Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross proved the class of the field as the Americas Rallycross Championship (ARX) made its maiden visit to Canada and the Trois-Rivières circuit last weekend. Championship leader Scott Speed scored a clean sweep, leading every session on the way to the second back-to-back ARX victory. Close behind Speed in the Final was his teammate, Tanner Foust, who bounced back from a big accident on Saturday afternoon to claim a third consecutive podium finish.
“I’m really proud to get the win this weekend, particularly on a track like this,” said Speed after the checkered flag. “This type of rally-style racing on thick gravel and with constantly changing conditions was totally foreign to me a few years ago, so I’m happy to see the results of my study and the team’s hard work pay off with a dialed-in Beetle and a great result in the race.”
Speed led from the outset on the tight Trois-Rivières track, winning his two qualifying rounds on Saturday. Despite the reigning champion’s early success, the closeness of competitors’ lap times prompted Speed and the Volkswagen Andretti engineers and mechanics to make changes to the No. 41 Oberto Circle K Beetle Rallycross overnight.
The team’s work paid off on Sunday, benefiting Speed to the tune of three more round wins, before ultimate victory in the Final. Speed’s sweep of the weekend was the first such accomplishment in ARX history.
Foust’s path to the podium was more complicated than Speed’s while moving up through the field from his third-place starting position on Lap 1, Foust was forced into the wall by a competitor, causing significant damage to his No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle Rallycross. Unable to restart the red-flagged race, Foust’s team set about the task of rebuilding his car for Sunday.
“It’s been a tough weekend for the Rockstar Energy Drink guys, but they’ve done an incredible job not only to put this car back together but make it competitive in a quick, overnight rebuild,” said Foust. “I’m hoping for some better luck in the next events, because I know we’ve got the speed to grab another win as payback.”
The overnight rebuild was successful, and Foust returned to the track with a vengeance, easily winning his third qualifying heat.
Foust returned stronger than ever, rising from a second-row starting position in the first Semifinal to finish second behind Speed. He duplicated the same move in the Final with a dynamite start and was the first driver to challenge his teammate, chasing the championship-leader to the checkered flag.
With their 1-2 sweep at Trois-Rivières, the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross drivers extended their lead in the championship table, making it a virtual certainty that the inaugural ARX title will go to one of the two Beetle Rallycross drivers. Before the final round of the inaugural running of the Americas Rallycross Championship at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) at the end of September, Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross will make an exhibition appearance at the Nitro World Games at the Utah Motorsports Campus, September 22-23.
The ARX highlight broadcast show of the Trois-Rivières round will air on CBS Sports Wednesday, August 8th at 7:00 PM (ET).