McConnell reigns supreme in first-ever Group E win at Nitro Rallycross fourth round at Glen Helen

By October 31, 2022

Jamaica’s Fraser McConnell claimed his first-ever Group E win on Sunday at the fourth leg of the 2022 Nitro Rallycross championship at Glen Helen Raceway in Los Angeles.

Dubbed the Flying Jamaican, McConnell began the weekend on a high note on Saturday when he took the top qualifier spot winning his heat before getting the better of Oliver Bennett, Kevin Eriksson and Oliver Eriksson in the head-to-heads.

After winning on Saturday, he remained focused fully aware that the job was not yet done.

“Successful day 1, head down and ready for tomorrow,” he posted on Instagram after his successful run on Saturday.

He delivered on Sunday to emerge victorious in 4:54.667, 0.737 ahead of Robin Larsson and 1.892 clear of third-place finisher Andreas Bakkerud. Oliver Bennett was 2.582 behind in fourth.

It wasn’t easy, however, as he had to fight off Larsson to hold the early lead in the exciting final and benefitted from when Larsson and Bakkerud came together on the final lap.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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    Jamaican rally cross sensation, Fraser McConnell, maintained his top qualifying form to help X44 Vida Carbon Racing take the win in Round 3 at the Hydro X Prix, in Scotland on Saturday.

    The victory marks McConnell's first win in Extreme E and the Season 2 champions' first win of the 2023 campaign. 

    McConnell and Cristina Gutiérrez crossed the line in second place, but a penalty for on-course winners Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E dropped British-star Catie Munnings and team-mate Timmy Hansen down to second place. 

    “It's amazing to get my first win for X44. It’s been something that I’ve been working towards not just for me but for the whole team,” McConnell said.

    "It just goes to show that prioritising opportunity and inclusivity doesn’t have to come at the cost of performance, and we're proud to be showing what's possible here in Extreme E. We didn't have the best starting position - second from the outside - so I knew I was going to have to do something a little risky to get in front which I managed. Then I went a little wide and they got the better run, but that’s racing. We were able to stay close enough to capitalise on their [Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E] penalty. A win is always a win and very happy to do this one for X44," he added. 

    Instead, McConnell hung back from the pack, turning early to undercut the ODYSSEY 21s in front and using his Hyperdrive late to storm from fifth to first. 

    The Jamaican carried this pace into the first steep ascent of the course, but his speed caused him to run wide, opening the door for Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E’s Hansen to pull up alongside and exit the climb in the lead. 

    Coming in third were Carl Cox Motorsport, scoring their maiden podium in the championship after just three rounds and at International DJ Carl Cox's home X Prix. 

    McConnell is in 4th of 10 teams in the overall standings, on 51 points with the third event set for July 8-9 at the Island X Prix in Sardinia, Italy. 

    Indeed, MConnell’s X44 team are the reigning champions having taken the 2022 title with Gutierrez and Sebastien Loeb behind the wheel. They will be looking to defend their crown with seven more rounds to come in the season.

     

     

  • Fraser McConnell caps off NitroRX season with podium finish as  Dreyer & Reinbold claims team title Fraser McConnell caps off NitroRX season with podium finish as Dreyer & Reinbold claims team title

     Jamaica’s lone rally cross driver Fraser McConnell capped off a fine 2022/23 Nitro Rally Cross season by finishing second in the season finale Group E Round 10 event at Glen Helen Raceway in California last weekend.  McConnell demonstrated his tactical prowess during the damp six-lap final, only to be edged out by Dreyer&Reinbold Swedish teammate Robin Larsson, who took the final event in a time of 4:58:964.

    Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud made it a clean sweep for team DRR after finishing third.

    For his efforts, McConnell ended the overall championship third in Nitro RX 2022/23 and his contribution also allowed for team DRR to secure the team title which was pleasing for the Jamaican.  “It has been a really great season in Nitro with me having a lot on the table and racing alongside people like Travis Pastrana, who is my childhood hero,” McConnell said.

    “To be able to get third in the Championship with such a stacked field, was a big accomplishment for myself and Jamaica.”

    McConnell entered the final day as one of the top five racers who were close in the championship standings. With Larsson eventually sewing up the championship, it was down to McConnell and Pastrana to see who would finish second and third, with the American just edging out the Jamaican in the last race of the season.

     Following another successful season made possible by the support of sponsors Tru Shake, Just Bet, Proven Wealth, Jamaica Tourist Board and Rainforest Seafood, McConnell is already looking ahead to next season with his team in talks with the Nitro RX organizers to kick off the new season in June of this year.

     “I am very happy with where I am at in my career and this past season really developed me as a driver. This shows that I can compete and beat the best in the world,” added McConnell.

     After a break back home, McConnell will next turn his attention to the X44 Vida Carbon Racing, the Extreme E Team founded by Seven-Time Formula 1 Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton.

     McConnell will join season-two winner and World Champion Cristina Gutiérrez as his race partner.

  • McConnell secures runner-up finish to kick off Nitro Rallycross Grand Finale McConnell secures runner-up finish to kick off Nitro Rallycross Grand Finale

    Fraser McConnell began the Grand Finale of the 2022/23 Nitro Rallycross Series with a runner-up finish in the first of three rounds on Friday at the Glen Helen raceway.

    “Great start to the nitro rallycross finale with another shiny belt and a silver medal,” said the 24-year-old Jamaican on Instagram after round one.

    “Really good points in the bag with two more race days to come,” he added.

    The round was won by European Rallycross champion Andreas Bakkerund while Timo Scheider was third. The overall leader and McConnell’s teammate Robin Larsson was eighth.

    The second and third races to determine the champion will take place on Saturday and Sunday and can be viewed on Sportsmax or the Sportsmax app.

     

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