Tanner Foust wins in New York – Photo courtesy of Red Bull Media
Was Tanner Foust’s win in World Rallycross last month in Finland the beginning of a winning streak?
Foust put in a tremendous performance in New York to win round four of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship, his first GRC win after a rough start to the season. In round one in Barbados, Foust was looking good in heat three when he lost part of his car after a hard landing on the jump, causing a red flag. The race was called and Foust found himself in the Last Chance Qualifier. During the LCQ he ended up taking the Joker Lap twice, causing a time penalty that put him out of contention.
At the X Games in Austin, Texas, for round two, he rolled his VW Polo R in the semifinal and failed to place at all. At the Washington, DC, round in June he placed fifth. But this weekend he seemed to still have his Finnish groove by taking third and first in his heats and first in his semifinal.
“It’s been a tough year,” said Foust. “The guys with the most finely tuned road racing skills have really dominated this year, and this was a course that road racing skill really played in, and (Nelson Piquet Jr. and Scott Speed) were quickest all weekend. Luckily, I was able to use a little bit of rallycross-ness skill, focusing on starting, because the track was really hard to pass on in order to get the job done. Fundamentally, I still have to go to school and get quicker, and I’m getting closer and closer to fine-tuning my road racing skills, but GRC has set the stage that its courses and races are going to be very much like what you see here.”
Coming in right behind Foust was his teammate, Scott Speed, who was the current points leader entering round four. After coming in second in the final, according to race officials Speed was penalized for “…making unapproved adjustments to his vehicle during the first red flag under Article 7.7 of the series’ supplemental regulations.” This penalty dropped Speed to ninth position at the end of the final and elevated Nelson Piquet Jr. to second place.
Speed and Piquet have been battling it out on the track for the series points lead since the beginning of the season. With the disqualification, Nelson Piquet Jr. takes a 35-point lead over Speed. “It’s been a really good weekend for us,” said Piquet. “We won the heat race, the semifinal, and finished the finals in second. Obviously, we want to take the points lead on the track, but regulations are regulations. We’ve had three podiums in four races now. The consistency is great and the result this weekend is great for the team. I work great with my team, I love them, and next weekend in Charlotte we’ll be trying to win our first race of the season. We will keep thinking about the championship and scoring as many points as we need to.”
Coming in third place was Ken Block who had been looking forward to racing at the New York venue: “For me, to be able to come out to a bunch of new venues is really cool so I’m stoked to go to such a wide variety of great cities, like New York, Los Angeles, X Games in Austin, and Vegas,” said Block. “For me, it’s just cool to see that we’re actually working to make this sport bigger and bigger and take it to better locations.”
“The season gets progressively better for me, so I’m stoked to have third. It was a tough day today, we had a bunch of restarts, and unfortunately I had some really good starts that were wiped away by some red flags. But it is what it is — that’s rallycross. I had some good battles going in the final, but unfortunately somebody hit my rear suspension and bent it, so I really struggled to get fourth. Then, of course, with the penalty, I ended up with third. I’m pretty happy with that, I need the points! It’s been such a bad season so far — I’ve driven well, qualified fairly well, things just hadn’t come together for the final, so I’m stoked.”
Photo courtesy of Red Bull Media
An unfortunate result from this weekend was when round three winner, Patrik Sandell, fought his way through the LCQ into the final only to encounter a red flag in the first lap of the final due to a mishap causing damage to the front end of Sandell’s car. The crew was unable to fix the problem in time for the restart, putting Sandell’s chance for his second win in a row out of reach. Despite that disappointing result, he still ranks fifth in overall driver points.
The stakes are getting higher as we reach the midway point of the season. Next round is at “The Dirt Track” in Charlotte on July 26. Tickets can be purchased at: http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets/red_bull_global_rallycross/
Final Results of Round Four:
- Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo
- Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
- Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
- Joni Wiman, #31 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
- Steve Arpin, #00 Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
- Austin Dyne, #14 Barracuda Racing Ford Fiesta
- Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Veloster Turbo
- Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
- Scott Speed, #77 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo
- Patrik Sandell, #18 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
CURRENT DRIVER POINTS:
- Nelson Piquet Jr., 184
- Scott Speed, 149
- Steve Arpin, 140
- Joni Wiman, 124
- Patrik Sandell, 116
- Ken Block, 99
- Tanner Foust, 95
- Austin Dyne, 94
- Brian Deegan, 70
- Rhys Millen, 65
- Sverre Isachsen, 60
- Bucky Lasek, 57
- Emma Gilmour, 21
- Pat Moro, 3
QUICK FACT: “This was Tanner Foust’s fifth career Red Bull Global Rallycross victory and 15th career podium finish in 27 career starts. All three statistics are series records; he is tied with Marcus Gronholm and Toomas Heikkinen for most career wins and holds the podium and event appearance records outright. It was his first victory in 12 races, dating back to the 2012 season finale in Las Vegas.” – Red Bull GRC