Fraser McConnell, cushioning a three-win lead heading into the last two rounds of the 2019 season of the Americas Rallycross Championship (ARX2), might just become the first Jamaican to win the competition come Sunday.
McConnell, 21, continued to display superb in-form driving last Saturday, as he won the seventh round of the ARX2 RallyCross event at the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas – thus extending his lead in the 2019 ARX2 Championship.
Fraser, who is gearing up for the big showdown in Ohio this weekend, brimmed with measured confidence in an interview with BUZZ on Thursday.
“It definitely feels great going into the last two rounds of the year with a healthy lead,” McConnell told BUZZ, adding that he’s focused on two things, bringing the championship home and to see how long he can keep his good streak going.
Two rounds away from history!
“I definitely want to improve on myself every time I go out there; to be honest, I’m never fully satisfied. So, I just want to keep this going as long as I can,” he added.
While the Texas circuit was not unfamiliar to the Jamaican, there wasn’t much room for errors as the best from the US and Europe were hungry for the same points McConnell managed to secure on Saturday.
“It was my third time racing there so it wasn’t completely new to me, but all the other racers had been there too. The level was very high, there was no room for mistakes,” the 21-year-old race car driver said.
“You had to be perfect and luckily, I had only one mishap in the first qualifying heat. After that, I put my head down, gave it my all and won all my races after that,” McConnell continued.
Keeping a level head with a small hiccup in Qualifying Heat 1, McConnell finished 7th after avoiding contact with other overabundant racers.
From Qualifying Heat 2 onward, the St. Andrew native left no doubt about his intentions, winning his Q2 and Q3 heats, then winning his Semi-Final before a flag-to-flag victory in the Final itself.
“It’s tough, everyone has talent; the whole championships has drivers that can win any given race. Having won any race, much less win three in a row, is something really special to me. Winning is a goal I keep really close to me,” the Jamaican argued.
Thank you, Jamaica. Your support means the world — McConnell
McConnell, who races for entrants Dirtfish Motorsports, told BUZZ that the outpouring of love and support from Jamaica has been a driving force keeping him going.
“It goes without question! I couldn’t be [driving] at this level without the support of Jamaica, my family, friends, everybody,” he contended.
“It’s crazy to see how the country will come together to watch me race. The support on my social media platforms is just unbelievable. I can’t be more thankful for that,” McConnell added.
At the same time, the number 35 driver considers himself lucky to be representing Jamaica as the island is BUZZ-ing with many talented men and women.
“There’s a lot of talent in Jamaica. I’m just lucky enough to be the one that’s representing for motorsports [right now]. I mean, anyone that I’ve raced against in Jamaica could be doing what I’m doing,” the young racer told BUZZ.
Jamaicans interested to tune and cheer on Fraser can check out the AMX Facebook page, which will be streaming the two-day spectacle live. McConnell’s social media pages will also be sharing beat-by-beat updates over the course of Saturday and Sunday.
Fraser beaming from Sandals sponsorship
When asked about his latest sponsorship endorsement from the Sandals Group, McConnell was still somewhat lost for words.
“It’s still sinking in that I’m fortunate enough to be representing the best in the world in that category. Sandals is by far number one worldwide and to even have the privilege of saying ‘They’re supporting me’, is still so surreal,” he told BUZZ.
“I can’t thank Sandals enough for coming on board and believing in me. I’m just gonna do everything I can to make them proud,” McConnell said.
At the end of the day, there’s only one country Fraser would ever represent… His home, Jamaica.
“I do this for Jamaica; there’s no doubt. My car is covered in the flag, my suit is the Jamaican colours and I have the flag on my helmet. I wouldn’t be doing this for any other country, to make the people of Jamaica and my family proud,” the Dirtfish driver remarked.
“I just [want to] show the world that Jamaica can be on top,” McConnell added.
The ARX2 Championship concludes in Ohio for the Cooper Tires ARX of the Mid-Ohio doubleheader on Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6.
Best of luck, Fraser! You have an entire nation rooting for you!