DirtFish Motorsports’ Rimmer Searching for First Podium at Home Event
For DirtFish Motorsports’ James Rimmer, this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Seattle is a homecoming event.
Of course, the Sammamish, WA-based Rimmer calls Evergreen Speedway a home track; it’s only 45 minutes away from his hometown, and under an hour away from DirtFish’s base of operations in Snoqualmie. But it’s also where, one year ago, the stage rally veteran traded in his co-driver for a spotter to take on the GRC Lites field for the first time.
“There have been a few weekends where I have had huge confidence boosts,” Rimmer explains of his first year in the series. “Sometimes it’s dashed by moves on another person’s part or things out of my control, which is frustrating, but after about four or five races and certainly after Louisville I feel like I really hit my stride.
“Everyone on the team is working cohesively and towards a common goal. It’s been a struggle, but I’m looking forward to the last few races.”
Last year’s GRC Lites Seattle round ended with misfortune for Rimmer, as an incident in the last chance qualifier ended his day early while teammate Conner Martell cruised to victory. A year on, though, he’s knocking on the door of his first heat win and podium, a consistent presence in the faster heats and toward the front of the grid in the main event.
“Absolutely, (2016) is unfinished business,” he admits. “I know I can come out there and battle with anyone. Conner and I are going to come off swinging and we have a good set up for that track. And if it rains, we both drive incredibly well in the rain. It’s going to be a great race to watch.”
While it’s true that the last event in Atlantic City could have ended on a better note—Rimmer missed his first final of the season on Sunday after a rough day of heats—the DirtFish team is no stranger to overcoming adversity. Later that day, Martell won his second final of the season to gain valuable points on championship leader Cyril Raymond, and Rimmer knows that the personnel behind him are doing everything they can to put him in the same place.
“Reaching the podium is going to mean both relief and joy,” he continues. “I’ve been looking forward to that for a couple years now. I know I haven’t had a heat win yet and I’m not bothered by it—I’m happy because I’m qualifying towards the top and I’m very aware of that. Getting second in the faster heat is great.
“But the podium is going to be validation for the team’s incredibly hard work. The techs on my car are just amazing. They’ve been pushing me all season and have helped me with set up of the car. I would be thrilled to put myself on the podium and make their weekend.”
When all is said and done in Seattle, drivers will only have one more round in Los Angeles to go for wins and the GRC Lites title. But if Rimmer has his way, he’ll be celebrating that first victory in front of his friends, family, and droves of local DirtFish fans in just under two weeks’ time.
“(Last year) was huge for me, but I think this year’s race will be more special, just to be able to show how far I’ve come in a year—both for myself and for anyone who came to watch me,” he adds. “(Seattle 2016) was my first race in the car, I had some issues, and I was trying to get the hang of things.
“I’m looking forward to Seattle being a catalyst moving forward—it’s going to be a really good weekend, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Red Bull Global Rallycross Seattle
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Supercar Round 10 Finals: September 9, 4:30PM ET, NBC // Supercar Round 11 Finals: September 10, 4:30PM ET, NBC
Lites Rounds 10-11 Finals: September 13, 5PM ET, NBCSN
Photo credit: Louis Yio