McConnell celebrates first Nitro Rallycross win
Coming off a podium finish in Minnesota last month, rallycross driver Fraser McConnell tasted victory for the first time this season in the fourth round of the 2022-23 Nitro Rallycross Championship series last weekend at the Glen Helen track in Los Angeles, California.
McConnell led wire to wire on a track that saw him experience difficulties after mechanical issues with his car stopped him from a podium finish last year. This year McConnell’s perfect weekend started when he won Saturday’s first heat race after starting from pole position. The results only got better from there as he won all three two-car battle brackets, earning him maximum championship points on Saturday. His strong opening day saw him earn pole position for Sunday’s heat two, a race he would win to earn pole for the Group E final, which he would win in 4:54.667 minutes. Robin Larsson of Swed was second and Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud was third.
For McConnell, 24, he says that it was a weekend that demanded full concentration with no margin for error as had to earn every pole position that he enjoyed.
I’m excited to finish on the top step for the first time in the Nitro Group E Class and earn maximum points in my run for the Series Championship. It was a weekend of complete focus and maximum attack from the very first race,” McConnell said.
McConnell’s first win of the season comes after an eventful third round in Minnesota where he crashed and rolled during qualifying, sparking doubts about his participation in the final. He would return to the track for the final finishing third. McConnell entered the Los Angeles leg of the championship in third place with 114 points after three rounds.
What pleased McConnell most over the weekend was how he held his nerve amid the tough field and the support that he received far from home having endeared himself to the local racing crowd in California.
“Although I led from start to finish in the finals, it was a tough battle with a very competitive field. It was great to see all the Jamaican flags in the stands and heartwarming considering that this strong support was coming from the local California-based Rallycross fans,” McConnell said.
He will only have two weeks to enjoy the victory as the last championship race of 2022 will take place on November 12 and 13 at the Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, Arizona.