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Fraser McConnell looks to France

BY RORY DALEY
Observer writer
daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, August 16, 2019

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JAMAICA'S Fraser McConnell has his sights set on the Bretagne World Rallycross in Lohéac, France, on Saturday, August 31.

He is upbeat based on his performance that saw him take two victories at the double header American Rallycross Championship class two (ARX2) in Canada on August 3 and 4.

“I prepare for both rallycross series the same, I'm always in the gym working out and staying fit whenever I have the free time. I'm always visualising the track in my head, mentally and physically preparing to be as ready as I can be for France,” McConnell told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

Bretagne World Rallycross of France is the sixth round of the WRX Championship and is McConnell's first trip to the venue.

“My hopes for World RX France are to come out with a great result. I'm always going for the win, but it's also going to be my first time racing at that track. It's been on the calendar for many years so the other drivers are more familiar with it. I do believe in myself that I can do well,” he said.

Since the start of 2019, McConnell has been pulling double duty driving in both the World Rallycross (WorldRX) and the American Rallycross (ARX) Championships. He competes in the junior category in the two series RX2 and ARX2. Currently, he tops the ARX2 championship standings and sits third in RX2.

“Winning is the best feeling there is when competing, so being able to achieve that goal twice in one weekend is one I cannot describe,” he said, about winning round's four and five of ARX2.

This year was a complete contrast to 2018 when he first visited Canada's Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres circuit. A rookie, McConnell ended up retiring the car too many times severely impacting his 2018 championship hopes.

“This year we came with a clear mind but also a burning fire inside of me to get results for myself more than anything. It was pure redemption.”

In his short time in the sport, the 20 year-old has made a significant impression throwing his Jamaica flag-wrapped rallycross car across the world's rallycross venues pulling off moves that seasoned commentator Andrew Coley has termed legendary.

“Go-karting is a big foundation for me, like it is for many other drivers. It sets the discipline, mindset and obviously the driving fundamentals which is crucial whether it be on the dirt or tarmac. It's a real game changer,” he said.

Like many drivers at the top level of sport, he is constantly battling the issue of funding to continue his career, even though he's enjoying the immense amount of support from his family, friends, rallycross fans, and Jamaica.

“I couldn't be more grateful for how involved everyone is, but the reality is we're currently searching for sponsorship, and the smallest of contributions will go a long way,” he said.

World RX worldwide viewing figures topped 11.4 million in 2015. ARX has broadcast deals with the CBS Sports Network and Facebook Live.

To aspiring racers, McConnell's advice is to follow your dreams as best as you can.

“Do everything that you can in your power that you think will get you there. Take every opportunity you have and never leave the track or race thinking that you could have pushed more,” he said.


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