Foust - Ford interview 2011-03-23

This Week in Ford Racing

Tanner Foust and the ROCKSTAR Etnies Ford Fiesta have dominated the recent North American RallyCross scene sweeping double gold at X Games. Foust added to that by winning twice and capturing two additional podiums to win the 'unofficial' championship in US RallyCross exhibition series last fall. On the eve of the 2011 season, Foust talks about his 2011 program and concentrating on the RallyCross format in his ROCKSTAR Fiesta

TANNER FOUST – ROCKSTAR/Etnies Ford Fiesta – AS YOU LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2011 CALENDAR YOU ARE SLATED TO RUN TWO RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS IN EUROPE AND THE US. “2011 is going to be a pretty busy schedule. We did five rounds of European RallyCross in 2010 and in 2011 we are going to do ten. These are the rounds where it is six cars door-to-door bashing it out. This isn’t stage rally through the forest, which is great racing, but these cars are twice the horsepower so it is very fast and very heated door-to-door racing. It is a great product for the American market so there is going to be four Global RallyCross events in the US culminating in X Games in L.A.”

AFTER ALL THE SUCCESS YOU HAVE HAD IN THE ROCKSTAR FIESTA THE LAST TWO SEASONS, RALLYCROSS HAS BECOME THE CORE OF YOUR RACING PROGRAM.“Your right RallyCross has become the center of my racing program. Racing in Europe is just different. Everybody is well informed and they understand the sport really well. They pretty much have soccer and motorsport there as their major sports so it is really huge. It is great to race there. Eighty year old ladies know exactly where I am losing my time and they aren’t shy about telling me and they are absolutely right. The RallyCross format is also a great format for the US. So in addition to the Global RallyCross I may potentially do some off road truck racing in the Lucas Oil Off Road Series in a Pro Lite truck a four-cylinder 400 hp F-150. I am looking at some off road racing with Baja and potentially some road racing and endurance races.”

X GAMES 17 IS ON THE DOCKET AS PART OF THE GLOBAL RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP. “X Games is something I have been doing since 2006 and I definitely need to come back and defend my gold in 2011. Brian Deegan had two slivers last year and he is still bitter about it. Although we had similar hardware in the Fiesta he has been practicing and we both know he has the skills he needs to win at X Games in the so I will have to do my work to fend him and the other competitors off in 2011. I’ve been told there are going to be two car events at X Games in 2011 and while I don’t know what the first one will be the second one is going to be RallyCross and it is going to be awesome.”

ANY CHANCE YOU MIGHT MIX IN A RALLYCAR RALLY AMERICA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP EVENT?“ I would love to run a Rally America event. Stage rally is still one of my favorite things to do, but it is a difficult program to put together. As great as the racing is and as much fun as it is unfortunately I have had to change away from that, but I have found my rally fix in the excitement of the RallyCross. I first saw it on YouTube and there is so much more to the sport than I originally thought. RallyCross is very very technical and there is so much strategy involved and it is very challenging as a driver because the cars are just so fast.

YOU HAVE HAD A GREAT DEAL OF SUCCESS WITH FIESTA AND THE OLSBERGS MSE TEAM OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS. “It is very important for a racer when you are trying to be successful in a new sport like RallyCross to figure out who is winning and then you try to get in one of their cars. Racing teams that win have momentum to them and you want to be in that winning car and culture. Andreas Erikkson and Olsbergs MSE is a Swedish company that produces the fastest Ford Fiestas on the planet and they have been a critical part of my success. I started out at X Games with them in 2009 after Andreas and Marcus Gronholm came over to do the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. I was lucky enough to take Gronholm's keys from him when he was done with the Pikes Peak run and we re-wrapped the car with ROCKSTAR and ran it at X Games and had a great time. We teamed up with Kenny Brack we took a gold and a bronze and it was the start of a solid relationship with Ford, the Fiesta and Olsbergs MSE. Ford and Olsbergs build winning machines and that is why we are still with them in 2011.”

SPEAKING OF MARCUS GRONHOLM, HE WILL BE IN THE GRC DEBUT THIS WEEKEND AT IRWINDALE AND HE HAS DECLARED YOU THE MAN TO BEAT."Since I would rank Marcus Gronholm in the top-five drivers worldwide, having him label me as the guy to beat is quite an honor. The problem is I know how good his Ford Fiesta is since I have the same one.”

YOU ARE NOW IN YOUR THIRD SEASON DRIVING THE FIESTA IN RALLYCROSS COMPETITION. HOW HAS THE CAR EVOLVED AND WHAT DO YOU EXECPT FROM YOUR 2011 ROCKSTAR ETNIES FIESTA?“I have been pretty fortunate in my somewhat brief driving career that between TV shows and racing that I have be able to drive a lot of stuff. I was the kid growing up that could recognize any car from its headlights and wanted to drive everything, so in that respect my career has been a great success allowing me to drive a little bit of everything. When it comes to rally racing I have raced just about everything and the Fiesta was the platform, even before I got in it, was the one that I thought had the most potential. From the short wheel base, the power that it is capable of making, the agility of the platform, the weight distribution, the overall light weight, there are just a lot of pluses in the category with the Fiesta. They you combine that with Andreas and the Olsbergs MSE team and the combination have been a dominating force. I don’t think anybody thought that the Fiesta was going to come take the US Rally, RallyCross and X Games by storm the way it has so I am lucky to be a part of that.”

-source: ford racing

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Kenny Brack , Marcus Gronholm , Tanner Foust , Brian Deegan
Tags ford, rallycross