Empire State Performance Rally is currently the only Tarmac event…
Vitals: Born: June 13, 1973 // Hometown: Dana Point, CA
2015 Team: #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle
2014 Results: It was an up-and-down year for Foust, with the negatives outweighing the positives early on. Missing the finals in Barbados and at X Games put Foust behind the 8 ball in the championship, and a freak engine issue took away much of his track time in Washington DC. The highlights of the year were a record-tying fifth career win in New York and debuting the Beetle in Los Angeles.
What’s New in 2015: This year’s Beetle will see a jump in horsepower, part of the switch from a 1.6-liter engine to the larger 2.0-liter powerplant. Aside from that, the key difference for Foust is that he’ll start the season with the Beetle instead of using the rented Polo for much of the year.
Strengths: The Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross squad led all Red Bull GRC teams in victories last year with four—and they took each of those victories in the Polo, to boot. That’s an impressive statistic no matter how you look at it, and it suggests that the Beetle, a much better car according to both Foust and teammate Scott Speed, could be a world-beater over a full season.
What To Watch For: Last season was a disastrous one for Foust, as he was stuck playing catch-up in the championship all season long. It led to some aggressive driving and some risks that didn’t quite pay off. The onus will be on the two-time Supercar champion to start the season a little stronger to prevent a similar situation.
Outlook: It would be foolish to underestimate Foust’s potential to win a third career title. But will his motivation to make up for last year channel itself into more mistakes, or the most focused and impressive driving of his career?
Photo credit: Larry Chen