Travis Pastrana takes the double at Nitro Rallycross US launch winning group E and side-by-side finals

Travis Pastrana takes the double at Nitro Rallycross US launch winning group E and side-by-side finals

04.10.2022: Nitro RX Heads Next to Los Angeles - Returning to Glen Helen Raceway October 29-30 - Robin Larsson finishes second in Group E - Fraser Mccconnell returns from big crash to take third

Nitro RX Heads Next to Los Angeles - Returning to Glen Helen Raceway October 29-30


- Robin Larsson finishes second in Group E

- Fraser Mccconnell returns from big crash to take third

Photos from event HERE

Travis Pastrana (USA) put an exclamation mark on Nitro Rallycross’ American return Sunday at ERX Motor Park, wrapping up its Minnesota round with a pair of finals wins, first in the special Side-By-Side competition and then with an emphatic victory in the Group E top class.

Pastrana battled fellow motorsports legends like F1 world champion Jenson Button (GBR), off-road icon Brian Deegan (USA) and moto star Robbie Maddison (AUS), as well as top rallycross pros Andreas Bakkerud (NOR), Kevin Eriksson (SWE) and Oliver Eriksson (SWE) to take dual podiums.  The stacked Minnesota driver roster competed on of one Nitro RX’s fastest and most challenging tracks, a course that both unleashed their vehicles’ high-performance capabilities and created unparalleled excitement for fans.

Pastrana, 2021 Nitro RX series champion, reclaimed the podium at ERX Motor Park after getting shut out in 2022’s European opening rounds. “It’s been a tough year so far, we haven’t had a lot of wins,” he explained. “Last year, it felt like everything went right. But this year, since breaking my back in January, it’s been a long road. So, to come back here – the first race back in the U.S. for Nitro Rallycross – and get these wins, it’s very special.”

Pastrana added, “We were quick yesterday, but couldn’t put it together, So, we buckled down last night and said, ‘We gotta do this.’ The team believed in me: Vermont SportsCar, Can-Am, Yokohama. And, I couldn’t be more appreciative of all the fans that came out. When everyone cheered and yelled, ‘USA!’ it felt really good.”

In Group E, Pastrana was especially focused going into the final. At the start, Nitro RX UK winner Robin Larsson (SWE) challenged him. But Pastrana was not to be denied, and from the first hairpin turn, he swiftly put the hammer down.

Pastrana said, “I knew we had the speed. This is one of my favorite tracks, it’s all dirt. The tracks earlier in the season, they were very European. And those guys are amazing. Larsson has really stepped up his game this year. He was definitely strong all day. I was just excited to push - a little aggressively on the start, without a doubt. But this meant a lot. I felt like, I’m not giving an inch, and we’re going to get it done.”

Larsson finished second, continuing his streak of reaching the podium in all of Nitro RX 2022/23’s first three rounds.

The battle for third place offered even more drama, with European Rallycross champion Andreas Bakkerud (NOR), British pro Oliver Bennett and Pastrana’s Vermont SportsCar teammate Conner Martell (USA) all dueling with fast-rising Fraser McConnell (JAM) for the final spot on the podium.

Heading into Sunday though, just having an opportunity to race would’ve been considered a victory for Bakkerud and McConnell. On day one, both drivers had a scary moment when both had rollover crashes back-to-back during practice, with McConnell ultimately flipping over the concrete barrier and down into a pond below.

For McConnell, it was the biggest incident in his career. Thankfully, while a bit shaken up, Bakkerud and McConnell were unhurt and they were back at the track that afternoon, cheering on and supporting their fellow drivers.

Now however the challenge was to compete on Sunday. The DDR JC team worked feverishly through the night, rebuilding the cars from the ground up in order to get them race-ready in time. Both drivers managed to shake off these distractions though and advanced into Sunday’s final when, with everything on the line, they battled Bennett and Martell for third place before McConnell ultimately prevailed.

McConnell said afterwards: “It’s a surreal feeling… If it wasn’t for Dreyer Reinbold and JC I would not have been able to compete today, and hats off to the FC1-X team. I had to put what happened yesterday behind me. It was difficult. I just had to trust my instincts. [Now] From pond to podium, I’m very happy.”

Group E Final Results (Minnesota):

1    199    Travis Pastrana    USA    Vermont SportsCar
2    4    Robin Larsson     SWE    RX Cartel / DRR JC
3    35    Fraser McConnell    JAM    DRR JC
4    13    Andreas Bakkerud    NOR    RX Cartell / DRR JC
5    42    Oliver Bennett    GBR    XITE Energy Racing
6    15    Andrew Carlson    USA    DRR
7    21    Conner Martell    USA    Vermont SportsCar
8    16    Oliver Eriksson    SWE    OMSE

In Nitro RX’s developmental division, NRX NEXT, Tommi Hallman (FIN) continued his dominance, defending his titles from round two in Sweden, sweeping both finals this weekend, and extending his streak of podium finishes to six-straight. George Megennis (USA) finished second while Simon Olofsson (SWE) took third.

NRX Next Final (Round 6):

1    87    Tommi Hallman    FIN    SET Promotion
2    9    George Megennis    USA    #YELLOWSQUAD
3    52    Simon Olofsson    SWE    STSRX
4    36    Casper Jansson    SWE    Olsbergs MSE AB
5    19    Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky    SWE    JC
6    99    Eric Gordon    USA    BAK 40 Motorsport
7    55    Lane Vacala    USA    DRR JC

Side-By-Sides returned to Nitro RX this weekend with a trio of heavyweight competitors, Deegan, Maddison and Pastrana, facing off.  The competition revived a longtime rivalry for Deegan and Pastrana and while on Saturday Deegan topped the podium, on Sunday it was Pastrana’s turn for bragging rights.

The next generation also asserted itself, as 13-year old Ben Maier (USA) showed his promise Sunday, beating out not only Deegan and Maddison but also Terry Madden (USA) to take second place. Gregoire Michaud (CAN) rounded out the SxS podium.

Side-By-Sides Final (Round 2):

1    199    Travis Pastrana    USA
2    67    Ben Maier    USA
3    27    Gregoire Michaud    CAN
4    38    Brian Deegan    USA
5    22    Robbie Maddison     AUS
6    13    Leticia Bufoni    USA
7    188    Terry Madden    USA

Nitro RX’s high-adrenaline action will now head west, with Los Angeles’s iconic Glen Helen Raceway hosting round four. To experience Nitro RX’s in person, tickets can be purchased 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). Kids 12 and under can also 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 Minnesota include A SHOC Energy - Thrill One Sports & Entertainment’s Official Energy Drink -  Yokohama Tire, Smirnoff Ice Smash, O’Reilly Auto Parts, myenergi and Guaranteed Rate.

Greg Terlizzi ,Thrill One Sports & Entertainment


04.10.2022 / MaP

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