In addition to his sweet gig on Top Gear USA, Tanner Foust is probably best known for his storied rallycross career. He’s the current Global Rallycross (GRC) champion and in 2012 was a serious contender for the European Rallycross Championship. He finished in third place despite missing rounds in order to compete in the GRC. It’s quite possible that he could have won the ERC crown instead of Timur Timerzyanov.
This season it’s a different story, as the GRC went global with X Games; and effectively competing in both series seemed impossible for him. Although he’s closing in on scoring the very first GRC championship hat-trick, it looks like there’s still unfinished business for him, across the pond. On April 2nd, he won the RallycrossRX round in Lydden Hill, England. In June he topped the event in Finland, and made his way to Lohéac, France this month, but it didn’t end well for him. I kept an eyeball on the race via social media and was surprised to hear that he’d been quite literally knocked out of the competition.
Here’s the official word on what happened from Tanner’s management:
Tough weekend for Tanner Foust in France
American driver sidelined after contact in main event
LOHÉAC, France (Sept. 2, 2013) – Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust had hoped to make it a European Rallycross Championship sweep this weekend, but instead he found himself sidelined after two days of rough racing in France.
Contact with a rival driver in the final lap of the main event knocked Foust into a bank and punctured his radiator, ending his day early. The American driver, who is running a select season of events in Europe this year, had earned a solid fourth-place qualifying position for the race.
“It’s a long way to come to wind up sixth,” said Foust, who competed for the first time this weekend in Loheac, located about 20 miles south of Rennes in Brittany. “Even though we didn’t get the result we wanted, the energy in France was electric and the fans were really supportive, so it was a great experience.”
The contest has long been a cornerstone of the French championship. One of the best-attended rallycross events in world, it regularly attracts more than 30,000 spectators. This is the first time since 2001 that the race has been included in the European Rallycross Championship calendar and that, coupled with high-profile additions to the roster including Foust, Sébastien Loeb, and Kris Meeke, made for enormous crowds at the track this weekend.
“The racing was extremely tight and we chased our set-up all day on Saturday so I had to be happy to earn a good starting position in the final,” said Foust. “Especially when amazing drivers like Loeb didn’t make it to the main event at all.”
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.
Since making his debut on the European Rallycross Championship in 2010, Foust has become a regular threat in the series. He won his previous two 2013 appearances: the opening round at Lydden Hill, UK, and the fourth round in Kuovola, Finland.
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.
He returns to the United States in time for the season premiere of Top Gear on HISTORY. The fourth season debuts Tuesday, September 3 at 9 p.m. ET.
The two-time defending Global Rallycross Champion is currently second in the U.S. points race and makes his next competition appearance at the Charlotte round of the Global Rallycross Championship September 22.
ABOUT TANNER FOUST:
Tanner Foust is a versatile and multi-talented driver known for his supreme car control and a proven track record of podium placements, national championships and world records. He is a three-time U.S. rallycross champion (2012, 2011, 2010) who has also won four X Games gold medals for rally (2013, 2010, 2007), and two Formula Drift championships (2008, 2007).
He has also held multiple world records including for last summer’s astonishing Hot Wheels Double Loop Dare, when he drove a car through a 66-foot loop-the-loop. He also scored the indoor speed record for TV’s Top Gear USA, and set a distance jump record with Hot Wheels when he made a 332′ ramp-to-ramp leap in a truck at the Indy 500.
His varied race experience includes multiple years of open wheel competition, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, rally racing, various types of sports car racing and the SCORE Baja. He has represented the USA in the annual Race of Champions three times, teaming with NASCAR star Carl Edwards in 2008, Travis Pastrana in 2009, and Mick Doohan in 2010.
A year after making his overseas debut in the European Rallycross Championship in 2010 with a select campaign, Foust became the first American driver to win a round of that championship and finished both 2011 and 2012 ranked in the top three. The sport was first introduced to the United States in 2010, and Foust has swept the domestic championship titles since then.
When he isn’t racing, the professional driver also performs in films and on television. He is an on-air host for the U.S. version of the seminal BBC auto show Top Gear, produced by BBC Worldwide Productions and airing on the HISTORY channel. The second season of his YouTube documentary series, Life in the Foust Lane, is on now with new episodes uploaded every other Thursday to www.youtube.com/RockstarEvents.
Foust is also one of the stars of Ford Racing’s Octane Academy, which aired its second season in 2013. He handles stunt driving in numerous popular films, TV shows and commercials and is featured as a stunt driver in major releases including Need 4 Speed, Bourne Legacy, Bourne Ultimatum, Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, Dukes of Hazzard, Red Dawn and Iron Man 2.
TANNER FOUST’S RALLYCROSS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY:
Rockstar Energy Drink (www.RockstarEnergy.com); Ford Racing (www.ford.com); ENEOS Motor Oil (www.eneos.us); Motegi Racing (www.motegiracing.com), ODYSSEY Battery (www.odysseybattery.com); Illest (www.illestbrand.com); and Horizon Hobby (www.horizonhobby.com)