennett (GB), FC1-X; 5. Kevin Eriksson (S), FC1-X; 6. Oliver Eriksson (S), FC1-X; 7. Conner Martell (USA), FC1-X.
NRX Next (Sunday): 1. Casper Jansson (S), NRX Next; 2. George Megennis (USA), NRX Next; 3. Jimmy Henderson (USA), NRX Next; 4. Lane Vacala (USA), NRX Next; 5. Eric Gordon (USA), NRX Next.
Group E Drivers (4/9): 1. Robin Larsson (S), 208; 2. Andreas Bakkerud (N), 185; 3. Fraser McConnell (JAM), 172; 4. Oliver Eriksson (S), 122; 5. Oliver Bennett (GB), 107; 6. Travis Pastrana (USA), 104; 7. Conner Martell (USA), 104; etc.
Group E Teams (4/9): 1. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing JC (USA), 393; 2. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (USA), 277; 3. Olsbergs/MSE (S), 220; 4. Vermont SportsCar (USA), 208; 5. Xite Energy Racing (GB), 183.