After his second consecutive series checkered flag at Phoenix Raceway on Saturday, the iRacing Rallycross All-Star Invitational presented by Yokohama championship may be Sage Karam’s to lose.
The Dreyer & Reinbold Racing driver found himself atop the leaderboard after the completion of 10 laps in the penultimate round of the season, saving his Joker Lap until late in the race as four-time US rallycross champion Scott Speed of Subaru Motorsports USA and four-time Chili Bowl champion Kevin Swindell dueled up front for much of the race. Former US rallycross Lites champion Conner Martell made it a 1-2 finish, strengthening his hold on a top-three spot in the championship, while Swindell claimed the final podium spot in third.
Saturday marked the all-star drivers’ only visit to Phoenix of the year, after the track was skipped in the six-race spring season, but most of the drivers on hand were on top of their game. Top qualifier Karam and Speed won the two heat races, while FIA World Rallycross superstar Andreas Bakkerud held off WRC and rallycross veteran Chris Atkinson in the last chance qualifier. Series newcomer Michael Lewis also joined his Bryan Herta Autosport IMSA teammate Mason Filippi in the final, finishing second to Speed in the second heat.
Swindell’s struggles in the LCQ turned into a golden opportunity for him in the final, as the last driver to advance takes the top spot in the feature race. The Swindell Speedlab Esports owner took full advantage early on, leading the first lap and retaking the lead from Speed after the two drivers traded Joker laps. But as the two friends fought for the top spot, Karam closed the gap enough to set up an intense last-lap battle after he saved his Joker. Swindell made contact with a barrier after the jump on the final lap, handing off the victory, but would recover well enough to hold off Speed, who had taken his own contact in the final laps of the race.
iRacing Rallycross All-Star Invitational presented by Yokohama results from Phoenix Raceway were as follows:
|10||6||13||Andreas Bakkerud||Subaru||5||-5 L||0||36.957||1|
iRacing Rallycross All-Star Invitational presented by Yokohama points through seven rounds are as follows. Only a driver’s best five scores count:
- Sage Karam, 129
- Scott Speed, 119
- Conner Martell, 114
- Kevin Swindell, 88
- Chris Atkinson, 63
- Tyler Menninga, 63
- Tim Stevens, 59
- Michael Leach, 44
- Andreas Bakkerud, 40
- Steve Arpin, 39
iRX All-Star Invitational and World Championship presented by Yokohama action from Sonoma Raceway kicks off on Saturday, December 5 at 1PM ET (17:00 GMT) on the iRacing Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube pages, as well as across a number of industry and competitor Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube pages. A Finnish-language simulcast will air on YLE Areena and YLE E-urheilu.
The iRacing Rallycross All-Star Invitational and World Championship presented by Yokohama are supported by Yokohama, DirtFish, and Marwin Sports. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.