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X Games Checkpoint: Andy Scott

Image via Scott-Eklund Racing

When Andy Scott transitioned from running rallycross full-time in Europe to America, partnering with Per Eklund to form Scott-Eklund Racing, he envisioned owning a team that could contend for top five finishes.

So far, so good.

“It’s fantastic,” Scott admits, as he comes into X Games seventh in points. “We’ve delivered what we tried for, this was the dream, but we’ve now turned that dream into reality. As you can see, both cars qualified easily into X Games, and to be ahead of some of the factory backed teams is just fantastic. So yeah, we’re feeling pretty good with ourselves.

“It’s a great pat on the back for the whole team, not just for myself, but for all of the guys involved, from the guy that drives the truck through to the engine guys, the whole lot. It’s bonded our team together in the best possible way, you know? The results speak loudest. So from that point of view, we couldn’t have dreamed for a better start to the season.”

Scott finished fifth at the season-opening round in Charlotte, giving him plenty of momentum heading into Texas and the introduction of the gap jump. It didn’t take long for Scott to have an interesting experience with it, getting by Jimmy Keeney on his joker lap and leading a three-car train of Scott, Keeney, and Travis Pastrana through the air.

“What actually happened (was), Jimmy was filling in from the joker lap, and so I was carrying a lot more speed up to the takeoff ramp,” Scott explained. “So I knew that if I followed him, that would give Travis the opportunity to get right on my tail, and with a guy like Travis, you don’t need to let him get close to you before it starts to become uncomfortable, so it was a pretty important move for me.

Image via Scott-Eklund Racing

“I knew if I could take the jump and separate me and Travis with Jimmy, it would make my job of holding onto second place a hell of a lot easier. It was a clean path, there was no contact. But I think it took Jimmy by surprise. I don’t think he realized that I was carrying that much speed and I could pull that off.

“So I think he was perhaps already positioning his speed for the takeoff of the jump, and I just saw an opportunity, and took it with both arms, basically.”

Scott held onto the position for the rest of the heat, and made it to the main event outright for the first time. But on the second attempt at the start, he broke the track control arm on the landing of the jump, ending his day early.

“It was very disappointing. It was the track control arm that broke on landing, which meant that I had no steering, so I was a purely a passenger into the tire wall. It’s a component that we had not broken on the car before, so we don’t know whether there was perhaps some fatigue or some cracks in it because of the time that it’d been running on the car, or whether it was purely the impact of the jump at Texas, and obviously the repetition on the jump.

“We’ve put new components on the car, which we’ve track tested, et cetera, and we’ll be monitoring very closely at X Games. But we feel that it was a component that through previous accidents and in racing, that we should have paid more attention to. The piece that caught the jump is a potential area of the car that we didn’t realize that we had to watch closely.”

Image via Scott-Eklund Racing

Armed with a new setup for X Games and the confidence that comes with a strong car, Scott is ready to take on the best drivers in the world once again in Los Angeles. But that doesn’t mean the team doesn’t have anything to improve upon.

“We need to get our qualifying pace up, because the qualifying is so important. (Teammate) Samuel (Hubinette), on both occasions, has qualified better than me, and as a result of that he’s carried an easier route through to the main event, and the main event’s a lot easier starting at the sharp end of the grid rather than the blunt end.

“So my personal aim for X Games is to put in a stronger qualifying performance. And that, I think, will lead us to a stronger finishing position in the main event.”

– Chris Leone

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