I had the pleasure of meeting Tanner Foust and his modded Ford Fiesta a day before the finale of the Global RallyCross Championship in Colorado Springs (a few weeks ago).
Tanner was very personable and spent a significant amount of time telling me (as well as other fans) about the Rockstar Fiesta and his racing experience. To my surprise, Tanner attended and graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in biology… he’s not a Colorado native, but he may as well be given how much time he spent in the Centennial state.
Contrary to what you may have expected, Ford isn’t involved much (or at all) in Tanner’s racing the three-door Fiesta, which costs approximately two million bucks to maintain over the course of a year. Fortunately, Rockstar and Etnies swooped in to make the Fiesta a reality and bring it to the racing circuit. And speaking of the Fiesta… it’s driven by all four wheels and makes north of 650 horsepower from a 2.0 liter four-banger pushing greater than 40 pounds of turbo boost. In other words, it’s a Fiesta in name alone… and has no mechanical resemblance to the production-spec Fiesta that one can buy in dealerships today.
The day after our brief meetup, Tanner went on to take first place in the Last Chance finale of the GRC. Unfortunately, race officials retroactively stripped him of the victory two days after, stating that he was bumped off the track by a competitor prior to crossing the finish line, slapping Tanner with a DNF… to which he released a statement as follows:
“I am incredibly disappointed in the Global Rally Championship’s decision to DNF the Rockstar Fiesta two days after confirming our second-place finish. The GRC is breaking new grounds in automotive racing with this ruling stating, that essentially, competitors can DNF the car in front of them by pushing them off the track over the final stretch before the finish line. It is unsafe and displays a complete lack of understanding of automotive racing from a steward in his first weekend in the sport. In 16 years of racing, I’ve never disagreed with a racing organization’s call more. What it does mean is that I’ll have to push hard at X Games if we’re going to keep the GRC win from going to the flying Finn Marcus Gronholm.”
The Motrolix Take
All in all, it was awesome meeting Tanner… better luck next year! And let’s hope that The Blue Oval will involve itself more in RallyCross racing (in sponsorship and racing R&D) in the years to come.