Way to go buddy! GT
Great day in Portugal… whew! Great to win on the one year anniversary of our start in this series and our 6th event competing. Thanks everybody for checking in, you rock. YYYEESSS!! – Tanner Foust
MONTALEGRE, Portugal (May 16, 2011) – It was a dominant weekend for Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust, who became the first American ever to win an FIA European Rallycross Championship round in Portugal.
“Simply incredible!” said Foust, who earned his victory in front of a sell-out crowd at the race. “The team showed its potential this weekend, finishing one-two.”
Foust was the driver to beat at the Pista Automóvel de Montalegre, setting a pair of fastest practice session times in his Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta on Saturday before scoring two out of three heat wins heading into Sunday’s final round.
“This place is amazing,” said Foust. “The fans are so into it that you can tell what’s happening just by listening to the crowd; they scream when somebody passes and for a good lap. It’s a really fun place to race.”
The racing was not without its challenges for newcomer Foust, who finished his first heat of the weekend in sixth place after an error that led him into the Joker lap at an inopportune time and forced him to make an emergency change of direction mid-race.
“I had to reverse and do a 180 onto the regular lap to avoid getting a penalty,” said Foust. “The crowd loved it, but I was kicking myself. It was a good reminder that I’ve still got a lot to learn about this sport.”
Foust made his series debut at the Portugal round of the European Rallycross Championship last year, finishing in eighth-place overall. The driver ran select events in 2010 and is now undertaking his first full European championship season.
After two rounds in the championship, Foust sits in second place overall, just one point behind defending champion Sverre Isachsen. At Round 1 in the UK last month, Foust set strong practice times but suffered some bad luck that knocked him out of podium contention.
Foust is also contesting the Global RallyCross Championship in 2011, persevering through pain after dislocating his shoulder to take the win at the most recent round, Twin Peaks, held outside Seattle a month ago.
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 six 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.
In addition to rallycross competition in Europe and the United States, Foust’s 2011 competition schedule also includes a return to X Games Rally Car Racing events this July. He will be back in Europe this coming weekend for the third round of the championship at Circuit des Ducs in Essay, France, May 21-22.
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 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, on HISTORY.
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 also handles stunt driving in numerous popular TV shows and commercials.
Foust’s 2011 racing program is supported by Rockstar Energy Drink, Ford, etnies and Motegi.