May 30 2012 by Craig Robertson, Dumfries Standard Wednesday
DUMFRIES driver Andy Scott came from the back of the grid to finish fourth in the Global Rallycross Championship in America.
He described the event, in Charlotte, North Carolina, as probably the best racing weekend of his life.
Scott is the lead driver for Scott-Eklund Racing team which was making its debut in the event – having just come together as a team in January.
And in a double boost, Scott’s teammate, Samuel Hubinette, finished in fifth place in what was the opening round of the 2012 championship.
A delighted Scott said: “To come from having no qualifying position to go into the Last Chance Qualifier and winning that, start at the back of the grid and finish fourth; I think it’s probably the best racing weekend of my life.”
They race in 600bhp, two-litre, 16 valve Saab 9-3s which have been custom built by the team which was founded by Scott and Swedish rally and rallycross legend Per Eklund.
The team is positioning themselves as a serious title contender.
That ambition appeared to have been dented when Andy had to start from the back of the 17-car field after a turbo charger issue in qualifying prevented him from recording a flying lap time.
But the Dumfries driver overcame the odds, finishing fourth and third in his respective heats, each time the first car into turn one with his lightening starts, before taking his first victory on US soil in the Last Chance Qualifier.
In only his second track outing in the Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3 with ENEOS Motor Oil, teammate Hubinette built on his eighth-place qualifying form to climb the pack and take second in his first heat.
The 40-year-old Californian then sealed the team’s first-ever heat race win to automatically qualify for the final.
Scott sealed another storming start to take the joker on the opening lap while Hubinette headed for the long-lap behind Tanner Foust and Travis Pastrana, leaving Hubinette third and Scott fifth at the end of lap one.
With the Scott-Eklund Racing duo so evenly matched, the pair battled one place apart for much of the intensive eight-lap duel until fourth-placed Stephan Verdier tipped Hubinette into a spin to take third and Scott followed suit. Hubinette, however, swiftly recovered to hotly pursue his teammate and take the chequered flag across the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway finish line, sealing an unbelievably impressive result for the brand new privateer team.
Scott added: “Being a privateer team and taking fourth and fifth is probably the best part of the weekend.”