Nitro Rallycross returns to Southern California with action-packed first day at Glen Helen Raceway

Nitro Rallycross returns to Southern California with action-packed first day at Glen Helen Raceway

30.10.2022: - Fraser McConnell tops Group E battle brackets, earns top qualifier position - Brian Deegan edges out Travis Pastrana in side-by-sides final - George Meginnis wins NRX Next Final

- Fraser McConnell tops Group E battle brackets, earns top qualifier position

- Brian Deegan edges out Travis Pastrana in side-by-sides final

- George Meginnis wins NRX Next Final

- Competition Continues Sunday with Full Slate of High Stakes Finals

Nitro Rallycross returned to Southern California Saturday, kicking off a wild weekend of racing at iconic Glen Helen Raceway as part of its inaugural global series.

The disruptive new motorsport with, “cars that fly and tracks that thrill,” delivered the goods Saturday with gripping head-to-head action, tight passes and nail-biting finishes, all on a challenging course punctuated by a 100-ft gap jump.

In Group E, fast-rising Jamaican phenom Fraser McConnell took Top Qualifier position in an exciting Battle Brackets final against Oliver Eriksson (SWE). It marked McConnell’s first win in Nitro RX’s new top class.

Both drivers had to advance through Nitro RX’s heavy-hitters in order to reach the final, with Eriksson beating defending 2021 series champion and Minnesota 2022 winner Travis Pastrana (USA) as well as Sweden 2022 winner Andreas Bakkerud (NOR), while McConnell dispatched UK 2022 winner Robin Larsson (SWE).

In Saturday’s final, Eriksson bolted out of the start and held McConnell off at the first turn. McConnell hung tight however and soon pulled off a brilliant pass, swinging high before dropping down to overtake Eriksson on the inside. McConnell then held back Erkisson, with the two getting sideways in the corners, before McConnell pulled away to seal the win.

As top qualifier, McConnell goes into Sunday with pole position in his choice of the first two heats.

Group E Qualifying Order (Round 4):

Position    Car #    Name    Nation    Team

1    35    Fraser McConnell    JAM    DRR
2    16    Oliver Eriksson    SWE    OMSE
3    23    Kevin Eriksson    SWE    OMSE
4    13    Andreas Bakkerud    NOR    RX Cartel / DRR JC
5    199    Travis Pastrana    USA    Vermont SportsCar
6    21    Conner Martell    USA    Vermont SportsCar
7    4    Robin Larsson    SWE    RX Cartel / DRR JC
8    42    Oliver Bennett    GBR    XITE Energy Racing

In NRX NEXT, George Megennis (USA) claimed the top of the podium with a solid win after third place finishes at round four in Sweden as well as rounds five and six in Minnesota. Jimmy Henderson and Lane Vacala combined to make it an American sweep of the NEXT podium Saturday.

In a double-header weekend, the full NRX NEXT field will compete again on Sunday with another opportunity to earn hardware.


NRX Next Final (Round 7):

Finish    Car #    Name    Nation    Team

1    9    George Megennis    USA    #YELLOWSQUAD
2    44    Jimmy Henderson    USA    BAK 40 Motorsport
3    55    Lane Vacala    USA    DRR
4    36    Casper Jansson    SWE    OMSE
5    99    Eric Gordon    USA    BAK 40 Motorsport

For Nitro RX’s special Side-By-Side contest, Pastrana pulled double duty while renewing his longtime rivalry with fellow moto legend Brian Deegan (USA).

Deegan and Pastrana traded first place Side-By-Sides finishes earlier this month during Nitro RX’s US launch, and that pattern continued at Glen Helen with the two battling throughout Saturday.

Neither refused to settle for second, taking the Side-By-Side final all the way to the wire, with Deegan getting the better of Pastrana – on this day – by less than four-hundredths of a second. Canada’s Gregoire Michaud rounded out the podium.

Pastrana will have an opportunity for a rematch though, with the full Side-By-Sides roster set to square off once more on Sunday.  

Side-By-Sides Final (Round 1):

Finish    Car #    Name    Nation

1    38    Brian Deegan    USA
2    199    Travis Pastrana    USA
3    27    Gregoire Michaud    CAN
4    67    Ben Maier    USA
5    49    Robin Shute    GBR
6    111    Jeff Matiasevich    USA
7    57    Lia Block    USA
8    13    Leticia Bufoni    USA

More finals trophies - in all three classes - are on the line Sunday. For Southland fans, tickets are still available for purchase at General admission tickets are $25 each while VIP Club Nitro RX passes offering premium amenities and exclusive experiences are $125 each (all prices plus additional taxes and fees). Camping passes are also available. Kids 12 and under can even enjoy all of the high-speed action for free.

Fans outside of Southern California can also watch live on Peacock in the U.S. as well as on YouTube worldwide.

Event partners for Nitro RX Los Angeles include A SHOC Energy - Thrill One Sports & Entertainment’s Official Energy Drink -  Yokohama Tire, Smirnoff Ice Smash, Myenergi and Guaranteed Rate.

Greg Terlizzi photos NitroRX


30.10.2022 / MaP

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