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McConnell debuts strong in US meet

Friday, July 20, 2018

IT was a stunning debut for Fraser McConnell at the DirtFish ARX of COTA in Austin, Texas last Saturday. The Jamaica driver is current tied at the top of the ARX2 class points with American counterpart Conner Martell.

“Both myself and the DirtFish team were very happy with my debut performance. There is still more we can work on to bring home a trophy but being tied for first going into the next event is a really great feeling,” McConnell told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

McConnell emerged on top after the four ARX2 qualifying rounds, grabbing pole position for the finals. He dropped to second on the race start, but after a tactical move was interrupted by contact from a competitor, he fell down the order and managed to recover to finish fourth.

“During the final, the person in second had a really good start putting him ahead of me for the first corner. On lap 5/6, I got a call from my spotter telling me the way was clear and the next thing I know, I have been bumped very hard off my line, and three cars have driven past me. I was able to pass one more person to grab fourth. It was not the ending we were hoping for,” he explained.

The incident was put under investigation, but the race stewards deemed no further action be taken. Despite his potential podium finish ruined, McConnell was still upbeat about the whole experience.

“I got lots of very nice comments from fans and teammates saying that they are very impressed with what they saw. I'm just building a huge fan base for the Jamaican flag in the ARX series,” he said.

A multi-genre champion locally McConnell said it all played a part in his racing at the international level.

“My rally and circuit experience really made me able to tie everything together and extract a lot out of the car. Since it was only my third time driving that car I cannot say that I have extracted everything out of it, which is definitely nice to know that we can and will go faster.”

McConnell and the DirtFish Rally cross team will head back to the fourth round of ARX in September.

— Rory Daley