Up-and-coming 16-year-old rallycross talent George Megennis stunned the field on his rallycross debut, taking a race win and scoring sixth overall in the RallyX Nordic Superfinalen in his first-ever rallycross event.
#YellowSquad’s newest signing was an immediate threat to the front-runners in the highly competitive RallyX Nordic series despite his young years, winning his Qualifying 1 race in wet conditions despite having never tested his new car in the rain beforehand.
Another strong run in the second qualifying session drew him level at the top of the qualifying order with newly crowned series champion Tommi Hallmann, before going on to secure fifth overall in qualifying.
Showing off his racecraft from over a decade of karting experience, Megennis then put in a masterful defensive drive to hold off Linus Östlund for second place in his semi-final race. Knowing he needed a top-three finish to book a place in the final, Megennis masterfully blocked Östlund’s path as the Swede scrabbled for a way past to no avail.
The New York native also staved off Östlund’s undercut strategy masterfully, exiting the joker loop on the final lap while squeezing between Östlund and the barriers to take second by a mere 0.191s in a stunning last-lap finish.
While reaching the Lites final in his first-ever rallycross event was an amazing achievement, unfortunately there was no fairytale ending for his incredible debut. Megennis found himself squeezed between two rivals at the start of the final, which briefly sent him airborne and damaged the front of his car. He went on to finish fifth in the race but was given a penalty for the first-lap contact.
#YellowSquad is now packing up its gear and will ship out to the United States of America next week, where Megennis will compete in NRX NEXT, the support category of the Nitro Rallycross series founded by action sports legend Travis Pastrana.
NRX NEXT begins with an opening event in Salt Lake City on September 24-25, followed by another four events elsewhere in the US in the following 10 weeks.
George Megennis, Driver, #YellowSquad
“I am so stoked after my first taste of Supercar Lites action – this weekend was incredible, and the results were so much better than I thought they would be. RallyX Nordic is super competitive and if you look at the history of this Lites category, some of the best drivers in the world championship started out here. So to be fighting for race wins and qualifying for the final at my first attempt is unbelievable.
“Now I know what my pace is like against the best drivers in Europe, I’m going back home to the US feeling really confident about the season ahead in NRX NEXT – especially as I’m guessing some of the guys I raced this weekend might show up over there! I know that my level is already strong, but also that I’ve got so much more learning to do and can be even faster with more experience.
“I’m so grateful for all the work the #YellowSquad guys are putting in – Eric Färén and the crew gave me an amazing car all weekend, and all the years of knowledge Kevin Hansen has helped me improve so quickly. I wouldn’t have been able to pull off such a mega weekend without their help. I can’t wait for Nitro Rallycross to start and get back in this car!”
Kevin Hansen, Team Principal, #YellowSquad
“We knew George had a lot of potential and has been working so hard to maximise everything. But we have still been blown away by how good his performance this weekend has been. To win that first qualifying race in the rain, when we hadn’t had any opportunity to give him test miles in wet conditions, was something very special. And his pace for the rest of the weekend was just as good.
“While we didn’t quite have the luck we would have hoped for the final, what matters is that George has already shown such a high level so early in his rallycross career. We can see the progression he is making every day he is in the car, and he still has room to improve and go even faster than this weekend.
“The amount you learn from completing your first race weekend in rallycross is huge. Now George can go into the Nitro season full of confidence, with better knowledge of the car and how it behaves, and knowing he has the speed to compete at the front. We can’t wait to get started in the US next month – George is a super cool, fast and professional guy with a bright future in this sport.”