Tanner Foust to race Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Beetle

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (September 19, 2014) — This weekend marks the exciting debut of the Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Beetle, which Tanner Foust will drive in the Global Rallycross doubleheader in Los Angeles.  It is the first time the car will hit the track in a competition environment. The back-to-back races at the Port of Los Angeles September 19-21 will serve as the first real-world test for the vehicle, which is under development for a full assault on the championship in 2015 with the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team. “We have the opportunity to fast-forward the car’s development by putting it in competition this weekend,” said Foust. “We’ve put miles on the car in test sessions but the only way to know how it’s really going to perform in a race is to race it.”  The new competition car represents a significant step in development for the Volkswagen team. The all-wheel-drive Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Beetle produces some 540 horsepower from a direct-injection 1.6-liter turbocharged inline four and achieves 0-60 miles per hour in less than two seconds. For the new build, Volkswagen Motorsport has leveraged in-depth product knowledge and technology already proven in competition environments around the world, including in the brand’s successful World Rally Championship program. Foust, who recovered from an uneven start to the GRC season with a July win at the New York round of the championship, said he will be pulling double-duty this weekend. In addition to pushing for a result, he will focus on providing critical feedback on the car between on-track sessions. “There are a lot of engineers from Volkswagen Motorsport here supporting the team this weekend,” said Foust. “The car is amazing to drive already but it’s brand new and we want to continue its development for next season.” Following an initial few practice laps on the course Thursday at the Port of Los Angeles, Foust said he can’t wait to get back behind the wheel. “It’s the meanest Beetle on the launch when it slams you back on the seat and takes your breath away,” he said. “But at the same time, it feels very refined when you carve it through the turns. It’s almost got a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde feel to it.”  This season marks the first year in rallycross for the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team. Foust and teammate Scott Speed opened 2014 in a pair of Volkswagen Polo rallycross cars developed from the chassis that won the 2013 World Rally Championship.  The Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Beetle also features a new take on Foust’s familiar livery design. The yellow and black paint scheme has been updated to compliment the Beetle’s iconic shape and features reflective chrome elements that highlight the distinctive lines of the car.  “It’s an honor to get the chance to race this Beetle for the first time,” said Foust. “It feels like we’re at the start of a new era in the sport of rallycross.”  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, hills and transitions between pavement and gravel. Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2014 Global Rallycross Championship will take place at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, Calif., from September 19-21. NBC will air both races live on Saturday, September 20, and Sunday, September 21, at 5:00 p.m. ET.  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, national championships and world records. He is a three-time U.S. rallycross champion (2012, 2011, 2010) who has also won four X Games gold medals (2013, 2010, 2007), and two Formula Drift championships (2008, 2007).  He has also held multiple world records including for the astonishing Hot Wheels Double Loop Dare, which saw Foust drive a car through a 66-foot loop-the-loop. He also scored the indoor speed record for TV’s Top Gear USA, and set a distance jump record with Hot Wheels when he made a 332′ ramp-to-ramp leap in a truck at the Indy 500.  His varied race experience includes multiple years of open wheel competition, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, rally racing, various types of sports car racing and the SCORE Baja. He has represented the USA in the annual Race of Champions three times, teaming with NASCAR star Carl Edwards in 2008, Travis Pastrana in 2009, and Mick Doohan in 2010. A year after making his overseas debut in the European Rallycross Championship in 2010 with a select campaign, Foust became the first American driver to win a round of that championship and finished both 2011 and 2012 ranked in the top three; he won two of the three rounds he entered last year. At home, Foust has been a dominant driver in rallycross since it was first introduced to the United States in 2010.  When he isn’t racing, the professional driver also performs in films and on television. He is an on-air host for the U.S. version of the seminal BBC auto show Top Gear, produced by BBC Worldwide Productions and airing on the HISTORY channel. Episodes of his online documentary series, Life in the Foust Lane, are available on the Rockstar Energy Drink YouTube channel.  Foust also handles stunt driving in numerous popular films, TV shows and commercials. He is featured as a stunt driver in the Need 4 Speed film, as well as other major releases including the Bourne Legacy, Bourne Ultimatum, Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, Dukes of Hazzard, Red Dawn and Iron Man 2 movies.
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