Tanner Foust tops day one at COTA to keep title fight alive

by Dominik Wilde

Tanner Foust completed a clean sweep of the first two qualifying rounds for the final round of the 2018 Americas Rallycross season at Circuit of the Americas, while team mate and title rival Scott Speed struggled to fifth place overall after both heats.

Foust won both of his heat races with the fastest time in the field, and led Steve Arpin to the line both times. Arpin sits second overall in the qualifying standings as a result, one spot ahead of Liam Doran.

Doran is making his first ARX start since the season opener at Silverstone, but is campaigning a GC Kompetition Renault Megane R.S. RX instead of his family-run Citroen DS3 that he ran earlier in the year. He took third place in both of his heats.

Another one of this weekend’s wildcard entries, Toomas Heikkinen, was fourth in the third Subaru.

The 2013 Global Rallycross champion hasn’t raced in the US since X Games in 2015. He was fifth in his first heat, but took the win in his second round race, helping him to edge Speed in the overall standings at the end of the day.

Speed came into the weekend with a nine-point advantage over Foust, but in his Q1 heat he took the joker lap twice by mistake.

In the second qualifying round, Speed was taken out by Ken Block on the opening lap as both looked to take the joker lap. Block, behind and clearly not holding the racing line unlike Speed ahead, hit the Volkswagen driver’s car at high speed, sending him into a spin. Block was penalised for the incident by being forced to take a second joker lap.

Patrik Sandell currently sits sixth ahead of Block and Chris Atkinson, while Brit Oliver Bennett is down in ninth.

ARX COTA 2 Qualifying standings after Q2

Tanner Foust – Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross – 100pts
Steve Arpin – Loenbro Hoonigan – 90pts
Liam Doran – GC Kompetition – 82pts
Toomas Heikkinen – Subaru Rally Team USA – 78pts
Scott Speed – Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross – 78pts
Patrik Sandell – Subaru Rally Team USA – 76pts
Ken Block – Loenbro Hoonigan – 75pts
Chris Atkinson – Subaru Rally Team USA – 74pts

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