Foust wins European Rallycross opener
- 10th April 2012, 3:44pm
"The season can't start much better than this," said Foust at the end of the race. "The team and I worked all weekend to set up the Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta for the wet conditions and it paid off."
The American driver was competitive from the start, setting the pace in timed practice sessions and charging through the heats to claim the pole position for the A-Main final race at the Lydden Hill circuit Monday.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd at the home of rallycross -- the track where the very first rallycross races took place more than 40 years ago -- Foust got a fast start and led to the finish. He was so far out front at the end of the five-lap race that he crossed the finish line alone while his competitors continued to battle it out behind him.
"As the only American out here, winning in this series is amazing," said Foust. "To win at the track where the sport was invented feels even better."
The victory sets the stage for a strong season for Foust. The three-time X Games Rally gold medal winner finished the 2011 season as the runner-up in the FIA European Rallycross Championship, and took home the first-ever Global Rallycross Championship title. He now leads the points in the 10-round European championship.
This weekend's victory was Foust's third in the highly competitive European series. He became the first American ever to win a race in the championship a year ago, at the Portugal round, and repeated in Sweden last July.
The Ford Fiesta rallycross car, prepared by the Olsbergs MSE team, proved class-of-the-field and performed flawlessly. The veteran OMSE team continued to develop the Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta in the off-season and emerged at the first race of the year with a competitive package. The 600-plus horsepower machine is virtually identical to the vehicle Foust runs in the United States at X Games and Global Rallycross contests.
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 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. Foust is the first American to compete in the European Rallycross Championship.
This season marks Foust's second full season in the championship. He made his debut with a select series of events in 2010 and finished the 2011 season in 2nd-place overall.
In addition to rallycross competition in Europe and the United States, Foust's 2012 competition schedule also includes a return to X Games Rally Car Racing events this June. His next event is the French round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at Circuit de l'Ouest Parisien in Dreux, France, April 28-29.
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