- Travis Pastrana and Scott Speed ââfinished the inaugural Nitro Rallycross season tied with 219 points, Timmy Hansen in third at 218.
- As Pastrana claimed two wins against Speed, Pastrana was declared the 2021 Nitro Rallycross champion, his first Rallycross title.
- Chase Elliott drove a guest car for Subaru lined up by Vermont Sports Cars in Sunday’s final, forgoing an event he won in 2011 and 2015, the prestigious late model Snowball Derby at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, in Florida.
2020 NASCAR champion Chase Elliott started the day Sunday by flying a plane so rally ace and pro daredevil Travis Pastrana could parachute.
Elliott finished the day placing eighth and final in the Nitro Rallycross at Florida International Rally & Motorsports Par in Starke, Fla. But Elliott’s performance was better than it looks: seven full-time Nitro Rallycross competitors missed the race, as only the top eight finishers from the preliminary heats are eligible. Elliott finished the feature film within 10 seconds of winner Timmy Hansen.
It was Elliott’s first attempt at Rallycross, and he quickly adapted to the type of racing always on the side, the 100-foot ramp-to-ramp jump; the gravel, sand and asphalt track and the fender-meets-fender style of full-contact competition. In fact, he was penalized for too much contact when he and Rallycross veteran Tanner Foust reunited as Elliott crossed the finish line first in qualifying, only to be given a five-second penalty for avoidable contact.
Elliott was driving a guest car for Subaru lined up by Vermont Sports Cars, forgoing an event he won in 2011 and 2015, the prestigious late model Snowball Derby at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Instead, Elliott was 337 miles east of Starke, Florida, where the Florida International Rally and Motorsports Park, called FIRM, is located, built next to the Keystone Heights Airport.
That’s where Elliott took off on Sunday, as Pastrana made a deal he made with the NASCAR champion: come run with us and I’ll jump out of a plane. Elliott showed up in Keystone Heights with his private jet, but it was in a borrowed Cessna with the passenger side door removed that he used to drive Pastrana. “I’m a man of my word,” Pastrana said, after landing in the grass beside the track. It was less risky than a previous jump made by Pastrana: in 2011, he jumped without a parachute, meeting other parachutists who made have parachutes on the way down.
It was the fifth and final Nitro Rallycross event of 2021, the end of a condensed COVID season that began on September 25 at the Utah Motorsports Campus near Salt Lake City and ended less than two and a half months later. at FIRM, located east of Gainesville. In 2022, series founder and competitor Pastrana is planning up to nine events, with perhaps four in the United States, four in Europe, and one in the Middle East.
NASCAR’s Kyle Busch competed in the guest car at the last event, and next season’s NASCAR stars Kyle Larson and Joey Logano would be on the short list of possibilities. It’s all part of Pastrana’s vision to ‘make it not so much a race, but an event’. The Nitro Rallycross technically started in 2018 on the Utah campus, but in 2021 it was Pastrana’s first time taking the show on the road.
For Elliott, who struck the deal earlier in the NASCAR season when Pastrana visited Martinsville Speedway, just knowing that Pastrana was the architect of the series made him an attractive prospect. “It was pretty much what I expected but that doesn’t mean it was easy,” as the 26-year-old had to learn on the fly to handle a 600-hour all-wheel drive car as you turn using the handbrake. “But it’s been fun, and I enjoyed the challenge of trying to be up to it.”
Elliott has raced model cars and sprints on the West Coast, and he’s planning a Chili Bowl entry in January, “but mostly I’m looking forward to some downtime.”
First of all, he will try to master the all new car that NASCAR will present next year in the Cup series. âI think the learning curve is going to be huge. Right now, I think there are more questions than answers. For me at least one of the reasons being that I just didn’t spend a lot of time in the car, âhe told Autoweek. “We have a few tests planned for the next few weeks, so I’ll be in the car a bit and see where we go from there.”
As for the Nitro Rallycross event, the battle fell to the Hanson brothers, and the war to Pastrana and Scott Speed. In a feature film, Swedish Peugeot driver brothers Timmy and Kevin Hanson finished first and second, followed by Subaru Speed ââand Pastrana drivers. 2019 FIA World Rallycross Champion Timmy Hanson had a chance to win the title with Speed ââand Pastrana, who started the day with a small lead over the other two.
While it was shaking, Pastrana and Speed ââwere tied with 219 points, Timmy Hansen in third with 218. As Pastrana had two wins over Speed, Pastrana was declared the 2021 champion, his first Rallycross title.
Lance Smith, owner of Vermont Sports Cars, brought Subaru its first rallycross championship in 11 years of testing. âIt’s a little surreal, because learning to rallycross was so hard,â said Smith, who was trained in Pro Rally. “This does not have see all that difficult. We started the sport with steel bodied cars, and we moved to composites, and the horsepower went up, and we had to change everything. For years. And finally, putting it all together this season is just amazing. And with Nitro Rallycross, it’s a new sport again, âafter two failed iterations of the series. âBut it came at the right time – the sport has a lot of momentum. I am really looking forward to next year. I can’t wait to start over.
Supercar Final (North Florida)
Final round results
- Timmy Hansen, SWE, Hansen, World RX Team
- Kevin Hansen, SWE, Hansen, World RX Team
- Scott Speed, United States, Subaru Motorsports United States
- Travis Pastrana, United States, Subaru Motorsports United States
- Robin Larsson, SWE, Monster Energy RX Cartel
- Tanner Foust, USA, Dreyer Reinbold Racing
- Steve Arpin, CAN, Loenbro Motorsports
- Chase Elliott, United States, Subaru
Supercar Championship 2021
Final season ranking
- Travis Pastrana, United States, Subaru Motorsports United States, 219
- Scott Speed, United States, Subaru Motorsports United States, 219
- Timmy Hansen, SWE, Hansen World RX Team, 218
- Kevin Hansen, SWE, Hansen World RX team, 157
- Steve Arpin, CAN, Loenbro Motorsports, 123
- Tanner Foust, United States, Dreyer Reinbold Racing, 82
- Robin Larsson, SWE, Cartel Monster Energy RX, 73
- Andrea Bakkerud, NOR, Subaru Motorsports USA, 71
- Fraser McConnell, JAM, Olsbergs MSE, 71
- Kevin Eriksson, SWE, Olsbergs MSE, 38
- Kyle Busch, United States, 35
- Cabot Bigham, USA, Dreyer Reinbold Racing, 30
- Oliver Eriksson, SWE, Olsbergs MSE, 27
- Ronalds Baldins, LAT, Olsbergs MSE, -20
- Chase Elliott, USA, 15
- Oliver Bennett, GBR, XCITE Energy Racing0, 1
- Liam Doran, GBR, Monster Energy RX Cartel, 1
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