LAS VEGAS, Nev. (November 8, 2013) – AEM sponsored driver Tanner Foust scored his fourth Global Rallycross podium of the year at an exciting season finale held under the lights of the Las Vegas strip on Thursday evening.
It was a strong event from start to finish for the two-time Global Rallycross champion, with Foust taking the top qualifying spot and winning both of his heats en route to the action-packed Final. Tanner uses an AEM water/methanol injection kit in his car to spray the intercooler to reduce air inlet temps for detonation control and more reliable power.
But in the Final, where gaining the hole-shot through the first corner is key to success, Foust took a gamble on the start lights and leapt off the line a fraction of a second too soon.
“I was trying to time the light off the start,” said Foust. “It always looks like a huge jump start when you’re a car length ahead going through the first corner and I thought I had it.”
Officials disagreed, ruling after repeated tape reviews that Foust had made a false start. He was black flagged and directed to serve a stop-and-go penalty mid-race that cost him a chance at the win.
“I served the fastest stop-and-go penalty I could and when I got back out on the course I landed in the middle of a war zone,” said Foust. “I wasn’t sure what position I was in but there were a lot of cars to fight through.”
The driver climbed back through the pack to chase down longtime rival Travis Pastrana, overtaking him for second place. But there weren’t enough laps left for Foust to reel in leader Ken Block. The second-place result was enough to secure Foust the runner-up position in the 2013 championship.
“Even with the penalty I’m happy,” said Foust. “It was a great couple of days for my team and to have Ford take the top-three spots in the championship is a season for all of us to be proud of. Thanks to the hard work of my team and the support of my sponsors and fans, it has been an incredible year.”
All three drivers on the podium are familiar faces to fans of action motorsport. Foust, along with Block and Pastrana, have been jostling for podium positions since car racing debuted at X Games in 2006. All three are longtime competitors who first met each other on the American stage rally circuit nearly a decade ago.
The finale of the nine-round championship in Sin City saw the realization of the young series’ potential. A standing-room-only crowd roared enthusiastically for the non-stop racing action at a temporary circuit built against the spectacular backdrop of the city’s famed Las Vegas strip. The event, held in conjunction with the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show, played host to many top players in the automotive industry.
“The series obviously has some good momentum and I’m excited to see the sport grow,” said Foust. “The announcement of a new series title sponsor for next season, as well as the involvement of traditional motorsport supporters like Napa Chassis — who joined my team this week — shows the strength and authenticity of 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.
A 2014 championship calendar announcement is expected from the series in the coming weeks.