This Week in Ford Racing
November 10, 2010
Tanner Foust didn't run his first 2010 North American event in a Fiesta until the end of July. In just three and a half months Foust stamped his name into Ford Racing lore with a dominating run of six straight podium finishes and four wins in the ROCKSTAR Fiesta. Not only did Foust dominate the X Games claiming the Rally Car Racing and Superrally gold medals, but he proceeded to win the first two races in the US RallyCross Championship exhibition. This Week in Ford Racing caught up with Foust just minutes after his second place finish in Round 4 of the RallyCross.
TANNER FOUST - ROCKSTAR Ford Fiesta
TWO WINS AND TWO PODIUM RESULTS IN RALLYCROSS AND A SWEEP OF X GAMES. ADD TO THAT YOU WERE THE FACE OF THE DEBUT OF RALLYCROSS IN THE USA. THAT IS A PRETTY SUCCESSFUL YEAR IN ANY SERIES. "There was a plan behind everything, running the European series and getting more seat time in the Fiesta and knowing that it was such a great format for X Games and knowing that the organizers over at X games were interested [in bringing RallyCross to the US]. The ratings were good for the car events and X Games and they had expressed an interest in doing more car events in the future. In thinking about the reason the ratings were so good it was because the sport fits the American public. RallyCross has all of the kind of sweet parts of driving and racing in it. So as I looked at it and it sort of made sense. It makes it sounds so cerebral to make that decision, but the fact is I have seen videos [of rallycross] in Europe. One of the first videos I saw was of [Marcus] Gronholm trying one of the Olsbergs Fiestas and he is such a great driver and fast in anything he gets in, but the Fiesta looked incredible and exciting to drive. I had also seen a long time ago the old Group B rally cars retiring into Rallycross and I found myself starting to formulate a plan on how I could get to Europe and drive some of these things and try it out. As I started to investigate I was shocked to find out that nobody had ever done that from the US. Then once I actually went over and experienced Rallycross first hand it just solidified in my mind just how much this form of motorsports needed to come to the States. "
YOU HAVE GIVEN A LOT OF CREDIT TO THE OLSBERGS MSE TEAM AND TO THE FORD FIESTA THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. HOW HAS THE FIESTA IMPROVED OVER THE COURSE OF THE EUROPEAN AND NORTH AMERICAN SEASON? "It hasn't been widely reported, but the ROCKSTAR Fiesta was a brand new car at the start of the European season, and it says a lot for the Olsbergs MSE team and Andreas Eriksson, the builder, that he was able to build a car that can still get results in its first year in such a competitive format. It wasn't as if we didn't have some growing pains early in the season. We had some transmission issues and we lost a drive shaft, but we still manage to get in the A Main in three of the five European rounds that I ran. That was completely unexpected by everybody. It was unexpected by me, unexpected by the team and certainly unexpected by the European fans and competitors. That was a real pleasant surprise, but the Fiesta has evolved over the season and it has mainly been in reliability. The performance of the car has been on par from the beginning. We came into the final race of the year, and just like clockwork, we knew this was a scheduled maintenance for the engine after this race and in the last heat we saw the engine start to run a little lower on power, so that is why we didn't do donuts after this event. It is a lot of credit to Olsbersg MSE and Ford because this Fiesta Rallycross car is a well figured out machine. "
SO THIS YEAR YOU MADE THE MOVE TO RALLYCROSS. THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER YOU HAVE HAD SUCCESS IN DRIFTING AND STAGE RALLY NOT TO MENTION ALL THE STUNT DRIVING AND TV OPPORTUNITIES. IS RALLYCROSS THE FOCUS FOR YOU GOING FORWARD? "I am not sure what the focus will be for me. I would like to do the Rallycross Championship in Europe, but that is ten trips to Europe and flying from LA that is a lot. I also want to do the US RallyCross series which is another five weekends. Then Top Gear USA on the History Channel which is coming out November 21, and if they order more and if I am lucky enough to stay involved with that organization that will be very time consuming, so there is a balance I have to strike. I am here because of the racing. Racing is part of my existence. Every day that the sun rises I love the fact that there is a competition to be had. The TV was fueled by that fire, but I really am enjoying the TV stuff, so there is a balance there where I still get to race and it doesn't sacrifice any of the fun and exciting things we get to do on TV. As of now RallyCross and TV will be my focus in 2011."
YOU HAVE MAINTAINED THAT RALLYCROSS CAN BE THE NEXT BIG MOTORSPORTS PROPERTY IN THE US, HAVING GONE THROUGH THE FOUR RACE EXHIBITION SERIES, ARE YOU STILL BULLISH ON RALLYCROSS? "I think the future of RallyCross in America looks awesome. This weekend with the Europeans coming to compete nailed it for me. The first couple of weekends there were lots of growing pains with the different American teams and the couple of European guys who came over. This week the level of competition went up and to see everybody in the paddock change from 'let's get around the track' and 'let's build this sport' mentality to 'how can we get another tenth of a second out of our cars,' that is what this sport is about. We are taking these crazy chaotic cars and fighting for every tenth of a second. The kind of competition where you can't sleep at night because you are thinking about we can change the suspension and how to get this done. That level of competition is what everybody lived this weekend and has put fuel on the fire. So I think RallyCross in the states is already becoming a hit and I think the fans here this weekend would agree."
-source: ford racing