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ST.PETERSBURG, Unites States - This past weekend, Eric Foss, driver of the St Jude’s/Traxxas/SPX 2008 Ford Mustang FR500S in the World Challenge GTS Series, held off the competition to win Sunday’s event in St. Petersburg. Foss, who had never sat behind the wheel of a race-ready Mustang before last Friday, ended the weekend at the top of the point standings.
Q. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR RACE WIN IN ST. PETERSBURG THIS PAST WEEKEND?
A. The Mustang that I’m driving was bought at Barrett Jackson with all proceeds going towards St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We’re actually racing to benefit the hospital. People can go to www.traxxas.com/childrenfirst and pledge towards laps led, races won and all of that goes directly to the Hospital. That’s really the cause that we’ll be racing for all year. Capaldi Racing is the team working on the car. They had two weeks to prepare the Mustang. This was kind of a last minute deal. Friday was the first day we were on track and my first time ever driving a race-ready Mustang. We actually managed to qualify on the pole on Friday by nine tenths of a second, which is a pretty sizeable margin, and I think it’s just a testament of how great a job Capaldi Racing did putting the car and preparing the car for the weekend. Sunday I ended up starting fourth based on finish in Saturday’s race. I was chasing Paul Brown, who was driving a Mustang BOSS 302S and managed to pressure him a lot. We had a full course yellow and at the restart I was able to pass him through a lot of traffic and gain the lead and held off the 2010 series champion , the winningest driver in the World Challenge series, Peter Cunningham to take the win.
Q. THAT HAD TO FEEL GREAT. WHAT DOES THIS WIN MEAN TO YOU?
A. I ran the World Challenge Series in 2009 and it was my rookie season, so running the series in 2011 is just a great pleasure. Some of my experience has held out, but changing platforms to a Mustang was a little bit of learning curve. To be able to beat a former champion in the first race was great. I was obviously very excited and did some doughnuts at the end.
Q. HOW DOES THE MUSTANG COMPARE TO THE OTHER PLATFORMS YOU’VE DRIVEN IN THE PAST?
A. The thing that I was most amazed about the Mustang is the fact that it is a rear axle car but it is very neutral and very balanced. We have amazing weight capabilities on the car. We have to weigh more than our competitors and we’re still able to break through. The power of the Mustang is just amazing. It felt great. I kept smiling every time I hit the gas.
Q. DO YOU THINK YOU CAN CARRY THAT MOMENTUM ONTO THE NEXT EVENT AT LONG BEACH IN APRIL?
A. I’m excited to get to Long Beach. It’s another street course. For some reason I tend to favor street courses, so I’m really excited to get the Mustang over to Long Beach and really see what it’s capabilities are there. We do have to add 85 pounds on to the car because of winning the race. They have a rewards system that every car that finishes in the top three has to add weight in order to equalize the playing field. I don’t think that adding the weight should affect the car too much but we will see how it does. Once again, we’re learning more about the car every weekend and we will continue to grow. The more I drive the Mustang we will just continue to get faster and faster.