Tanner Foust signs multi-year racing deal with Ford

Tanner Foust Ford Fiesta jump – Click above for high-res version

Tanner Foust has carved out a place for himself in motorsports lore as a preternaturally talented drifter and rally racer. Partnered with Ford, Foust has raced in both the European RallyCross Championship and the brand-new Global RallyCross Championship, and dominated ESPN's X-Games. Now, Foust has made the partnership last by signing a multi-year contract to drive for Ford.

Foust's new long-term deal has him at the wheel of his familiar Rockstar Energy-sponsored 2011 Ford Fiesta in both the European RallyCross Championship and the inaugural season of the Global RallyCross Championship. Foust is also headed to X-Games 17 in July to defend his double gold-medal run from last year and his title as the most-decorated rally driver in X-Games history.

As well as his role as Ford's RallyCross and X-Games pilot, Foust is bringing his talent and fame along to help launch the 2012 Ford Focus ST, Dearborn's upcoming 2.0-liter EcoBoost-powered hot hatch.

Tanner Foust Ford Fiesta jump
Tanner Foust Ford Fiesta jump
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[Source: Ford]
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Action sports star to race multiple platforms while representing Ford Racing and Rockstar

DEARBORN, Mich. – April 15, 2011 – Over the last few years at X Games, two things have been a constant at the top of the podium – Ford Fiesta and Tanner Foust. And neither plans on that changing anytime soon.

The winningest rally driver in X Games history has chosen to ensure he'll be in a Ford for many years to come. Tanner Foust announced a multi-year partnership with Ford Racing today to represent the 'Blue Oval' in the Global RallyCross Championship (GRC), European RallyCross Championship (ERC) and at X Games 17 in Los Angeles.

Tanner Foust has carved a unique niche for himself in the world of action motor sports, showcasing the skills that have made him a three time gold medalist at X Games as well as a champion drifter and rally driver. He balances an ever expanding broadcast career that has seen him host various programs on SPEED Channel and now serve as co-host of the critically acclaimed Top Gear USA on the History Channel.

Foust first drove the Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta at X Games in 2009, in what proved to be a turning point in his career. His experience with the Fiesta and his 2010 exposure to a limited European RallyCross schedule has turned his focus to RallyCross fulltime in 2011. He will run a full ten event ERC schedule as well as the inaugural four event GRC.

"There is no doubt that Ford is on fire right now with its complete line-up of cars and trucks," said Foust. "Internationally small cars with 2-liter engines are considered affordable sports cars as opposed to the perception we have in in the United States that cars like the Fiesta only get great fuel economy. RallyCross and X Games are a great showcase of the performance capabilities of these platforms. For Ford this is nothing new as they have been at the top of the racing world in compact cars since the early 70s."

Foust spent several years as a child in Scotland where he discovered rally racing and learned to drive on the country roads near his home. He returned to the US and went into a pre-med track at the University of Colorado, earning a biology degree. He spent his summers at the track, trading seat time in racecars for mechanic work and driver coaching jobs. After college, he began working as an ice driving coach, an instructor at automotive marketing events and competing in anything he could, including rally and drifting. He made the transition to full time racing in 1996 and has split his time between Formula Drift, Rally America and now RallyCross. He moved to California to begin stunt driving for Hollywood films such as the Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Dukes of Hazzard, in the Bourne Ultimatum, Iron Man 2 and in the upcoming Red Dawn.

"Tanner brings that rare combination of skills and experience honed in racing, winning championships, stunt driving and getting most out of everything from supercars to subcompact cars as part of his TV shows. He is one of the most versatile drivers competing anywhere today," said Jamie Allison director Ford North America Motorsports. "I have known Tanner for a few years and his involvement with Ford Racing in our action sports program allows us to connect with a new generation of enthusiasts who are growing up on actions sports."
Foust impact spans from racing to broadcast TV channels to Rockstar Energy Drink and Etnies, two very influential lifestyle brands aimed at millennials. All of which, when combined, provide unique promotional opportunities.

While Foust will compete primarily in a Fiesta, he was involved in the launch of the 2012 Ford Focus as part of Ford's Global Focus Test Drive and will support upcoming launch of the 2012 Focus ST, the EcoBoost turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder version of the Focus due later this year.

"The automobile has always been part of pop culture, but it could be said that the passion kids have for cars today isn't what it once was," said Foust. "I am excited to work with Ford especially on development projects like the Focus ST that are designed to put the fun back into driving. Driving for me is simply the most fun thing I do. Together with Ford we're going to help define what fun to drive truly means – on the track and off."

Foust is exploring opportunities outside of his global RallyCross program including opportunities in off road truck and sports car endurance racing.

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