George Megennis rounded out his debut Nitro Rallycross season with a fifth podium finish in the NRX Next category this year, picking up second place at round nine at The FIRM in Jacksonville, Florida.
Despite being the youngest driver in the field, 16-year-old George was amongst the title contenders in NRX Next all season, entering the final race of the season still mathematically in the hunt for the championship crown.
While the final race of 2021 didn’t go his way his journey there had been a remarkable show of skill behind the wheel, strong ambition and bags of potential.
His second place in the first of two rounds this weekend on Saturday was his fifth of the year, meaning he scored a medal in 50% of his NRX finals this year.
There was a tough battle with Martin Enlund in the Saturday semi-final as he and Megennis battled for the lead, with Enlund eventually winning that four-lap skirmish. But Megennis would get his revenge in the final.
Lining up back in fourth place on the grid Megennis was smart in picking his lines, avoiding an elbows-out battle up ahead of him to sneak down the inside and take third at the start.
From there Megennis focused on putting in a string of consistent laps, putting him in a position to pounce and take second from Enlund on the last lap of the race.
There wasn’t to be a repeat of the podium heroics on Sunday as a puncture in the final cost Megennis over a minute, consigning him to seventh place in the season finale after initially battling for a sixth podium finish of 2021.
Though the final race of the year wasn’t the result anyone had hoped for, a podium on Saturday capped a brilliant first season as a rallycross driver for Megennis.
He had made made the jump straight from karts at the beginning of the season with #YellowSquad and learned quickly, starting with a stunning run to the final at the RallyX Nordic season finale in Arvika before his US debut in Nitro.
With the help of Nitro Rallycross champions Kevin and Timmy Hansen, Megennis has been coached all season by two of the best rallycross drivers in the world, benefitting from decades’ worth of experience under the Hansen Motorsport umbrella.
Several strong results, including a win at the season-opening event in Salt Lake City, has shown that Megennis is one to watch in the future.
George Megennis, #YellowSquad driver
“A podium finish is a great way to cap off this season. It’s been another strong weekend where we’ve had good pace and scored some silverware for it. All the races this season were so much fun; it’s been an incredible learning experience and I’ve loved every second of it.
“It’s crazy to think I have five podiums this year because I came into this season with no expectations. But I’ve come out of it with so much knowledge and confidence thanks to all the guys at #YellowSquad helping me every step of the way.
“Going with #YellowSquad and Hansen Motorsport for my first foray into motorsport was definitely the right choice. Every member of the team has taught me something. Eric Färén has taught me the art of finding a perfect set-up for the car, Kevin and Timmy Hansen have helped me figure out how to drive the car faster, and Kenneth Hansen’s advice and wisdom on the mindset required to drive competitively has been invaluable. They were on top of every aspect of what a racing driver needs to succeed behind the wheel.
“A huge thanks to everyone who’s helped me on this amazing journey in Nitro Rallycross this season: #YellowSquad and the wider Hansen Motorsport family, DirtFish, Nitro Rallycross and Travis Pastrana for putting on such a great championship, and my family for supporting me all the way!”
Kevin Hansen, Team Principal
“This has been another great weekend by George, picking up another podium today. I’m so proud of him and his season. The highlight for sure has to be his win in Salt Lake City in his second ever race in the United States. It’s been great working with the entire Megennis family. They’re so passionate and just like the Hansen family, always positive but also giving it 100% supporting their boys.
“It’s been a pleasure having George with us and taking on this new challenge in America. It’s something #YellowSquad has never done before, competing in a completely different continent from our own and competing for a title. We can be proud that we were in the running for the championship all the way until the very end but it wasn’t meant to be in the end.
“Our congratulations to Casper Jansson on winning the title and everyone else in NRX Next. There’s some great stars of the future coming through, especially George! He’s shown loads of potential, a lot of maturity, and has really taken onboard all the feedback and advice we’ve given him this year.”