On both sides of the Atlantic Tanner Foust will be looking to stamp his name as the best American in what will be a truly new type of event on this side of the pond (Foust's Presser at bottom).
Taking his Ford Fiesta debuted at the X Games last summer Foust will compete in four European Rallycross events before bringing it back to America to run it in the inaugural Rally America Rallycross series to take place in New Jersey. Comprising three non-points, "exhibition" events this will introduce American audiences to the type of fender to fender, head to head, dirt to pavement back to dirt over a jump smack someones bumper, type of racing Europeans have had the pleasure of viewing for years.
To me this seems custom made for TV and the personalities involved in Rally America. You get Travis Pastrana, Ken Block, Tanner Foust and wildcards like ACP and others in their rippin WRXs and Fiestas and EVOs heading over jumps, sliding through turns, head to head, full contact, and I think you have a winner...Given Rally America's connection to the X-Games and ABC/ESPN I wouldn't be surprised at all to see at least one of these events end up on network TV. I hate to say it, as I like short-course trucks a lot more than I like rally cars but on paper this series should take the "next big thing" title away from LOORRS and TORC and leave them far behind...By the looks of it this series will have the youth, the marketing push (Monster, Red Bull, Rockstar), personalities and manufacturer dollars (you KNOW Ford is gonna come hard on this) to make this a bigtime event. Of course this is just on paper but I think short course off-road racing had its shot at the big time over the last few years and failed to grab the brass ring for a number of reasons and now that door is going to close...
TANNER FOUST TAKES ON NEW DISCIPLINE: EUROPEAN-STYLE RALLY CROSS LOS ANGELES (Tanner Foust Racing) -- Tanner Foust is moving into exciting new racing territory in 2010 with the addition of European-style Rally Cross to his competition schedule. "I'm really excited to be on the leading edge of this discipline as it grows in the US," said Foust. "It's been popular in Europe for years -- the fans here are going to love it." The Rockstar Energy driver will travel to Europe this year to participate in four events before returning home to America where the sport will dominate the second-half of the traditional U.S. rally season. A two-time Formula Drift champion and X Games Rally gold medalist who has twice represented Team USA at the international Race of Champions, Foust said he considers Rally Cross a blend of circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition. "I've been watching European-style Rally Cross for years," said Foust. "I love the combination of dirt, pavement, jumps and door-to-door action – it's like a real-life videogame.." The discipline promises intense crowd-pleasing action in a fan-friendly track environment. Six 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. For his first European-style Rally Cross event in April, in Portugal, Foust will pilot a 600-horsepower, all-wheel drive machine prepared by European Rally Cross Champion Andreas Eriksson's Olsbergs MSE Ford team. Foust got his first feel for the vehicle at X Games in 2009 when he drove one of the team cars to a bronze medal. "These are nimble, high-powered cars with incredible handling," said Foust. "They're purpose-built for this incredibly challenging discipline and absolutely insane to drive." Foust said he's pleased to be getting a head-start on the competition and is proud to be representing the US as the sole American in the European Rally Cross Championship this year. "The European rounds are a great opportunity for me to get a handle on this sport before it comes to America," said Foust. "When the sport debuts in the US later this year, I'll be ready to go." Foust's 2010 competition schedule will also include a return to the Formula Drift series in his Rockstar Energy Drink Scion TC, ESPN's Summer X Games and select rally events.