Those of you who watched last weekend’s Nitro Rallycross broadcast from ERX Motor Park in Minnesota will have been treated to some of the most exciting rallycross action ever to grace American shores.
Amidst that, was a Nitro RX Next contest where it seemed like everyone hit trouble – a dominant driver had an engine fire, two of the podium finishers ended the race with three tires after getting early punctures, and the eventual winner came from nowhere after spinning out on the first lap.
Competing in that blockbuster development category race was DirtFish’s George Megennis. He was one of those with three wheels on his wagon to come home with some silverware, at least initially, but more on that later…
Racing with only three quarters of the rubber the car was designed to run with might be some drivers’ idea of hell, but ever the optimist, Megennis took it in his stride, as he wrestled his 310bhp Lites machine round the mostly dirt track.
“Anytime you’re driving a rallycross car, it’s just going to be a blast,” he says. “On three wheels though, it’s a bit more challenging. You have to put a lot more thought into every input you do.
“You’d have to be constantly ready; this thing could snap and try to turn left super-hard at any moment depending what inch you are on the track. [But] It was very fun.”
It appeared to be a masterclass in car control and perseverance for the 16-year-old, at least for us watching on the sidelines but, frustratingly, before he hopped on the plane back to New York, Megennis had to hand his silver medal back after he was excluded for three heavy-handed moves. Moves that were not only comparable to others deemed passable, but also moves onlookers in the paddock deemed to be fine as well.
I've talked to pretty much everyone in the paddock and we all agree that every move that I made was a hundred percent a-okayGeorge Megennis
Eyebrows were certainly sky high in the aftermath, that’s for sure.
“I had a lot of good passes and good racing,” Megennis says of the weekend as a whole.
“I’ve talked to pretty much everyone in the paddock and we all agree that every move that I made was 100% a-okay. Good, good clean rallycross. I don’t necessarily agree with their decision to exclude me from the event, and I don’t make that call.”
But looking at the positives, much like DirtFish’s Fraser McConnell in the Supercars class, Megennis isn’t letting the decision keep him down as he continues to chase his first rallycross title, insisting “I’m not going to change the way I drive.”
“I don’t feel the need to change anything about the way I race people,” he adds.
Having been living on the road since early September because of his and his brother’s (Indy Lights racer Robert Megennis) racing commitments, Megennis now enters a five-week break before Nitro RX resumes at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, AZ on October 13/14.