Fans in the grandstands leapt to their feet to cheer on Foust's 550-plus horsepower Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta as he battled teammate Marcus Grönholm for the lead in a chaotic 10-car Final race. He crossed the line just behind the two-time World Rally Champion.
"It's an honor to compete with Marcus, but second-place isn't my goal for the series," said Foust. "We're going to make some changes for the next round in Texas."
Ticket-holders were treated to an intensely competitive rallycross season-opener following an afternoon of Nationwide racing (The History 300). It was the first time a rallycross contest has been held in conjunction with a NASCAR event and it drew a record crowd for U.S. rallycross competition.
"The NASCAR fans are so enthusiastic," said Foust. "A lot of people told us after the our race that they are now officially die-hard Global Rallycross Championship fans and that's great to hear."
The defending Global Rallycross Champion, Foust kept the pressure on throughout the contest, while managing overheating brakes on a track considered one of the fastest in rallycross history. He qualified in the second position and won his Heat races to line up beside Grönholm in the Final. Drivers competed on a course laid out on the front stretch and pit lane of the 1.5-mile oval. It featured narrow passing zones, chicanes, water hazards, and a three-foot tall jump.
The Charlotte event marked the first stop in an intense five-week stretch of European and American rallycross competition for Foust, that culminates with X Games in downtown Los Angeles on July 1. The American driver will rack up plenty of frequent flyer miles as he races on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean every weekend between now and then.
His next stop is the Hungarian Round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship this weekend (June 2-3). Foust is favored for a top finish. He is the 2011 European Rallycross Championship runner-up, and won the first European race of the season in April.
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 and changing track and surface conditions that can include dirt, gravel, and wet and dry tarmac.
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 and national championships.
He is a three-time X Games gold medalist (2007, 2010), and two-time Formula Drift champion (2007, 2008). He has twice represented Team USA in the annual Race of Champions, teaming with NASCAR star Carl Edwards in 2008 and Travis Pastrana in 2009. He returned to the event in 2010 as teammate to Mick Doohan on the All Star Team.
His varied race experience also includes multiple years of open wheel competition, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, rally racing, various types of sports car racing and the SCORE Baja.
When he isn't racing, the professional driver also performs in films and on television. He is an on-air host for the US version of the seminal BBC auto show Top Gear, produced by BBC Worldwide Productions and airing on the HISTORY channel.
His stunt driving includes performing as a lead driver in the Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, Bourne Ultimatum, Dukes of Hazzard, Red Dawn and Iron Man 2 movies, and he also handles stunt driving in numerous popular TV shows and commercials.
TANNER FOUST'S RALLYCROSS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY:
FOR MORE INFORMATION:Visit www.TannerFoust.comwww.tannerfoust.com. To arrange interviews or find out more, contact email@example.com.
PHOTO: Tanner Foust finishes second in the Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta at the opening round of the 2012 Global Rallycross Championship at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
CREDIT: Jakub Nitka/ERC24.com