Tanner Foust Braves Wild Rallycross Weekend At MCAS New River
Despite a frustrating weekend in North Carolina, Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust remains in the lead of the Global Rallycross points as the 2016 season rounds its midpoint.
"We've had quite a bit of weather and variety in track surfaces this year and our team has been really good at adapting to that." said Foust, who won the first race of the season and has not dropped out of the top spot of the standings since then.
The two-time series champion put in a strong performance early in the weekend to win both his opening heats and the semifinal and earn a pole position start in the first scheduled final of this doubleheader weekend. In the process, Foust brought his tally of heat and semifinal wins to 17 this season — a series record.
As a band of storms swept through on Saturday, dousing the track, cars took to the start under sloppy conditions. Foust got the early lead and continued to build a gap to the field as drivers behind him fought to stay in control on the slippery course.
"I had a little bit of luck, and I also feel comfortable in the mud and the slime because of rally racing and ice driving," said Foust, who competed in rally and spent winters teaching ice driving early in his career.
But disaster struck on the fifth lap of the race when Foust's engine began to show signs of trouble. He opted to pull off course rather than risk damage that would follow him to the second race of the doubleheader on Sunday, and scored eighth place points.
In Sunday racing, Foust again looked strong, qualifying at the top of the leaderboard and winning his semifinal race to start the main event from pole position. But another line of thunderstorms tore through the region and forced officials to cancel the remaining competition. It is not yet known how the series will award points earned on Sunday or if another race will be added to the schedule, but Foust will be looking to take advantage of the pole position he earned.
Drivers and teams had the opportunity to spend three days at MCAS New River to put on a show for the service men and women stationed there, and their families. Despite the rain for the Sunday main event, there was still plenty of time for autographs, photos and on-track action.
"It really is a special vibe," said Foust, who spent his childhood years moving from place to place with his own military family. "You really want to pay a little extra attention to every kid and every family: either their mom or dad isn't standing with them because they're deployed somewhere fighting for our country."
Next, the series travels to Washington, DC, for Round 8 at RFK Stadium July 30. The event will be a homecoming for Foust, who spent some of his high school years in the region. It is also near the home of Volkswagen of America's in Herndon, Virginia, headquarters.
"The DC track has been different each year that we've been there but it does tend to be a tighter, more technical track," said Foust "Our team has done an amazing job of giving us cars that are easy to drive and so the more challenging the track, I think the better it is for the Volkswagen Beetles."
Full coverage of Global Rallycross Championship action airs live on NBC and is available online live and on-demand.