|NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (April 29, 2014) – Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust took on a new challenge at the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park this weekend, making his debut in a Pro 2 Unlimited truck in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO. Foust joined the series for the Rockstar Energy Drink Southern California Shootout, presented by E3 Spark Plugs, Friday and Saturday. He plans to run a select campaign of events in the 2014 short-course season. |
“I have a huge amount of respect for the drivers racing at the top of the sport,” said Foust. “It’s an ultra-intense experience to drive one of these trucks and these drivers are absolute gladiators.”
Foust competed in the Rockstar Energy Drink Pro 2 truck formerly driven by veteran off-roader Rob MacCachren, whose team handled the preparation. The Lake Elsinore track features some of the biggest jumps in the series and with limited opportunity for pre-race testing, Foust found himself learning his new sport on the fly.
“As a novice, it feels like you’re on the edge of rolling or landing on the nose at any given second,” said Foust. “It’s a big challenge to get a handle on a 5,000-pound, 900 horsepower beast and to be able to drive aggressively knowing you’re not going to wad it up at every corner — it’s not the easiest type of vehicle to develop a feel for.”
Early in Foust’s debut Friday night, he launched into the air off one of the track’s enormous jumps to find himself eye-level with a barrel-rolling truck piloted by fellow Pro 2 rookie Travis Pastrana. “I don’t know if he remembers it happening, but I had front-row seat and that was a really nasty wreck,” said Foust.
The scary crash forced a restart and Foust was starting to pick up speed by the mid-point in the contest when he had his own mishap, catching a rut on the inside line and rolling end-over-end.
“I was starting to get comfortable and went for the grip on the inside line, but I hit a hole and went up on two wheels. I’ve been on two-wheels before but when I turned into it, the truck grabbed and started cartwheeling,” said Foust. “It was wild.”
Team mechanics repaired the truck overnight and Foust was ready to return to the action on Saturday for the second day of racing, but a blown motor during his strong qualifying run saw him forced to sit out of the main event.
“I felt in that last qualifying session that I was getting up to speed and I was looking forward to those 16 race laps to get up to a reasonable competitive pace,” said Foust. “Unfortunately that didn’t happen this time, but I learned a lot this weekend and I’m looking forward to the next one.”
Foust spent the early part of the week in Indianapolis, Indiana, testing his new rallycross car with Andretti Autosport. Two-time GRC champion Foust and the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team will start the 2014 season with the Top Gear Festival Barbados opening round May 18. The driver is looking forward to getting back to rallycross competition.
“We’re going to put the Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Polo up against the rest of the cars out there for the first time and I know it’s going to be strong,” said Foust. “In the off-season, you can only test against yourself and it’s hard to get a gauge where it is against the rest of the field.”
Foust will open the Red Bull Global Rallycross season in a Volkswagen Polo based on the chassis developed by Marklund Motorsport. The team is working on the brand new Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Beetle, a 560 horsepower turbocharged rallycross car previewed earlier this year at Chicago Auto Show. The new car is expected to debut in competition later this year. The driver, who is also one of the hosts of Top Gear USA will also make an appearance for the TV show during the Barbados event. A week later, Foust will travel to the United Kingdom to make his start in the World RX of Great Britain, he will appear in select rounds of the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
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Tanner Foust is a versatile and multi-talented
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