Following in the wheeltracks of countrymen Tanner Whitten, Cole Keatts, Conner Martell and Christian Brooks, rising American racer Lane Vacala is hoping to leave his mark on European rallycross fans when he joins the RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires with STS RX at Lohéac this weekend (30 August – 1 September).
American drivers have a rich record in the official FIA World Rallycross Championship feeder series. Between them, Whitten, Keatts and Martell achieved six podium finishes in 2017 and 2018, while Brooks stunned on his RX2 debut by placing second in the intermediate classification in Sweden last summer – and very nearly reaching the rostrum himself.
Now, it is Vacala’s turn to prove his mettle on the European scene, and the 22-year-old – a rallycross rookie this year following a formative career in karting – arrives with an impressive CV. One of the highest-ranked US karters over the past five years, he made his rallycross bow in ARX2 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing at Trois-Rivières in Canada earlier this month – meaning he already has experience of the Supercar Lites machinery used in RX2.
“I can’t wait to make my RX2 Series debut at Lohéac,” enthused the Illinois native. “I’m happy to be joining STS RX, with the support of Buddy Rice, who has been working with me in the States.
“I’ve heard great things about the track and its fanbase, so I’m excited to experience it all first-hand. There are a lot of talented competitors in RX2 and it should be a great weekend of racing. I’m hoping to score some good results and learn as much as possible to prepare me for a full season of ARX2 next year.”
In STS RX, Vacala will join the same team with which his current DRR team-mate Brooks shone at Höljes, and following its double podium finish in RallyX Nordic at Kouvola last weekend with Simon Olofsson and Anders Michalak, the Swedish squad is unquestionably one of the ‘form’ outfits in the high-calibre field.
“We are proud to have another talented young American driver running with us and we are confident that together, Lane, Simon and Anders will form a strong line-up in France,” said STS Team Manager, Sandra Hultgren.
“We are looking forward to offering Lane an insight into European tracks and the style of racing over here to further broaden his experience, and we hope the relationship will help to forge even closer connections between STS and US-based drivers in the future.”
The 2019 RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires will comprise seven rounds in support of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy, visiting Spain, Belgium, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, France and South Africa.