Fri | Aug 7, 2020

McConnell back to action in Sweden

Published:Friday | July 3, 2020 | 12:22 AMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer
Jamaican driver Fraser McConnell in action at the Canadian leg of the ARX2 Championship last weekend.
Jamaican driver Fraser McConnell in action at the Canadian leg of the ARX2 Championship last weekend.

Rallycross driver Fraser McConnell got his 2020 season started in a new class and a different environment brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2019 ARX2 champion is competing in the Rallyx Nordic All Star Magic Weekend event in Holjes, Sweden, which began yesterday and continues until Sunday. The meet marks the return of motorsport in Europe after a four-month hiatus because of the virus, and will be held with no fans in attendance but available on pay-per-view broadcast.

McConnell, who arrived in Sweden in mid-June, says that he has been taking necessary protocols to ensure his safety while he competes.

“I have done everything on my end to stay safe, wearing the mask, always sanitising and keeping the distance, but it has really changed the norms of travelling and just interactions as a whole,” McConnell told The Gleaner. “It was quite a wake-up call to go into all the airports to get to Sweden, and I was on my toes on staying and making sure [I do] everything I can do to prevent the spread. I am symptom-free and ready to get into the car and floss it out.”

The meet was organised by his Sweden-based racing team, Olsberg MSE, and McConnell said that it was the first event where he realistically had a chance to participate. It will also mark inaugural race in the Supercar class. McConnell says that he is excited to see how he fares against quality drivers at this new level, with no objectives but to have fun.

“This is my Supercar debut so the power is almost twice as much as I am used to from last year,” he said. “I have stepped up to the big class now and I feel like I am ready to test my skills against the best in the world, and hopefully it pans out well. I feel confident in my skills and in my race craft to do well, but like I said, no expectations. So I am just going in there to have fun and get the season started on a good note.”

While his plans for the 2020 campaign were put on hold because of the pandemic, McConnell said that he wasn’t stressed about the situation as it was something that was out of his control. Now back on the circuit, he said that his commitment and dedication to the sport was the main reason why he took the risk to compete in Sweden.

“It’s more than a sport, its a big part of my life,” he said. “It’s something that I have had a huge relationship with and it’s built me as a person for more than half my life. It’s a part of me, it’s in my blood, and for me to pass up this event was going to be really hard. So I was willing to take all the risk travelling. I do it because I love it, it’s not anything forced.”

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com