Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tanner Foust earns first GRC win for Volkswagen Beetle in Daytona

Two-time GRC champ Tanner Foust takes the maiden victory
for the Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Beetle in Daytona, Florida.

(Photo: Helena El Mokni, Volkswagen Motorsport)
DAYTONA, Fla. (June 22, 2015) - Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust drove the new Volkswagen Beetle rallycross car to its maiden GRC victory this weekend at the Daytona Global Rallycross doubleheader. His victory makes it two in a row for the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Team, after teammate Scott Speed won at the non-championship scoring X Games earlier this month in Austin.

 "It was such a difficult and hot weekend for the whole team and getting our first regular-season win with the new car kept us going," said Foust. "Everybody was incredibly stoked -- it was something we all needed."

The Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team faced a challenging weekend. They struggled with the oppressive Florida summer heat as they worked hard to limit damage caused by repeated failure of a critical component. Engineers suspect a materials issue with a batch of bolts the team used in the build assembly. 

"Ultimately that was the hardest weekend I've ever seen for mechanics -- a doubleheader in 100-plus degree heat," said Foust. "The crew on the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team had to pull the transmission on both cars every time we ran them to double-check that everything was holding together. That's a huge job in this heat."

The parts are already at the Volkswagen laboratory in Germany for analysis and the team is confident that the issue will be resolved by the next race. 

On the first day of racing, as the team hurried to find a work-around for the problem, Foust didn't start practice, had a limited qualifying run, and missed the first round of heat racing. A third place result in the semifinal round saw him bypass the last chance qualifier to line up on the second row in the final.

There, luck was finally on his side. When cars in the front row tangled in the first corner, Foust squeezed through unscathed and battled into the lead on Turn 3. From there, he never looked back.

"It was a little on the lucky side with that big crash in front of me," said Foust. "I was happy to get away with one. I've certainly been on the other side of that when it comes to first-lap crashes."
In the second race of the doubleheader, Foust pulled off the track with a damaged suspension after car-to-car contact in heat racing, and was forced into the last chance qualifier. He secured a spot in the final, but a mechanical issue re-emerged and he couldn't find a way onto the podium. He scored fourth-place points. Foust is now third in the championship, heading into Round 4.

The car has proven very capable in competition. In addition to this latest win in Daytona, Foust debuted the brand new Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Beetle with a heat win at the Los Angeles race last summer. At the time, the car was still under development. Following an extensive offseason program, the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team has returned to competition this season with two Volkswagen Beetle rallycross cars.

Foust returns to Global Rallycross competition with the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team for an Independence Day weekend of racing at the Marine Corps Air Station New River (MCAS New River) in Jacksonville, N.C. Competition takes place Sunday, July 5, following a day of July 4 celebrations.