Fraser McConnell, the first rallycross driver from Jamaica is now set to return to the single-make RX2 International Series with Olsbergs MSE team.
McConnell had a successful full-season campaign in the series last year, and after two years in rallycross, he says he will be all gun blazing in the pursuit for the title.
The 21-years-old Jamaican made his debut in the RX2 last year in the season-opener at World RX of Catalunya where he made his mark with the spectacular round-the-outside move on his teammate Jesse Kallio.
He also took his maiden podium in Catalunya, and reached the finals on all but one occasion throughout the season and laid down a marker for 2020 with a battling run to second place in Cape Town at the season finale.
McConnell became the Americas Rallycross champion in the ARX2 series in 2018, using the same single-make cars. Along with his full-season campaign he hopes to get a chance to extend his seat-time and career development by joining the Supercar Lites squad in RallyX Nordic.
“I didn’t have any expectations last year, I didn’t know any of the tracks – the only prior information I had was either from YouTube or video games – so it inevitably took me a little while to get fully up-to-speed, and if you’re playing catch-up in rallycross, you’re not going to be able to fight for the win,” McConnell said.
“My team-mates Oliver [Eriksson] and Jesse [Kallio] played a huge part in helping me to get to grips with it all. Their experience was genuinely invaluable, and let’s face it, nobody knows the Supercar Lites car better than Oliver – I learned so much from him.
“OMSE is the undisputed benchmark team in the discipline so I never even considered going anywhere else, and I really want to capitalise upon every opportunity they give me. Plus, there are only two new tracks I need to learn this year, but that will be the same for everybody. That’s the biggest thing for me, I think.” McConnell added.
“One of my major personal focuses this season is to make sure I’m more mentally ready for the challenge. Coming from Jamaica, there’s obviously a lot of travel involved, adjusting to different time zones and dealing with the associated jetlag – plus juggling my racing commitments with my college studies. It’s a pretty intense schedule and a big commitment to make, but I’ve devoted a lot of time over the winter to prepare myself.
“It’s shaping up to be another tough season in RX2, with a very high calibre of competition. The level seemed to increase with each round last year, and every indication suggests it will step up again in 2020. Everybody is fast. Everybody is capable of putting down quick lap times. The difference is in the finer details – the hundredths if not thousandths-of-a-second that separate the field. That means it will all come down to consistency and not making mistakes, but I’m confident we have everything we need to fight for the title.
“I’m working hard to maintain the momentum from my podium in South Africa and my ARX2 title win – I’m feeling excited and really looking forward to it all. Not only that, but the level of respect between the drivers in RX2 is pretty remarkable, so I can’t wait to get out there and race with those guys again. It’s going to be a fun year!” McConnell continued.
The accolades have kept on coming for McConnell over the winter, too. In addition to meeting Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, with whom he discussed his international rallycross experience and efforts to continue putting the island nation on the global motorsport map.
McConnell was celebrated as Senior Sportsman of the Year at the star-studded FIA Americas Awards and Sportsman of the Year for Motorsports by RJR.