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AMERICAS RALLYCROSS GETS BOOST WITH RETURN OF VOLKSWAGEN

In an announcement that is unquestionably pivotal to the success of the fledgling Americas Rallycross series, Volkswagen, the defending champion, has finally announced that it would be back for ARX’s second season.

Michael Andretti’s Andretti Rallycross team will again field two Beetles, despite the fact that the Beetle is ending its run on the U.S. market. That issue, plus finances and driver selection are thought to be central reasons for the delaying  announcement until now. Of course, the season doesn’t begin until June 8 and 9 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

So far, no drivers have been named, although Tanner Foust was known to have been interested in returning, and just last week re-tweeted a posting that celebrated his victory at the 2018 season opener at Silverstone and called for a repeat in 2019.

Last November, Autoweek broke the story that 2018 champion Scott Speed would be moving to Subaru, joining Patrik Sandell and Chris Atkinson in the WRX STi. Speed also won three titles in the defunct Global Rallycross series.

In major news for the fledgling Americas Rallycross series, reigning champion Scott Speed, driver for Andretti Autosport’s long-dominant Volkswagen team, is moving to Subaru for …

“We have an exciting driver lineup, which we can’t wait to announce, and are confident that the team and VW will be in a strong position to defend our ARX championship,” Andretti said.

With VW and Subaru back, and Ford offering unofficial support to Steve Arpin’s Fiesta team, ARX appears to be well-position in its attempt to rebuild Rallycross is the U.S. after the implosion of the Red Bull Global Rallycross series shortly before the start of the 2018 season.

At the last minute, the massive IMG, a global promotions company with properties that include everything from Formula Drift to Miss Universe to the Professional Bull Riders association, decided to add ARX to its existing FIA World Rallycross Championship, throwing together a schedule for 2018 that actually paired WRX and ARX in a couple of events.

This year, after starting at Mid-Ohio, ARX moves to another new venue, Gateway Motorsports Park outside St. Louis, then back to Trois-Rivières in Canada and Circuit of The Americas in Austin, returning to Mid-Ohio in October for the 2019 finals.

Source: Autoweek