TANNER FOUST TAKES BRONZE AT XGAMES MUNICH / Jul.1.2013
Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust earned another X Games medal this weekend, bringing his tally to seven medals scored in rally car competition -- more than any other driver.
"Earning a medal at X Games is special," said Foust. "Especially here in Munich, where the international fans are so supportive and enthusiastic. It feels great to come away with a piece of hardware after a really hard weekend of racing."
X Games Munich hosted a rallycross double-header this weekend on a temporary course constructed outside the Allianz Arena. The Sunday event saw clear skies and grandstands close to capacity, with thousands more spectators crowded onto the rooftops of nearby public buildings to take in the show.
After Foust's mechanics worked overnight to repair damage from two big hits sustained in the previous day's competition, the driver fought an ill-handling car to qualify in the seventh position. Although he advanced from his first heat to the final on Sunday, he gridded up on the second row -- a huge disadvantage in rallycross, where getting a fast start is critical.
"Being on the second row is tough because it's difficult to avoid contact through the first corner," said Foust. "I'm usually out front trying to stay ahead of the mess but it's a different strategy from the back."
As the front-row starters fought through the first corner and cars crashed and spun, the two-time Global Rallycross Champion was able to avoid trouble and emerged unscathed. "A Subaru came out of nowhere, hit the water barrier, went flying through the air and acted like a linebacker clearing out a gap," said Foust. "I just went through the hole."
By the second lap, Foust surged into the third position and held it there to the checkered flag. Sunday's bronze is the driver's first X Games medal of 2013. He will have another shot at gold when X Games Rallycross returns to Los Angeles on August 4.
Foust's medal-winning run was his second of two races on the weekend. Global Rallycross Championship officials ran an additional contest on Saturday to make up for the rained-out Barcelona stop a month earlier.
After a great start in his heat race Saturday, Foust advanced to the final, where he took two big hits from rival drivers in the slick conditions. He finished sixth. "The first corner was just pinball. I got hit one way then did a 360 another way and all corners of the car got destroyed," he said. "But the Ford Fiesta ST is tough and it survived through the rest of the race."
Foust's OlsbergsMSE team worked through the night to repair the damage, but a few small handling issues remained. "The crew worked late and got the car back to 95 percent, which is incredible considering the hits I took," said Foust. "To fight back to a medal, especially after all of that, is an incredible accomplishment for the whole team."
Foust is running an ambitious international rallycross campaign in 2013 that includes a select European rounds, international X Games rallycross events and the Global Rallycross Championship. He won the opening event of the European Rallycross Championship in the U.K., and earned the top spot on the podium again last month in Finland. He was one of several race favorites knocked out of the first international X Games rallycross competition this April in Brazil, in a first-corner crash.
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.
A year after making his overseas debut in the sport in 2010 with a select campaign, Foust became the first American driver to win a round of the European championship and finished both 2011 and 2012 ranked in the top three. The sport was first introduced to the United States in 2010, and Foust has won both domestic championships since then.
Foust will next compete in the Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta ST in Loudon, NH, when the first domestic stop of the Global Rallycross Championship takes place at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11.
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