Tue | Sep 28, 2021

McConnell looking to bounce back after RX2E crash

Published:Monday | July 26, 2021 | 12:09 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
McCONNELL
McCONNELL

Despite having to retire because of a collision, Rallycross driver Fraser McConnell is in the early hunt for the RX2E title after the first round concluded at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, yesterday.

McConnell, 21, in his first event in the electric rallycross series, had top-three finishes in the remaining two qualifying rounds on the second day yesterday as well as a win in his semi-final race in establishing a platform for the rest of the series. McConnell is now in second place in the overall championship standings with 22 points, eight behind early leader Guillaume De Ridder of Belgium, who won the first event of the series.

McConnell had finished runner-up to De Ridder on Saturday, and with both drivers winning their respective semi-finals, the stage was set for a great final race. However, when McConnell lost out to De Ridder on turn one, his car made contact with the other drivers and collided with Finnish driver Jesse Kallio. McConnell hit the barriers and was ruled out of the race immediately while Kallio could only continue for another lap before retiring.

De Ridder won the final in 4:49.451 minutes while Ole Henry Steinsholt of Norway finished second in 4:53:646 minutes and Patrick O’Donovan of the United Kingdom was third in 4:55:508 minutes.

Even with the setback, McConnell said that he is proud of the pioneering moments that were made over the last couple of days.

“Not the best way to end the weekend, but with hard racing, sometimes these things happen,” McConnell said on Instagram yesterday. “RX2E did a great job to get these cars of the future ready for this weekend, and it’s safe to say that we made history.”

In the build-up to his electric-car debut, McConnell said that it was a big moment for Jamaica and the Caribbean to be able to compete in the series, which he says will show local drivers the options they have to compete and succeed.

While the next leg of the RX2E Championship will be in Höljes, Sweden, McConnell will now return focus to the RallyX Nordic League as the final two rounds of the competition are set to start on August 13 in the same country, but in the city of Arvika. McConnell, who is in his second year racing in the Supercars class, is in fourth place in the standings, with 102 points after four rounds.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com