Tanner Foust is in the lead of the Global Rallycross Championship after earning a win and a second-place result in this weekend's Canadian doubleheader.
"I'm so happy for the team. What a great way to finish a very long weekend in Canada!" said Foust. "I think the Beetles are the car to beat and it's a heated battle. The way the points are, the championship is going to be tight throughout the year."
In the first race, Foust set the fastest qualifying time and fought for the win with a target on his back. His door-to-door battle with a series rookie in early heat racing produced one of the most exciting moments of the weekend for fans as he and his rival got huge air side-by-side over the 70-foot dirt jump. And after earning the pole position for the final, he held his ground through a rough 10 laps to cross the finish line in second.
On Sunday, course officials switched the joker and main laps, turning the typical shortcut Joker into a disadvantageous longer lap. Although unusual in Global Rallycross, this is frequently the format seen in Europe where Foust started his rallycross career, and he was well-equipped to change up his strategy.
The Rockstar Energy Drink driver qualified narrowly in second, behind his Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teammate Scott Speed, setting up a pitched battle between teammates. In his first heat, the duo battled hard, with Foust completing the race in a photo finish that left him narrowly in second.
"We had a great crowd and even above the noise of the engine inside the car I could hear them screaming at the close finishes," Foust said.
The second round of heats saw Foust take an epic, fifth-gear spin when a tire lost air mid-way through a high-speed corner. His luck finally turned in his third heat race, when he took the win by just two-hundredths of a second in his second photo finish of the weekend. The result put him on pole position in his semifinal and he made it look easy from there, leading both that race and the main event from green flag to checkers.
The back-to-back podiums were a welcome result for the driver, who left the previous doubleheader second in the points after a mixed result. He won the first race but stopped short of a sweep when he struck a rut and broke a wheel while leading the Day 2 final.
"I feel like it's more than double the pressure to run these doubleheader events because they're so tough on teams," said Foust. "You go through this incredibly fast-paced couple of days of racing and repairing and then beating up the car again, and the last thing you want to do as a team is to walk away picking up the pieces without anything to show for it. When that kind of weekend ends with a win, all the hard work and struggles are forgiven and forgotten as you celebrate together."
Sunday's victory was made even sweeter by being able to celebrate on the podium with his teammate at his side. Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teammate Speed finished second.