Click here to visit the Motorsports page for all the latest news and information.
LAS VEGAS – With a dominant victory in the Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) finale, Fiesta driver Tanner Foust took home his second consecutive GRC Driver's Championship on a special course built across the street from the annual SEMA Show.
Foust helped seal his title by taking a win in the first and second round of heats, which set him up in the No. 2 starting position for the main event. Fellow Ford driver Ken Block was off the line first in the main event and led until the eighth of 10 laps, when Foust took the inside corner on turn one to take the lead. Block then parked his car just before taking the jump after his car caught on fire, and the field was forced to take a full restart.
“The final race was very long at 16 laps,” said Foust. “The first eight laps I was second, after Ken had a great start, and it was honestly so cool to be behind him with flames popping out of the exhaust. I kept closing the gap and went bumper to bumper over the jump. It was just so committed and intense. He went a bit wide on one of the very last laps of the race, so I was able to get by him and then he caught on fire.”
Block was forced out of the competition with a mechanical issue. A problem with the exhaust joints melted the small plastic breather pipe in the transmission tunnel. The oil vapor blew back into the transmission tunnel and generated smoke, which caused Block to exit the car before it caught on fire.
On the eight-lap restart, the battle was between Fiesta teammates Foust and Brian Deegan. Foust was the first off the line and held off the field with a strong run. The Rockstar Energy / Etnies Olsbergs MSE Fiesta took the win for a second consecutive race.
“The restart came down to having the strongest start and keeping it clean,” said Foust. “I had a little bit of concern that the tires were going to go away after 16 laps. Fundamentally, when you get the car set up right, the tires last that much longer. All the changes the Olsbergs MSE team made on the Fiesta were right and enabled me to take the win. It was a lot of pressure but it felt good being able to pull through with my second consecutive driver championship in GRC.”
Foust proved dominant this season, earning two victories and four podium finishes in six events. The Fiesta driver earned a bonus at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last month, clinching the Discount Tire/America Tire’s Cup after winning the fifth round of the series. Foust was a top qualifier throughout the year and also invested time in the development of the series, providing direction with various jumps and guidance to Fiesta teammates.
‘It has been such a great year in the Fiesta,” said Foust. “The Ford driver lineup was so strong, which makes winning the manufacturer’s championship in GRC just that much better.”
Deegan finished second in points, just 10 points behind his Olsbergs MSE teammate. Deegan started the season off with a mechanical issue in the first round, but made an epic comeback with three third-place and two-second place finishes. The dirt course at the SEMA event was perfect for the decorated off-road racing driver. Deegan had a mechanical issue in the heats which forced him into the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) which he dominated with ease.
“A lot of times in my career, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs and I just came through the toughest spot out there,” said Deegan. “I was hit in the second heat which caused a flat tire and put me in the LCQ. I knew I just needed a good start, but the problem is that these cars have a time limit since they get so hot. I was really hoping my car didn’t break but went right back out after LCQ win and took the joker on the first lap, which was a bad move. I wasn’t doing well, in fifth or sixth, when they called for a complete restart, which was the perfect situation for me. On the start, they put me in a worse position, but I knew I just had to go for it. When I saw everyone braking, I kept my foot on the gas and was able to catch up to Tanner after running long for two laps. I applied pressure, but Tanner held on for the win and survived the past two races. He won the championship, I ended up second and it was a Ford 1-2, so it was not a bad day.”
In addition to the 1-2 finish in the driver's championship with Foust and Deegan, four other Fiesta drivers saw success in this GRC season.
There was at least one Fiesta on the podium at every GRC race. Ken Block took Silver at X Games, while Marcus Gronholm took victories at the first three rounds of the series before being injured. Toomas Heikkinen and David Binks showed solid performances, adding to Olsbergs MSE obtaining the most team points with a five-car line up.
Final Championship Results:
1. Tanner Foust, #34 Ford, 94 points
2. Brian Deegan, #38 Ford, 84
3. Samuel Hubinette, #77 Saab, 63
4. Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai, 63
5. Ken Block, #43 Ford, 58
6. Stephan Verdier, #12 Hyundai, 52
7. David Binks, #17 Ford, 45
8. Marcus Gronholm, #3 Ford, 43
9. Travis Pastrana, #199 Dodge, 41
10. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru, 40
11. Andy Scott, #26 Saab, 38
12. Dave Mirra, #40 Subaru, 35
13. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru, 35
14. Toomas Heikkinen, #57 Ford, 33
15. Liam Doran, #33 Citroen, 30
16. Pat Moro, #59 Subaru, 22
17. Sebastien Loeb, #72 Citroen, 21
18. Bryce Menzies, #99 Dodge, 12
19. David Higgins, #75 Subaru, 9
20. Andreas Eriksson, #3 Ford, 8
Fiesta Success in the 2012 Global Rallycross Championship
• 1-2 Fiesta finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Marcus Gronholm and Tanner Foust
• Fiesta Sweep at Texas Motor Speedway with Marcus Gronholm, Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan
• Silver and Bronze at X Games with Ken Block and Brian Deegan
• Third place podium finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with Brian Deegan
• 1-2 Fiesta finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan
• 1-2 Fiesta finish at SEMA, in Las Vegas, with Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan
• Tanner Foust clinched second consecutive GRC Championship, followed by Brian Deegan.
• Ford clinched second consecutive GRC Manufacturer’s Championship with four first place finishes and 12 podium appearances.