KOUVOLA, Finland (September 24, 2012) - Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust showed top speed and competitive driving in his final European Rallycross Championship appearance of the season to guarantee a strong result in the title chase.
The weekend's race leaves Foust in second place in the championship. He will miss the final European round this coming weekend to compete in Las Vegas in the Global Rallycross Championship, but he has already secured enough points to maintain a strong finish in the series. It will be his second season result among the top drivers of the ERC. He finished the championship in the runner-up position in 2011.
"The Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta performed incredibly well this season in what is known as one of the world's most brutal motorsports," said Foust. "To finish in the top ranks two years in a row is a testament to the strength of the car, and the hard work of the entire team."
The American started the weekend by setting the fastest laps in the official timed practice session, and won the first heat. The track was well suited to Foust, featuring banked turns and the biggest jumps of the European championship.But wet weather overnight meant a challenging second day of competition. In muddy conditions, Foust suffered a tire puncture on the first corner of his first heat on Sunday. He held on to finish the heat, but a windshield wiper failure during his next race saw him running totally blind as mud accumulated on the windscreen and wiped out his visibility. He landed in the B-Final, in which he had to place first or second to advance to the weekend's main event.
"It's a dreaded battle of desperation to be in the B-Final," said Foust. "It isn't a position anybody wants to be in."
He fought through the race to finish second and earn a spot at the back of the grid for the A-Final main race but the muddy conditions put him at a massive disadvantage from the drop of the green flag. The cars in front of the pack shot mud and rocks onto his windscreen, a wiper blade took a hit, and Foust again struggled to see. He gamely raced to the end, to finish the weekend in sixth-place.
"I raced as effectively as I could, but I had so little visibility that I bounced off the guardrails a few times, thinking they were other cars," said Foust.
Foust and the Rockstar Energy Ford Fiesta have been strong performers this season. The American has earned four podium results in seven European Rallycross Championship starts in 2012 and hasn't finished out of the points at any round. He made his debut in rallycross competition only two years ago, with a calendar of select European events, and rapidly became a contender.
A fan favorite, Foust's Hollywood experience as a stunt driver and TV host draw considerable interest in Europe, where fans line up for photos and autographs at every race. He returns to the United States this week where he resumes filming for the third season of Top Gear, airing now. He will travel to Las Vegas to compete in the September 29 round of the Global Rallycross Championship. With two rounds remaining in the Global Rallycross Championship, he currently leads the standings.