In some big yet not surprising news today Top Gear USA host and two-time Formula Drift champ Tanner Foust has announced a “temporary” retirement from drifting. Many are speculating as to why he is bowing out for 2011 but personally I think the most logical answer is the best one. If you follow Tanner at all you know that he has a BIG 2011 ahead of him. The man is going to take on a full season of European Rally Cross, compete in Rally America, X Games Rally, and presumably come back for another season of hosting Top Gear USA. If he tried to tack on a full season of Formula Drift to that then he would probably race himself to death!
Tanner will be jumping into the Papadakis Racing/Rockstar Energy Drink/Scion Racing tC one last time for the upcoming Formula Drift exhibition in Abu Dhabi but after that its a year long vacation from drifting for ol’ “Foxy” Foust.
So you may be asking who will take over for Tanner Foust now that Papadakis Racing has an open seat? We’ll have more on that in the post right after this one.
With Formula D out of the picture for Foust in 2011 you can expect to see him much more competitive in his other disciplines. I can’t wait to see how he does in the European Rally Cross series this year. We wish Tanner the best and we will miss him in Formula Drift this year!
Long Beach, Calif. – February 10th, 2011 – Formula DRIFT has announced that 2-time Formula DRIFT champion, Tanner Foust will temporarily step away from the sport of drifting. In conjunction, Papadakis Racing and Team Need For Speed have announced the signing of the 2010 Formula DRIFT Rookie of the Year, Fredric Aasbo.
“Tanner’s semi-retirement is bittersweet for the Series as he has become one of the most recognizable drivers on the circuit and is one of the most competitive spokesmen for Formula DRIFT,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “As with the growth and progression of the Series we can expect to see opportunities brought to many of the drivers and wish Tanner more success in his career both on and off the track. His departure will leave a spot open for a future star of drifting to rise, which we are excited to see.”
Foust has announced his temporary retirement from drifting due to a demanding 2011 schedule of European Rally events, X-Games and television responsibilities. The 2-time Formula DRIFT champion and Tires.com Triple Crown bonus winner will be competing one last time in the Rockstar / Papadakis Racing Scion tC on February 25, 2010 during the Formula DRIFT UAE Invitational competition.
“I owe a lot to Formula DRIFT and Stephan Papadakis. This sport, Stephan and his team have been, and will remain, an integral part of my motorsports life,” said Tanner Foust, from his home in San Juan Capistrano. “This was a hard choice to make, but with my schedule looking even busier than last year’s I will not be able to fully commit to the 2011 Formula DRIFT season. However, I am looking forward to competing in the Rockstar Scion tC for one last time in Abu Dhabi this month.” With an open seat, team owner, Stephan Papadakis has enlisted the highly touted and talented driver, Fredric Aasbo. In addition, a newly created partnership with Team Need For Speed has solidified the alliance. Aasbo will be competing in the brand new Need for 2011 Scion tC this season with the competition debut during Round 1: Streets of Long Beach on April 8-9, 2011.
Wrecked Magazine AKA “The TMZ of drifting” somehow got a pic of the livery that Tanner Foust will be rocking for 2011 on his Ford Fiesta Rally Cross car. Looks like Rockstar is still the biggest check signer for his team but Ford has increased their real estate as well as skateboard shoe company Etnies who has taken over the entire rear of the car. This picture got out just as we heard that Tanner Foust will be announcing on Bill Wood’s “Tech House & Speed” radio show that in spite of having his hands full with Top Gear USA and Formula Drift he will do the full European Rally Cross 2011 schedule!
That’s at least three jobs if you don’t count stunt driving and other TV shows he may be doing. Ladies and Gentlemen it’s official: Tanner Foust is Jamaican… (I can make that joke because I am too so save your angry emails!). More on this as it develops!
Our buddy Bill Wood is working hard lately. He still does his radio show but now he is back to doing video as well! Check out his latest edition of “Things You Should Know This Week” full of tasty headlines about Tommy Kendall’s racing future and Tanner Foust’s 2011 plans. Check it out below!
I’m a bit late with this but I’ve finally gone through my photos from the Ken Block Gymkhana Invitational event last weekend and posted the gallery to the MotorworldHype Facebook page. If you didn’t hear by now Tanner Foust won in the AWD class while Dai Yoshihara won in the RWD class. Counting the X Games this is the second time in 2010 that Formula D drivers pretty much swept a non-drifting motorsport event! All in all the event I think was successful enough for Mr. Block to consider expanding his Gymkhana event into a full-on series. Rumor has it that he just may do that in the near future with a 6 event calendar. Stay tuned for the announcement on that. In the meantime check out our galleries at the links below:
In the latest trailer for Top Gear USA we get a short glimpse into what the three hosts will be hooning around in this year. I know the Top Gear UK purists have been giving the show a lot of flak but I have faith that the US version will actually be pretty good. Check out the trailer below to form your own opinion. Then you can tune into the History channel on November 21st for the premiere.
Vaughn Gittin Jr has parlayed his many years involvement in Formula Drift with Team Falken and his support from Ford Racing and Monster Energy Drink by winning the 2010 Formula Drift series championship! Dai was still in the running, especially since he out qualified Vaughn in the top 32 but an accident in his battle against Matt Field in the top 32 dashed all chances of Dai taking the title. At that point all Vaughn needed to do was advance out of the top 32 himself to lock in the title and that is exactly what he did when he defeated rookie Nikolay Konstantinov.
With the title battle over the matter of who would take the top spot at Irwindale became the new story. Justin Pawlak was on point all day as was Darren McNamara. Then there was new champion Vaughn Gittin and Tires.com Triple crown hopeful Tanner Foust to think about as well. In the end it came down to Tanner Foust vs Vaughn Gittin for first place. Not only was an Irwindale victory on the line but also the Tires.com Triple Crown. Vaughn was looking to nail the trifecta (Championship, Round 7 win, and Triple Crown) while Tanner wanted his first win of the season and was also hunting the $10k Triple Crown check himself.
Both drivers wanted it bad as the judges were forced to make them run one more time. However, the second time around Tanner Foust took it to the new champion to take the win and the crown.
Congrats to Vaughn Gittin on his 2010 title and to Tanner Foust on his Irwindale win and Triple Crown win. Also a big thanks to all that make up Formula Drift, the drivers, the teams, the staff, and the fans for making 2010 one of the most exciting years for Drifting ever.
P.S. stay tuned to SEMA for some big announcements regarding Formula Drift and a few drivers/teams. To see pics of the Formula Drift round 7 weekend check out our Facebook gallery.
So, a long time ago I tried to get audience tickets to Carson Daly’s talk show. I know what you’re thinking but shut up! Hes funny and non threatening ok?! Anyway, ever since then I keep getting emails from some company called “On Camera Audiences” for tickets to different tv shows and filmed concerts. None of them have been Conan O’ Brien so I ignored those emails for the most part. That is, until late last night when the subject of their latest email said “Top Gear”!
At first I thought it was for the UK version since Jezza and the gang have been seen in the states recently flogging a trio of super cars but after reading the email I realized that they’re giving away audience tickets for History Channel’s Top Gear USA. Besides info on how to possibly get tickets they also mentioned the exact location of the first shoot: El Toro Airfield in Irvine, CA. Exactly where they shot the “lost pilot” of the NBC version featuring Adam Corolla.
According to “On Camera Audiences” the Top Gear crew will be at El Toro from October 13th through the 20th filming the audience sequences. If you want your shot at tickets then I suggest you check out On Camera Audiences right now. Tickets for Saturday October 16th, and Sunday October 17th are already full so act fast!
And well if you don’t get tickets but just want to haunt the shoot the exact address of where the episode will be filmed is :
El Toro Marine Corps Air Station
6890 Marine Way
Irvine, C A 92618-1722
But if security tases you and drags you off, we had nothing to do with it ok?
Vaughn Gittin Jr. extended his points lead over Dai Yoshihara over the weekend by earing a “W” in Sonoma. He had to battle his Drift Alliance brother Ryan Tuerck for the victory (Tuerck defeated Dai Yoshihara in the Great 8). Tanner Foust rounded out the podium with a third place victory. Next up is the very last round at “The House of Drift” Irwindale Speedway in California. Something catastrophic needs to happen in order for Dai to pass Vaughn and take the title, but with the unpredictability of drifting I wouldn’t rule that out!
In 2007 Tanner Foust earned the nick name “Golden Child” by winning X Games Rally gold and winning the Formula Drift championship all in the same year. Since then hes had some significant success (he followed up his ’07 Formula Drift championship with another in ’08) but this year Tanner is in position to raise the bar for himself yet again by winning two gold medals at X Games 16. The first in head to head rally racing then again in the 4 car mayhem known as “Super Rally”.
Head to head rally racing could only be described as chaotic. Things were shaping up ok but after Friday’s practice many of the rally drivers felt that the course design was too tight. This left the drivers meeting with track officials Saturday morning about possibly re-configuring the course lay out. The driver’s got their wish and the course was changed but by the time the changes were complete there was no time for the drivers to practice on the new configuration. To add to the tension the drivers were feeling from no practice time was the red-flag rule hanging over their heads. In short the red-flag rule states that if a driver deviates from the designated course they will instantly be “red flagged” and if you get red flagged it is an automatic disqualification from that heat.
This combination resulted in nearly every heads up rally racing heat ending with a red flag disqualification. Including the final battle between Tanner Foust and fellow Rockstar Energy/Ford Racing driver Brian Deegan. You can watch their battle below.
After the pandemonium of head to head rally racing was over it was time for the event that everyone was waiting for: the 4 car tandem “Super Rally”. In the Super Rally race 4 cars at a time all race against each other in a 4 lap heat. To mix things up each driver is required to use the “Joker Lane.” The Joker Lane is a slightly longer path through the course that included the massive gap jump. The tricky part about this was that the drivers could choose when they wanted to take the Joker lane. Since no one knew what driver would take the Joker lane at what time no one knew what to expect or when to expect it!
After four heats the final was dominated by professional drivers as Verdier, Foust, and Hubinette all lined up against the only non-drifter Brian Deegan. You can see how the final Super Rally battle played out below:
With Formula D drivers dominating the X Games rally, could this mean we might see more action sports and rally drivers like Ken Block and Travis Pastrana take up drifting to improve their skill set? Probably not, but it would be interesting to see!
All in all despite the confusion during the head to head rally racing Super Rally more than made up for everything and definitely looks like the sport could have a BIG future on American soil.
Saturday was the second day and final day of X Games rally competition. Practice was over and there was no more warm ups. On this day every run counted. The pressure was definitely on each driver to get everything right so they could continue to advance. If the pressure of competition wasn’t enough there was another factor that added to the tension. The officials changed the layout of the track before competition began. The story we heard from various sources was that the original layout was too disconcerting to the drivers. As such, the officials changed the layout. However once the course was changed the drivers had little to no time to practice the new configuration. Then came news that if any driver deviated from the set course they would be red flagged and automatically DQ’d!
There was definitely a lot of drama throughout the rally racing and especially in the Super Rally Final. There will be more posts on all of that later. In the meantime check out some pictures from day 2 below and even more pictures in our GALLERY.