The first press day of the LA Auto Show was long, and draining (but worth it) so it was really nice for Recaro to invite me to their reception event just down the street from the convention center at the J Lounge for a little R&R. There was no specific reason why Recaro decided to throw a party besides just wanting to celebrate their 106 years of existence and various OEM partnerships (GM, Ford, etc.) as such the wine flowed like a river and there were various tasty treats on hand. Oh yeah; there was also a small fleet of bad ass cars as well as industry celebrities like Ken Block and Tanner Foust.
Despite the clout that Foust and Block have, the real guests of honor of the evening were Jeremy Foley and Yuri Kouznetsov. If those names don’t sound familiar to you, just type them into the YouTube search bar and the results will return one of the most watched crash videos in recent history. It was Jeremy Foley and Yuri Kouznetsov who were passengers in the horrible Evo crash at this year’s Pikes Peak Hill Climb when their car slid off the cliff at the turn known as the “Devil’s Playground”
Miraculously both drivers walked away from the accident with little to no injury. They credit their survival to all the safety equipment in the car namely the roll cage and the Recaro seats that kept both driver and co-driver secure as their car tumbled down the cliff. The mangled remains of their race car was actually on display at the event and last night was actually the first time the car has been put on exhibition since that fateful day. If you look closely at the pictures of the wreckage you’ll see that not only is the roll cage still in relatively good shape, but the driver seat is still in its proper position while the passenger seat has barely moved.
If any one of you out there have asked yourself why Recaro seats seem to be so much more expensive than other brands, this is your answer! I want to thank Recaro and The ID Agency for the invite to the reception. I had a great time and meeting Jeremy and Yuri was inspirational! For pictures just click the thumbnails below. You will eventually get to the wreckage shots!
If you want to see footage of the crash for yourself, you can watch it below. I should warn you though it is a bit hard to watch. Yes both drivers made it out alive and unhurt, but watching a car tumble down a cliff like this knowing that there are humans inside of it, makes it a bit disturbing! I leave the choice to you!
For the second season in a row Tanner Foust AKA “Foxy” AKA “The Golden Child” AKA “Racerboy” AKA “slightly effeminate tv show co-host” has won the Global Rallycross Championship. He had a close points battle for the first half of the season with Marcus Gronholm until Marcus had an unfortunate accident at X Games this summer. With his biggest competition taking some much needed R&R Tanner took advantage of the opportunity and rose to the top of the points until he finally solidified his 2012 title by winning the final event in Las Vegas. Congrats Tanner!
TANNER FOUST WINS GLOBAL RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE
YEAR-END WIN CAPS SUCCESSFUL RACING SEASON
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (November 1, 2012) - Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust successfully defended his Global Rallycross Championship title with a win at the season finale held Tuesday in Las Vegas.
“This was a whole team effort,” said Foust after the race. “The Global Rallycross Championship was very competitive and it is a credit to the strength of the Ford Fiesta that we were able to bring home this championship and the manufacturer’s title again in 2012.”
Racing took place under the lights on a purpose-built rallycross course constructed at the Convention Center in downtown Las Vegas, where the automotive industry is gathered this week for the world-famous Specialty Market Equipment Association (SEMA) show.
The course featured a 30 per cent to 70 per cent mix of dirt and tarmac more similar to the traditional tracks Foust has faced in two strong European Rallycross Championship seasons. For this round, the traditional 70′ gap jump was constructed from dirt, adding a crowning touch to what many considered a true driver’s course.
“It was awesome to have this race at SEMA,” said Foust. “We finally got to show the core group of professionals in the automotive industry what the rallycross hype is all about.”
The title fight came down to a tight contest between Foust and his teammate Brian Deegan. The two have traded split-seconds in competition before. In 2010, Foust won the two gold medals for rally car racing competition at X Games, while Deegan earned a pair of silvers. They swapped positions in 2011.
Foust’s overseas competition experience played to his benefit in Las Vegas. He has run full rallycross campaigns in both Europe and the United States for the past two years. He had a pair of wins and took third place overall in the European Rallycross Championship this season – despite having to miss three rounds due to scheduling conflicts.
In Las Vegas on Tuesday, Foust won both of his heat races to bypass the Last Chance Qualifier and advance directly to the Final. After an exciting battle with fellow Ford driver Ken Block, Foust took the lead with one lap to go. But his championship bid was momentarily denied when Block’s Fiesta caught fire, prompting a red flag and race restart. In the re-run of the Final, a determined Foust led from start to finish, fending off a capable challenge from teammate Deegan.
“I could hear the crashing behind me as I led through the first corner and I knew there was a battle going on,” said Foust. “But I never saw another car out there.”
It was the second 2012 win for Foust in the six-round championship. He stood on the top step of the podium a month ago in Las Vegas. He was the only repeat winner in the field on Tuesday. Foust also scored the Discount Tire America’s Tire Cup. A trophy and prize purse of $25,000 were awarded to the driver who earned the top points tally in three select events in the six-round series: Texas, New Hampshire, and Las Vegas.
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 and changing track and surface conditions that can include dirt, gravel, and wet and dry tarmac.
During the Summer X Games, Hot Wheels, Tanner Foust, and Greg Tracy made history when they successfully pulled off the “Double Loop Dare” on a 60ft diameter Hot Wheels loop track (complete with jump at the end). Even though both Tanner and Greg are used to facing danger every day (both guys are stunt drivers) there was still no way that Hot Wheels was going to send two human beings into this stunt without some hard data and testing first; But how do you test something like this? With a full-size robot R/C car that’s how!
The engineers stripped down what looks to be a Mitsubishi Lancer wagon and equipped it with the same suspension set up and settings as the stunt cars that would be driven by Tanner and Greg. Then they rigged up the car to be driven remotely and handed said remote to a highly experienced military drone pilot whose identity is classified. Serious stuff! So how did the test go? See for yourself below.
These days Tanner Foust is a pretty well known guy in gear head circles and even a little beyond that. He gets recognized on the streets, signs autographs, and rumor has it has done well enough to buy himself a few toys. I knew him back when he was drifting a humble 240SX for McKinney Motorsports back in the early years of Formula Drift. He has definitely come a long way since those days and deservedly so. If there is one thing about Tanner that has never changed since the early days is that he always has a lot of F’ing jobs. If I did not know what he looked like and someone told me about all the jobs he had I would think he was Jamaican (note: I am Jamaican, I can make that joke).
If he is not hosting Top Gear USA, he is racing rally cross on the other side of the planet, if he is not doing that then he is stunt driving for a Hollywood blockbuster, if not that he is risking his life for the sake of the challenge. “Busy” is a major understatement when it comes to Mr. Foust. So, to help his fans get some inside perspective on Tanner’s career, he got together with Rockstar Energy Drink to produce a web series called “Life In The Foust Lane”. In this series cameras follow Foust on all his adventures and all the while we get some insight from the man himself about what he is up to.
In this first episode Tanner takes us behind the scenes of his role in Ford’s Octane Academy, we also learn his philosophy on rental cars and their abuse therein. It is a pretty entertaining way to spend eight and half minutes! Watch for yourself below.
We were a bit behind the 8 Ball this year on our X Games coverage due to extremely difficult media conditions but we were still able to bring you a few nice shots of the action that took place on the streets of LA over the weekend. In case you live in a cave on another planet, you probaby already know that WRC-hero Sebastien Loeb won X Games gold with the Gymkhana Master Ken Block grabbing silver and last year’s winner Brian Deegan grabbing bronze. Shooting conditions aside, it was a great show and I think it helped expose even more people to Rally racing. Here is hoping that things get even better next year. Now hit up our Facebook page to see our gallery of shots!
One of the biggest stories of X Games 18 Rally X so far is the horrible crash that happend to Toomas Heikkinen on Friday. The young driver went too slow on the ramp, thus shorting the 50ft gap jump and running head-on into the other side. The incident caused a big stir and the rumor around the Rally paddock was that all the drivers who came over from Europe banded together and told X Games rally officials that they would refuse to drive unless jump was changed from a gap to a table top style jump. Wether the rumor is true or not the jump was in fact changed yesterday. I decided to haunt the paddock and talk to as many drivers as I could to see what they really thought of the jump modification. The result was a mix-bag of opinions, all of which you can see below.
It should be noted that after the change to the jump was completed practice went underway late Saturday and during the session Marcus Gronholm suffered a crash into a barrier just after successfully completing the jump. Marcus hit the barrier so hard that he was knocked unconcious. However reports are that he is now awake and under observation in a local hospital.
Yesterday I made the arduous trek to downtown Los Angeles to pick up my credentials for X Games 18 this weekend. When I got there I saw two things that caught my interest. The first being a giant life-sized bright orange Hot Wheels looped track and the second was a very jet-lagged Tanner Foust who was fresh off a short break from his European Rallycross tour. I knew somewhere between the two was an interview. Since the Hot Wheels track is an inanimate object and likely would not talk back, I decided to interview Tanner instead. I talked to him about his progress in Europe, what possessed him to try this crazy Hot Wheels stunt, and what will be on his mind going into the Rallycross race this weekend at X Games. Watch below!
Mother’s Day, the release of the Avengers, the Indy 500, and my birthday all happen in the only three lettered month of the year which make’s May very, important. Today Turn 10 Studios just gave us another reason to look forward to next month as that is when the Top Gear DLC pack will be released on Xbox live! Cool right?! Unfortunately there are no two-engined limos or amphibious RVs in the 10 car pack but we do get the hopelessly fast Hennesy Venom GT and the immense awesomness of the Ford Transit Van! Yes the transit is finally coming to Forza! Can you imagine playing Top Gear soccer with that? You won’t have to imagine much longer as the Top Gear pack comes out on May 1st for 560 Microsoft Points AKA 7 bucks. Scroll below for the full car list and official trailer
While at X Games 17 this weekend we went out of our way to annoy Top Gear USA Tanner Foust until he agreed to grant us a short interview. During which we got him to weigh in on the possibility of Rally Cross becoming more popular than drifting. He also surprised us at the end by mentioning that he is putting fourth an effort to make it into an Indy Car race before the end of the season. Some digging was done after the interview and it looks like he may be trying to put together a one-off drive for the Las Vegas Indy Car race. Scroll down to check out the full interview.
X Games 17 Rally has come and gone but we were on site to bring you as much of the action as possible. We are starting off by answering the question “What do the rally cars do the night before X Games?” The answer: They jump! A special jump session was set up to test out the 50 foot gap jump made entirely from dirt and gravel. We were there to take a few shots and we even compiled a short video of all the jump action. You can see a few pics and the video below. For a full photo gallery just visit our Facebook fan page.