Jamaican rally cross sensation Fraser McConnell praised the Caribbean's young cadre of Karters, who participated in the third Caribbean Junior Karting Academy Trophy (CJKAT) at the Palisadoes International Raceway from July 21 to 23.

The Rally Cross champion and driver for Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing, who was third among the seniors, was impressed with the high level of competition.

"It's good to see Jamaica hosting this competition for the first time, and even better to see the high level of talent at all levels," he said.

After three days of competition, the lone female among the juniors, Trinidad & Tobago's 13-year-old Naomi Jade Garcia, emerged as the new Caribbean Junior Karting Champion, with Jamaica's Zander Williams and Matthew Warmington in second and third, respectively.

"I had a great time watching the young talent from across the region. Congratulations to Naomi Garcia, we need more diversity in the sport at all levels, and she was pretty solid all weekend!" said McConnell.

CJKAT is the Caribbean's version of the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy, the first rung on the ladder of the FIA's single-seater path to F1. CJKAT allows more opportunities for Caribbean hopefuls to race. The regional series caters for a more comprehensive age range than in Europe, where the limits are 12 to 14 years.

"Kudos to the FIA and the Jamaica Karting Association for partnering with the Barbados Motoring Federation for this event. It's a reminder of the quality the Caribbean continues to produce in motorsports, and I look forward to coming back time and time again because this is where it started for me, and I'm honoured now to be one of the flagbearers for the sport." McConnell added.

The 24-year-old McConnell is the most competitively successful Jamaican driver in the history of international rallycross racing—with a championship victory in 2019, a supercar victory in 2021, and a fourth-round win in the 2022 season.

He occupies the top spot in NitroCross 2023/24 after winning the season opener in June. He returns to competition in Salt Lake City, Utah, for second-leg action from August 18-to-19.

Fraser McConnell kicked off the 2023/24 NitroCross season in sensational fashion, securing a resounding victory in the first event held at the MidAmerica Outdoor complex in Oklahoma on June 16 and 17.

The Jamaican driver showcased his skill and determination, leaving his competitors in the dust and setting the tone for an exciting season ahead.

From the onset, McConnell demonstrated his prowess by topping the charts in the Timed Practice, proving that he was a force to be reckoned with. However, despite his exceptional performance, he narrowly missed out on the Top Qualifier title, losing to his childhood hero, Travis Pastrana, by a fraction of a second.

Undeterred by the near miss, McConnell continued to display his strength throughout the event. A second-place finish in the Battles Final further solidified his position as a frontrunner. He then went on to secure victory in his heat race, earning him the coveted pole position for the Final.

As the final race began, McConnell surged forward, seizing the lead from the start and never relinquishing it. The competition proved intense, with his teammate and reigning champion, Robin Larson, challenging him in the opening corner.

Additionally, World Rally icon Kris Meeke provided a late challenge, but McConnell remained composed and focused, crossing the finish line with a commanding win in the season opener.

To add to the excitement of his triumph, McConnell was presented with the first-place trophy by none other than UFC's Dana White, who heads a group of investors that recently acquired the NitroCross brand.

The victory not only marked a perfect start to the new season for McConnell but also showcased his talent and the exceptional teamwork behind his success.

Reflecting on his triumph, an elated McConnell expressed gratitude to his team and sponsors for their unwavering support. "This win in Oklahoma has been a perfect start to this new season. The track was incredibly challenging but fun to drive, and very exciting for the spectators," he remarked.

Following the season opener, McConnell now leads the 10-event championship with an impressive 76 points, holding an 11-point advantage over Kevin Eriksson and a 12-point lead over Robin Larson.

Looking ahead, McConnell is set to compete in Sardinia, Italy on July 8-9 as part of Sir Lewis Hamilton's X44 Vida Carbon Racing Team. Fans eagerly anticipate seeing McConnell's skills on display once again as he continues his quest for championship glory. The next NitroCross event will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 18-19, promising more thrilling action and fierce competition on the track.

Fraser McConnell will return to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the 2023-2024 Nitrocross season.

After an outstanding performance in the previous year, McConnell's return to the team is expected to further elevate their competitive edge and reinforce their position as one of the frontrunners in the championship.

McConnell, who finished an impressive third in the drivers' championship last year, proved his exceptional skills and unwavering determination. His innate talent combined with his unwavering commitment to excellence has made him a formidable force in the Nitrocross arena. With his return, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing is poised to build on their recent successes and secure their position as a leading contender in the upcoming season.

Having first joined forces with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing last year, McConnell's partnership with the team proved to be a harmonious alliance, with both sides mutually benefitting from the collaboration.

His strong work ethic and relentless pursuit of victory seamlessly aligned with the team's commitment to pushing the boundaries of performance and achieving success at the highest level.

McConnell expressed his enthusiasm regarding his return to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

"I'm beyond excited to be back with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the upcoming Nitrocross season. The team's dedication and unwavering support have played a significant role in my success, and I'm looking forward to continuing our journey together. We have unfinished business, and I'm determined to bring home the championship title this year," he said.

Team owner, Dennis Reinbold, shared his excitement regarding McConnell's return.

"Fraser's talent on the track is unparalleled, and we are thrilled to have him back for the 2023-24 Nitrocross season. His exceptional performance last year showcased his potential, and we firmly believe that with his skillset and dedication, he will be a major factor in the championship fight. We are fully committed to providing him with the resources and support necessary to excel and look forward to another fantastic season ahead,” Reinbold said.

Fraser McConnell and the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing crew will return to racing for round one of Nitrocross on June 16th & 17th in Jay, Oklahoma.

 

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.

 

 

 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.

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.

 

 Fraser McConnell is set to compete in the Grand Finale of the 2022/23 Nitro Rallycross Series this weekend.

(You can watch the final weekend of the championship on Sportsmax or the Sportsmax app)

The 24-year-old Jamaican will contest the final over three action-packed rounds on Friday, March 17, Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19 with championship points at stake.

"It has been a long and exciting season that started way back in June last year in England,” he said. “Initially, getting used to the electric race car was a steep learning curve while competing in a traditional combustion engine Supercar. However, I am very comfortable with the FC1 and look forward to closing the season with a strong performance."

McConnell's teammate Robin Larsson leads the standings. The two-time race champion has finished on the podium in all but one championship round this season. At Glen Helen on October 29 and 30, Larsson had to settle for second behind a dominant McConnell, who dominated qualifying before completing a weekend clean sweep.

He goes into the final weekend in third place in the Championship, 10 points behind European Rallycross champion Andreas Bakkerud. Dubbed 'The Flying Jamaican', McConnell returning to the site of his finest hour opens the door for a real late surge for the championship crown.

When Fraser McConnell joins up with Cristina Gutiérrez on team X44 Vida Carbon Racing for season three of the Extreme E Championship, they will be teammates who share mutual respect.

The Jamaican RallyCross star will make his debut at the start of season 3 on March 11-12 at the Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia, having replaced veteran rally and rallycross driver Sebastien Loeb in the team that won the championship last season.

He has big shoes to fill but is going in with a growing reputation as the fast-rising rallycross star with three qualifier wins under his belt this season, a fact not lost on Gutierrez.

“Following last season’s win, I am so excited to get back on track and give it my all again for the team. Fraser is an exciting young Jamaican talent and I am looking forward to racing with him this year," she said. "I feel privileged to be part of the journey towards a fairer, more inclusive industry.”

 McConnell, meanwhile, plans to learn from his more experienced partner.

"I am delighted to join X44 Vida Carbon Racing, and to be part of a Championship-winning team," he said.

"I ‘m impressed with Cristina’s performances in the first two seasons of Extreme E and can’t wait to drive alongside her and put Jamaica in the motorsport conversation here; I hope to learn a lot from her prior experience. It’s never a bad thing to race alongside a World Champion!”

With his new pairing in place, team owner, seven-time Formula 1 champion Sir Lewis Hamilton is looking forward to the new season with high expectations.

"We know from the findings of The Hamilton Commission that the motorsport industry is an incredibly difficult place to break into, and I hope that X44 Vida Carbon Racing can be a powerful platform to provide opportunities to the next generation," Hamilton said.

"It has never been more important that we, as an industry, take real action to move our sport forward, and X44 Vida Carbon’s new direction is one of the ways I am committing to making that genuine change.”

Rising RallyCross star Fraser McConnell will drive for Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing Team in season three of the Extreme E Championship, the Jamaican announced on Instagram on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old McConnell replaces French veteran rally and rallycross driver, Sebastien Loeb, who won the 2022 Extreme E alongside Cristina Gutiérrez.

“Reporting for duty @lewishamilton,” McConnell announced in his Instagram page on Wednesday.

“So excited for this new chapter in my career racing for @teamx44 in season three of @extremeelive lining up with @cris­_tortu. Big shoes to fill while replacing @sebloebofficiel but I am going to give it my all.”

McConnell is the most competitively successful Jamaican driver in the history of international rallycross racing—his championship victory in the 2019 Americas RallyCross Championship marked the first and only championship win by a Jamaican driver in the series’ history.

McConnell currently competes professionally Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the Group E class.

He made his rallycross career debut in 2018, competing in North America's ARX2 series. In 2019, McConnell made his international racing debut with Olsbergs MSE. That same year, McConnell won the ARX2 championship, marking the first time in history for a Jamaican to lift the title.

In 2021, McConnell secured his first supercar victory, defeating three-time FIA world champion Johan Kristoffersson at the RallyX Nordic in Nysum, Denmark.

In February, McConnell when he won his second qualifying event at Stampede Park in Calgary, becoming only the third driver this season to claim three career top qualifier results in RallyCross following his success at Glen Helen in California in late 2022.

The X44 team was founded by seven- time Formula One World Champion, Sir Lewis Hamilton. The name "X44" was chosen due to Hamilton using the number on his Formula One car since 2014.

 

Fraser McConnell continues to enhance his reputation as an elite RallyCross driver when he won his second qualifying event at Stampede Park in Calgary on Saturday.

Fraser McConnell believes his dominating performance in the Nitro Rallycross fourth leg in Los Angeles on the weekend, is an indication of how much he has grown in the sport. However, he said he has no plans to be complacent now that he has won his first meet.

The 24-year-old Jamaican won his Group E heat on Saturday at the Glen Helen Raceway and then took his first-ever win on Sunday. In doing so, he defeated his more seasoned rivals Robin Larsson, Andreas Bakkerud and Oliver Bennett.

So impressive was his dominance on the weekend that some pundits have begun to see him as a near-future champion.

He told Sportsmax.TV that a lot of hard work has gone into him making progress this season.

“I have made a step forward. I have been working towards that and I knew we always had it in us to have the result come to fruition but it’s easier said than done,” he said.

“For everything to come together on the weekend just like that is really special. We won every single race and were by far the fastest out there the whole weekend, so I am very pleased to be able to represent Jamaica on that level with that level of dominance.”

He warned that now that he has won his first-ever Group E meet, means that he is going to be resting on his laurels.

“The key is to grow and keep going forward, not get complacent and keep working towards even better results,” said McConnell, who arrived home in Jamaica on Tuesday night telling local media that it was great to break through on the circuit at Glen Helen. (See video below)

“It’s a good feeling. We have been scratching at the door for a long time and had our foot in close enough a lot of the time but we never got to seal the deal and stand on the top step but to do it twice this weekend with the top qualifier and the P1 in the final was a great feeling and we are going to aim to do this more often and keep winning some of these,” he said, nodding toward the trophy he was holding.

 

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.

 Jamaica’s Fraser McConnell is set to go up against some of the best drivers in the world when the fourth leg of 2022/2023 Nitro Rallycross Championship gets underway in Los Angeles, California this weekend, October 29 and 30.

SportsMax will carry the action live.

On October 2, the 24-year-old McConnell crashed and rolled during third-leg of Group E qualifying in Minneapolis but recovered to finish third.

Standing in his way for top honours this weekend will be Robin Larsson and Andreas Bakkerud, who have 160 and 141 points, respectively, to occupy first and second place. McConnell is third in the standings with 114 points.

Hel looks forward to the challenge at the iconic Glen Helen Raceway, where cars fly and the track thrills.

“Glen Helen is a track I enjoyed last year. It’s super-fast and almost 100 per cent dirt with eight or nine jumps, so you have to ensure you’re timing the speed right so that when you land, you get as much downhill of the speed as you can,” he said.

“My job is to ensure the car is making the gaps. I can’t wait to get out there.”

 The 2022-23 NITRO Rallycross Championship will see action over 10 legs across the USA, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. The series runs from June 2022 to March 2023.

During a dramatic weekend of racing, Jamaica’s Fraser McConnell overcame a significant challenge on Saturday to finish third on Sunday in the Group E final at the Nitro Rallycross Minneapolis.

Jamaica's leading international drivers, Fraser McConnell & Sara Misir, will be in action this weekend in Europe.

McConnell will compete in the Swedish leg of the Nitro RX Series, while Misir will be on the grid in rounds 15 to 18 of the GT Cup at Silverstone Circuit in the UK.

Both meets are this Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31.

McConnell occupies first place in the combustion engine supercar class but hopes to better his fourth place in the group E electric class. He is joined in Group E by four-time Rallycross world champion Johan Kristofferson. 

Fraser thinks this is an excellent opportunity to learn from his teammate.

 "I will be all eyes and ears learning from Johan since he's a four-time World Champion. I'll use him as a benchmark to measure my performance and progress." 

Meanwhile, Sara Misir and teammate Steph Sore, who crossed the group finish line in 8th place in round 13 before having mechanical issues in round 14, will be looking to rebound at Silverstone.

"It feels surreal to compete at Silverstone; it is such a popular f1 circuit. We have been testing a few days now, and we're aiming for a strong start which is important for us."

Action from the NitroRX will be live on SportsMax, while the GT Cup is available on YouTube ( https://www.youtube.com/c/GTCupUK).

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