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LOS ANGELES -- The Ford Fiesta is a small car that doesn’t compromise on features and fun to drive performance. It’s also the car that hasn’t compromised at X Games the last two years, winning six of a possible nine medals, including three gold medals, and sweeping the rally competition at X Games 16.
The ROCKSTAR driver duo of Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan formed a prolific one-two punch that dominated the rally competition, claiming gold and silver medals in the Rally Car Racing and SuperRally events.
Foust, the number one qualifier in Rally Car Racing, established himself early as the car to beat as he rolled to X Games gold. He faced his toughest competition in the all-Ford final of Rally Car Racing when he took on his ROCKSTAR Fiesta teammate Deegan.
In SuperRally, Foust used his European RallyCross experience to easily win the two heats that gave him his second gold medal. His closest competition came again from Deegan, who led Foust at the start of the SuperRally Final, only to slip to second when Foust held the inside line into the treacherous first turn. Once in the lead, the ROCKSTAR Fiesta of Foust checked out and cruised to victory.
“I was concerned coming into the X Games because, even though I have won a medal every year I have competed, the trend has been going the wrong way and last year it was a bronze. I didn’t want to leave here without a medal,” said Foust, who previously won the 2007 X Games rally competition. “I have thought about the mistake that cost me a gold at X Games 15 last year and I knew that in this competition you have to eliminate mistakes to win. Our Fiesta is so good that driver mistakes are what kills you. This is a great day for ROCKSTAR and the Ford Fiesta. I am glad we were able to defend the gold and show again just how great a car the Fiesta is. I spent a lot of time in Europe driving the Fiesta in European RallyCross just to be ready for this event and it paid off in a win for everyone involved.”
Deegan, who qualified eleventh for Rally Car Racing after clipping the Turn 1 wall, defeated a higher seed in every round of Rally Car Racing competition, taking out some of the biggest names in North America rally. Included among his vanquished opponents was his Fiesta teammate Ken Block in round one, Travis Pastrana in a quarter-final match-up, and eventual bronze medal winner Andrew Comrie-Picard in the semifinals.
In the SuperRally final, Deegan pulled away from Foust on the wild start, but he just couldn’t get the clearance needed to claim in the inside line. Deegan ran a strong SuperRally Final, but he was forced to settle for silver.
“While I wish they were gold, I am pretty stoked with the silver medals,” said Deegan who now has 12 medals in X Games competition. “The SuperRally was really in my element with the door to door racing. I have spent a lot of time perfecting my craft in my Ford truck in the Lucas Oil Off Road Series and that experience certainly paid off in the SuperRally. I worked hard for these medals. I built a full size replica of the course in my front yard at the ‘Metal Mulisha’ compound and I got a couple of full days of testing in the Fiesta. That experience was phenomenal and I learned a lot which really helped today. This is great for ROCKSTAR and Ford and I hope I can do more rally racing and keep driving this Fiesta because it is a remarkable car.”
If your name was Ken, it was a tough day at X Games for the other two Fiestas of Ford Racing. Ken Block and the Monster World Rally Team narrowly lost a first round match-up with Deegan in Rally Car Racing, with the difference simply being the Big Jump. In the SuperRally event, Block finished second in his first heat and had to go through a run-off for a slot in the finals. Block dominated the run-off race, leading for three and a half laps of the four-lap sprint, but damage incurred on the 70 foot ‘Joker Jump’ cost Block the race and a shot at the SuperRally finals.”
“It’s not how we envisioned the day going, but in rally anything can happen,” said Block. “I am happy for Tanner and Brian and once again the Fiesta showed itself at X Games.”
Kenny Brack, the defending X Games champ, failed to repeat when his Olsberg MSE Fiesta clipped a barrier and damaged the drive shaft in Rally Car Racing event. In SuperRally, Brack was door to door with Deegan while fighting for the lead, but the 1999 Indy 500 champ clipped a concrete barrier and sustained suspension damage.
“It was a tough day, but I have no one to blame but myself,” said Brack. “It was a lot of fun and I am glad I got a chance to come back and defend my gold medal. The Fiesta was the car to beat as Tanner and Brian showed. Maybe next time it will be different.”
The golds are Foust’s fourth and fifth rally medals, and the two slivers bring Deegan’s total to 12 medals in X Games competition.
“It is awesome to see Fiesta win and repeat at X Games with Rally gold while facing tough competitors in Subaru and Mitsubishi,” said Jamie Allison, director of Ford North America Motorsports. “This win is a testament to the outstanding Fiesta platform that has won three golds, two silvers and a bronze medal in less than a year, as well as to the great Ford drivers and to the teams who brought home the victory.”