2017 Year in Review: James Rimmer
FINISH: 6th in GRC Lites points
2017 RESULTS: 12 starts, best finish 4th, 3 heat wins, 562 points
2016 RESULTS: 3 starts, best finish 7th, 25 points
THE GOOD: The first half of the 2017 season, Rimmer’s first full campaign in GRC Lites, saw the DirtFish Motorsports driver post a number of consistent results. Four top fives in the first eight races, and no finishes worse than seventh in that span, showed that his stage rally experience—and the car control skills that came with it—translated well to rallycross competition.
But consistency alone doesn’t cut it, and Rimmer showed that he could flat-out dominate in his home event at Seattle. After teammate Conner Martell’s incident on Saturday, Rimmer was one of only a handful of drivers to take extra practice time that night. The next day, he qualified third, swept both of his heats and his semifinal, and started the main event from the inside front row.
THE BAD: The last few events of the year presented their share of challenges for Rimmer, costing him enough points to miss the top five in the championship. His streak of solid main event results came to an end in the second Atlantic City round, where he finished last in the last chance qualifier and thus missed his only main event of the season.
The last two rounds of the year saw contact rob him of the opportunity to take his first podium as a Lites driver. More heartbreaking, certainly, was the aborted start in Seattle that cost him the opportunity to capitalize on the top starting spot, but a second-place finish in his Los Angeles semifinal also made the finale a potential podium destination. It was a disappointing and undeserved end to the season from a driver who had really hit his stride at the end of the year.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “I’m definitely happy with the performances we’ve had. If you think about it, if you look at where we’ve had to come through, we haven’t started many races being in a position where we can win. It’s been tough, because last year we had times where we would start on pole for the main. With the field as competitive as it is, it’s been really tough to even get podiums, but we’ve still had four of them.”
2018 PROGNOSIS: He’s still chasing down that first podium, and first victory, but Rimmer’s late-season performances showed that neither can be too far off.
Photo credit: Louis Yio