World record and competitive effort highlight annual action sports contest
Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust scored another world record and challenged the best drivers from around the globe at the 2012 X Games in Los Angeles this past weekend.
With more rally medals than any other driver in X Games history, Foust was a medal favorite heading into the rallycross contest. He has earned a gold, silver or bronze at the event every year since 2007.
The field at this year’s X Games was the most competitive ever assembled, with eight-time World Rally Championship title-holder Sebastien Loeb among the invited drivers. Foust was expected to give the French driver some real competition, but unfortunate luck took him out of the running.
“We were in a position to threaten Loeb,” said Foust. “The fact is, we let him have the win and that’s frustrating. Hopefully he comes back next year and we can take another run at him.”
A power steering pump failure meant Foust struggled through the 10-car final race to cross the line in sixth-place overall on Sunday. It was a rare mechanical failure for Foust’s team, which has put its class-of-the-field Ford Fiesta rallycross cars on the podium at X Games every year since they made their debut at the contest in 2009.
The annual X Games competition in downtown Los Angeles is sometimes described as the “action sport Olympics.” It features the best competitors in the world in skateboarding, BMX, motocross and rallycross. Foust is one of only three drivers, alongside action sport stars Travis Pastrana and Ken Block, to have competed in X Games every year since rally car racing was introduced in 2006.
Foust is a fan favorite at X Games and he is invited to participate in ESPN news conferences, official autograph signings, and other special activities. More than 120,000 fans make the trip to the downtown Los Angeles venue each year over the course of the four-day event.
“We’ve been racing rally cars at X Games for six years now and it’s amazing how many kids come up to me and say they’ve been watching their whole lives,” said Foust. “To us, it started as this wild thing to bring our action-style car racing to X Games. Now, there’s a whole generation that can’t imagine action sports without rally car racing.”
In addition to competing in Sunday’s rallycross competition, Foust also scored a world record with the Hot Wheels Double Loop Dare, making a successful trip through a 66-foot loop-the-loop — a life-sized replica modeled after a toy track set called Double Dare Snare. It was a third world record for Foust, who last year earned the indoor speed record for TV’s Top Gear USA, and set a distance jump record with a 332′ ramp-to-ramp leap in a truck at the Indy 500.
It was a rollercoaster of a week for Foust and his Ford-backed OMSE team. Two of Foust’s teammates were in hospital for the Sunday rallycross race after they sustained injuries during crashes in practice.
“I visited them both in hospital and it was great to talk to both of them after their respective scares,” said Foust. “I wish Marcus (Gronholm) and Toomas (Heikkinen) a speedy recovery.”
Although Loeb was the victor in the race, Fords remain top performers at X Games. Fellow Ford Fiesta driver Block took the silver medal and Foust’s teammate Brian Deegan earned the bronze.
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.
Foust’s next competition is the fourth round of the 2012 Global Rallycross Championship, July 14, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Following that, he’ll return to Europe to resume his campaign on the European Rallycross Championship series.
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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tanner Foust at X Games Los Angeles 2012. By: Jakub QBA Nitka/ERC24.com