Following the road courses, off-road tracks and ovals, rallycross would be the fourth track type in use for the fifth round of the Screen to Speed Summer Cup – and it was Emily Howe who took the round win at Phoenix International Raceway’s mixed-surface layout.
Heading into the penultimate round of the season, Howe led Sara Dove and inaugural champion Saoirse Fitzpatrick in the points, following a last-lap victory during the oval-hosted third round.
Qualification for each round is by an open time attack, and it was once again Fitzpatrick who topped the leaderboard.
Following the heats where the top two from each would qualify for the final, won by Howe and Dove, a B-final then witnessed six more drivers progress. Lilac Zier won that ahead of Fitzpatrick and Garnet Addams.
The final was a 10-lap affair, everyone in identical Ford ’34 Coupes and required to complete the longer joker lap at least once. Howe started on pole position and led at the start ahead of Kristina Ryan and Fitzpatrick.
In a move that nullified strategy from the race, the entire head of field took the joker on the opening lap, with only three drivers near the rear electing to stay out.
Fitzpatrick grabbed second heading into the third lap. Dove would try to follow through four laps late, but an off-camera contretemps resulted in her facing the wrong way. Once she was headed in the right direction again, she would be down to sixth.
Meanwhile, upfront, Fitzpatrick dived for the lead, only to lose it again after half-spinning at the final corner with just over two tours remaining. She would drip behind Ryan at the flag, with Howe the race and round victor.
With one round remaining, Howe is at the top of the championship standings, 66 points ahead of Sara Dove who is just four points ahead of Fitzpatrick.
Screen to Speed, Summer Cup, Round 5 results
- Emily Howe – 82pts
- Kristina Ryan – 70pts
- Saoirse Fitzpatrick – 69pts
- Lilac Zier – 65pts
- Sara Dove – 60pts
- Garnet Addams – 58pts
- Bru D Silva – 55pts
- Jackie P Mathews – 41pts
- Meike Ploeg – 36pts
- Leah Nudle – 34pts