Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross driver Scott Speed topped the opening practice session for Dirtfish ARX of COTA at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
Speed, who won the two previous top-level rallycross events at the track in 2014 and ’15, lapped the new purpose-built course in 34.216 seconds, beating team mate Tanner Foust by 0.159s.
Subaru Rally Team USA‘s Patrik Sandell was third fastest, exactly a quarter of a second back from Speed, while Travis Pastrana – who is making his ARX debut and first rallycross appearance since 2015 – was fourth. The third Subaru of Chris Atkinson rounded out the top five.
Next up was the Loenbro Hoonigan pairing of Ken Block and Steve Arpin. They too are making their first ARX appearances this weekend having chosen to skip the season opener at Silverstone in order to have more time developing their Ford Focus RS RXs.
Oliver Bennett rounded out the field, and completed the second most laps of anyone. The World Rallycross regular’s car only arrived in the US on Friday night.
Martell leads ARX2 contingent
Making its bow at COTA this weekend is ARX2 – a single-make support category using the Olsbergs MSE Supercar Lites platform, much like the World RX-supporting RX2 series.
Conner Martell, who is also competing in RX2 this year, topped the times for the DirtFish team. His fastest lap was 35.895 seconds.
Almost three tenths back in second was Christian Brooks. Brooks’ Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team mate Travis PeCoy was third fastest.
Rallycross debutant Fraser McConnell was fourth fastest, ahead of DirtFish team mates Scott Anderson and James Rimmer.
Alex Keyes, Cole Keatts, and Matt Carpoff rounded out the class’ runners.