ATLANTA, Ga. (Aug. 12, 2013) – Tanner Foust earned another top Global Rallycross Championship result this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, landing on the podium for the third time in two weeks in the Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta ST.
Foust lined up on the outside of the front row for the main event on Saturday, a tough starting position on the mixed-surface track. At the drop of the green flag, Foust opted for an aggressive outside move that brought him within striking distance of the lead through the tricky first corner.
“I kept thinking of this quote that somebody told me from Mike Tyson: ‘Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face,’” said Foust. “That’s sums up Turn One in rallycross pretty well.”
But as rival drivers clashed in the bottleneck through the first dirt corner, Foust avoided trouble to emerge behind teammate Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen. Finding a line through the dirt that gave him the advantage, Foust was able to make up ground on the Finn and was preparing to overtake when his left-front tire went flat.
“It became total survival mode,” said Foust. “I can’t believe nobody passed me because I overshot so many turns trying to slow down.”
The driver was able to protect his position and crossed the finish line in second place. It was his third podium in two weeks; Foust scored an X Games gold medal in last weekend’s Gymkhana GRID competition followed by a silver in the rallycross contest.
Under hot but sunny skies at Atlanta Motor Speedway, fans turned out in droves to take in the race, which used much of the tri-oval and pit road sections of the track and included a 40 percent dirt surface. The tabletop jump returned to the oval front-stretch, while two long straightaways gave the 600-horsepower rallycross cars a chance to show their speed.
After the race, Foust signed autographs for more than an hour as enthusiastic fans packed into the pit area to meet the drivers.
Rallycross is a blend of circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition. It promises intense crowd-pleasing action in a fan-friendly track environment. As many as 10 drivers line up to start at once, piloting high-horsepower compact cars through race traffic over a challenging short course that features jumps, unbanked turns, hills and transitions between pavement and gravel.
The two-time defending Global Rallycross Champion and a contender in the European Rallycross Championship, Foust now sits in second in the U.S. points race.
The American driver will next contest the French round of the European championship at Circuit de Lohéac during the last weekend of August. There, he is prepared for a rematch with WRC star Sébastien Loeb, who he will meet in competition for the first time since the 2012 Los Angeles X Games.
Foust is running an ambitious international campaign in 2013 that includes select European Rallycross Championship rounds, the International X Games events and the Global Rallycross Championship.
RallyCross Photos © QNIGAN.COM