Scott Speed won Dirtfish ARX of COTA at Circuit of the Americas in Texas, and with it taking the championship lead in Americas Rallycross.
Speed won three of his four qualifying heats, along with his semi final, but was beaten at the start of the final by team mate Tanner Foust.
Foust, along with a fast starting Patrik Sandell, opted to take the joker on the first lap – a strategy call that would prove to be his race’s undoing.
Once emerging from the longer joker lap, Foust and Sandell were help up by the Subarus of Chris Atkinson and Travis Pastrana who were having their own battle for position. That allowed Speed to eke out a lead at the front, with Ken Block in tow.
Block, whose aggressive driving had frustrated Speed throughout the weekend, jokered on lap three, allowing Speed to further extend his lead. He held onto second after taking the longer lap, and faced intense pressure from Foust, who couldn’t find a way past the Ford driver over the final two laps.
Up front, Speed was ultimately untroubled, jokering on the final lap along with Pastrana who settled in behind Block and Foust in fourth.
The early race traffic did Sandell no favours. He eventually had to settle for fifth place, while early race contact for Atkinson meant that he finished the final in sixth place.
Speed’s win means he now leads the championship by a single point ahead of Foust, while Atkinson is in third a further 16 points back.
Despite missing the season opener at, Block’s strong weekend at COTA means that he currently sits fifth in the points, ahead of Silverstone stars Timo Scheider and Liam Doran, with Travis Pastrana rounding out the top eight.
Conner Martell avoids carnage for ARX2 win
RX2 regular Conner Martell took the inaugural ARX2 race win at COTA, dominating the final to cross the line 6.6 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
The DirtFish Motorsports driver made a good start, and held station at the front of the field for the entire race.
Rallycross debutant Fraser McConnell looked set to take an impressive second place, but the heat and semi final winner made contact while taking his joker lap, dropping him down the field.
The rear action in the ARX2 final came on the final lap when Christian Brooks hit Scott Anderson, sending him into the wall just after the jump, ending his race.
Brooks manages to keep going despite the scuffle, and finished behind Martell in second place. Cole Keatts – another driver who has been plying his trade in Europe this season – rounded out the podium. McConnell was fourth, with Alex Keyes fifth and Anderson being classified in sixth.