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Rally Cross is gaining a name for itself in America. After already finding a solid foothold in Europe, the second race in the series is scheduled to take place in Texas this weekend.
The first 2012 Global RallyCross Championship took place this past weekend, and the Ford race team took home the two top spots.
The American version of BBC’s Top Gear has released a video taken from the debut episode of the first season. This footage features a dramatic chase between a Dodge Viper SRT and a Cobra attack helicopter.
The challenge was for hosts Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood to take the Viper on a 10 mile round trip through Griffin, Georgia, all while being hunted by the Cobra. Just like a video game, the Viper had three lives to make it to the finish line. If the Cobra got close enough for the kill three times, game over. The Viper tries to outrun, outwit and out maneuver the Cobra – it even tries to hide out in a car wash and a cemetery in an effort to shake the Cobra off its tail.
We won’t give away anymore spoilers, you can watch it for yourself below.
Tanner Foust recently spent the day at Homestead-Miami Speedway, putting the new Ford Focus ST-R turnkey race car to the test. The Global RallyCross Champion and founding member of the Octane Academy, not to mention Top Gear television celebrity and former Formula Drift champion, came away impressed with what the Focus ST-R could do on the track.
The Focus ST-R is scheduled to make its racing debut at the upcoming Grand AM weekend at Daytona on January 26-27th in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. The ST-R is powered by a turbocharged 2.0L EcoBoost engine mated to a six-speed Getrag transmission. Unfortunately Ford hasn’t disclosed how much power the ST-R puts out, but based on the video it appears that the Focus will be quite impressive in its competition debut.
Check out the video after the break.
Ford fans, start your engines! Ford’s new TV series, Octane Academy, is coming to FUEL TV and its adrenaline-pumping challenges will get your motor revving.
This 13-episode original television series follows driving contestants of Octane Academy as they are put through the paces of a series of challenges while staying at four action sports camps. There will be three episodes for each of the camps and will begin airing in early 2012 on FUEL TV.
“We’re really excited to bring Ford’s Octane Academy to life in an exciting show that will feature quick cuts, comic relief and risk-taking scenarios that take both the pro drivers and everyday Joes out of their comfort zones in the name of entertainment,” said Peter Vesey, FUEL TV Vice President, Advertising Sales.
You can start watching Ford’s Octane Academy this November, which starts with the first camp hosted by Brian Deegan. Taking up the challenge of the academy will be 32 ultimate fans who get the chance to be behind the wheel of a sports car. These lucky contestants will be paired up with famous Ford action sports drivers, including Brian Deegan, Ken Block, Tanner Foust and Vaughn Gittin Jr. They’ll get to test out their driving skills using the F-150 SVT Raptor, Mustang and the Focus.
The race to get into Ford’s Octane Academy started this July and garnered more than 6,000 applications and 850 video submissions. The racing hopefuls had to explain why they have what it takes to survive a weekend of on- and off-road challenges. Out of those applicants, only 32 were picked to compete in the four camps that will be hosted over the course of the year. Eight contestants participate in each camp and have to battle it out with a battery of challenges and dares over one long weekend. Each of the Ford action sports drivers get to design their ultimate playground for the contestants, and give them a crash course in how to master the road while testing their attitudes, athleticism and audacity. Drivers who stand out move ahead and pick up prizes, and the overall winner of each camp will be awarded a new Ford vehicle of their choice.
Multi-talented driver Tanner Foust is looking for a new challenge in 2012, hoping to get himself behind the wheel of an Indy Car towards the end of this year. With a busy schedule of rally racing this year, Foust put aside the sport of drifting (where he is a two-time champion) this year and it looks like drifting will be without Foust for at least another year.
The interview with Foust was conducted at this past weekend’s X-Games 17 courtesy of MotorWorldHype and Foust looks determined to get an Indy Car ride for 2012. He did state that he would like to return to drifting down the road, saying that he misses the sport and the driving, but it’s a very good chance it won’t happen for 2012.
Check out the interview after the break.
With their team of star drivers behind them, Ford is launching the Octane Academy that will bring their ultimate fans face to face with their favorite action sports driver. The all-star cast of Ken Block, Tanner Foust, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Brian Deegan will be hosting four different camps throughout the year, one by each driver. At each camp, contestants that are selected through video submissions will get to go head-to-head in testing their driving skills.
Each driver will design their own playground, allowing participants to experience out-of-this-world driving lessons while being recorded for the Octane Academy series. And participants that compete to the level that each driver is satisfied with, will win prizes including an overall grand prize of a one-off vehicle created by each of the drivers.
Those interested in entering to possibly become a participant will need to do a video submission telling their story of why they think they have what it takes to survive in the crazy world of Ford’s top tier drivers. The first camp will be hosted by Deegan in November and will feature the theme of Ford RallyCross and Off-Road truck racing. Drivers will get to participate in a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. Those wanting to meet up with Block, will get to get behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta in probably a Gymkhana-themed academy. No doubt Gittin Jr. will get his participants amped up and behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang looking to go sideways. Lastly, Foust will be able to train his drivers in a Ford Focus with an X-Games inspired theme.
Check out a video announcing the Ford Octane Academy after the break.
Tanner Foust was able to add another win to his list after beating out Finnish rally driver Marcus Gronholm in the head-to-head SuperRally competition on Friday night at the Global RallyCross Pikes Peak finale. The Ford Fiesta driver opted to take a retirement from Formula Drift to conquer the Rally circuit and leading the Ford Fiesta sweep of the RallyCross Championship SuperRally was a great start to a weekend of racing.
Unfortunately for Foust, Saturday wouldn’t prove to be as successful. Hoping to overtake Gronholm right at the finish line, Foust had a run-in with Swedish driver Michael Jernberg. Insanity then ensued as race officials turned to replay videos to determine whether or not Foust and Jernberg crossed the finish line during their collision, which would have rewarded them with a wild second and third place finish. The officials determine however that neither Foust or Jernberg crossed the finish line and second place went to David Higgins while third place went to Stephen Verdier, another fellow Formula Drift driver.
Watch the video after the break to see the unfortunate, yet entertaining finish.
[Source: Motor Trend]
Despite pulling off the record-setting 332-foot jump during the Indy 500 flawlessly, Tanner Foust took several practice attempts in the custom Team Hot Wheels truck, one of which very nearly ended in disaster.
Taped for your enjoyment, the video highlights that Foust’s skill was put to the test each practice run. You’ll see some awesome footage of the truck getting as close as possible to flipping – we really can’t imagine how much closer you could get than this. This video just proves these jumps aren’t just a simple equation of physics and smashing the foot on the gas pedal.
Check out the video after the jump.
It may only have been a sideshow stunt to the main attraction at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but what a stunt it was. Team Hot Wheels had promised a world record attempt, sending a specially prepared Baja-like truck down a 90 foot ramp, shooting it out across a 332 foot void before landing on the other side. The result? Success, with the mystery “Yellow Driver” ripping down the track (built to look like the bright orange Hot Wheels toy track) getting enough speed to clear a good portion of the ramp on the other side.
In doing so Team Hot Wheels now lays claim to the world record jump for a vehicle, besting the previous record by 31 feet.
As for the mystery driver? He was revealed to be none other than rally car racer and drifter Tanner Foust, who also happens to be one of the hosts of American Top Gear. Were you expecting maybe the Stig?
GALLERY: Team Hot Wheels Record Setting Jump
Watch the video after the jump:
Ken Block and Tanner Foust are becoming household names in the world of motorsports, with Ken Block’s infamous Gymkhana videos and Tanner Foust being on every other automotive television show, rally race and former Formula Drift champion. Both are stars in their own way and both drivers have a cult fan following while campaigning their Ford Fiestas through motorsports mayhem.
This time around both Foust and Block (and their Fiestas) star in a promotional video for the upcoming DiRT 3 video game in a wicked, virtual gymkhana battle. And while DiRT 3′s Gymkhana mode has mostly been revolved around the presence of Ken Block, there’s no denying Foust’s presence after beating Block at the invitational Gymkhana Grid.
We’ll all be looking forward to campaigning either one of these awesome machines virtually on May 24th, when DiRT 3 is released.
Check out the video after the break.
One of the most highly anticipated sports events to be held in America this year is the 17th meeting of the X Games, and this years event will get an extra dose of excitement.
At this years event, which will be held in Los Angeles, CA. will feature a RallyCross circuit on the streets of LA. This course through downtown LA will be the first of its kind and will surely please the crowd.
It’s already got Tanner Foust all excited. The co-host of Top Gear America will be competing again this year and said, “Having RallyCross at last year’s X Games was a huge step for the sport, but racing through city streets is how motorsport began. Being in the car, ripping through streets, cranking the handbrake through intersections while door-to-door and jumping next to buildings is going to be truly epic! I can’t wait!”
The games main broadcaster, ESPN will be pulling out all the stops for the coverage of this event. They will cover 25 hours of events in high-definition and 18 hours of 3D coverage will also be provided.
The games will take place between July 28 – 31 and will be broadcasted in 121 countries.
In the most shocking drifting-related news we’ve heard thus far in 2011, Tanner Foust will be taking a temporary retirement from the world of American drifting, announcing today that Formula DRIFT will not be on his schedule of events to attend this year. This is after hearing rumors that the new Papadakis Racing Scion tC would be one of the craziest vehicles we’ll ever see in the Formula DRIFT series.
So with Tanner Foust leaving the driver seat, who will be filling his role? None other than 2010 Formula DRIFT’s Rookie of the Year, Fredric Aasbo. Aasbo, known for aggressively piloting a Toyota Supra, will be a great fit behind the wheel of a RWD Scion tC. Stephan Papadakis Racing will also be joining forces with Team Need for Speed with the newly built Scion tC.
“No offense to Papadakis, the team, the fans or the competitors, but the thing that I will miss the most about not drifting this year is that crazy NASCAR TRD V8-powered Rockstar Scion tC,” says Foust. “It’s been an amazing two years behind the wheel of the Rockstar Scion tC. Best of luck to Aasbo and the new Need For Speed Scion tC.”
We’ll keep our eyes out, as the two-time Formula DRIFT champion will surely be missed in the series. The good news is, we’ll be seeing plenty of Foust as his schedule of events include European Rally events, X-Games and his television responsibilities. Foust’s last competition in the Rockstar / Papadakis Racing Scion tC will be at the Formula DRIFT UAE on February 25th.
Two different press releases available after the break.
After taking the gold medal victory at the 2010 X Games in Super Rally, Tanner Foust took the top spot at the first ever U.S. Rallycross in his Rockstar Energy Drink / Etnies Ford Fiesta. His experience in European Rallycross has clearly paid off on American soil, not to mention his success competing in Formula Drift in the RWD Scion tC.
Even though this is the first official year that competition Rallycross has taken place in America, the idea and concept of bringing rally racing to America has been brewing for several years now. Mixing circuit racing with off-road racing and rally, all on a short course, Rallycross has everything a form of motorsports needs to be exciting: jumps, hills, turns, all in varying environments. Given Foust’s expertise in controlling a car sideways while drifting, rally wins is a nice complement to his back-to-back Formula Drift championships.
Look forward to two more Rallycross events at New Jersey Motorsports Park with the next one taking place on October 2-3rd, 2010.
Video and press release available after the break.
Formula Drift’s success has been overwhelming in America. Not only does the series do a great job ensuring the fans get the excitement they expect after paying the ticket price, but they do a fantastic job in taking care of their drivers, sponsors and race teams. Formula D’s TV show scheduling is about to begin on Versus and they have recently released the opening video segment that stars plenty of Formula Drift’s finest.
The intro video features coverage up to the Seattle event, and really does a good job capturing the excitement one would expect from drifting. The show will be offered in HD starting on August 30th and will air every Sunday for fourteen weeks for seven events. The time slots are 2:00PM EST, 11:00AM EST and each episode is re-aired each week following the initial airing.
More kudos to Formula Drift in teaming up with a successful television network to garner more fans and attention, keeping racers and sponsors happy around the nation.
Check out the video after the jump:
The madness which is the X-Games are soon to be upon us and one of our favorite Formula Drift racers, Tanner Foust, will be back behind the wheel of the Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta. A rendering has recently been shown off on Tanner’s personal website of a wicked Ford Fiesta ready to do some Rally-battling.
This year Tanner Foust will be competing in the Super Rally and Rally events at X-Games 16 that kicks off July 29th. He was a former gold medalist in 2007 and looks poised to reclaim that crown this year. Along with his normal sponsors of Rockstar Energy Drink, AEM, Lucas Oil, Alpinestars and MSE, Tanner’s rally car will be competing on BFGoodrich tires and welcomes Etnies on board. Tanner Foust and teammate Brian Deegan are Etnies’ first rally drivers and boy do they know how to pick ‘em.
We’re looking forward to the X-Games kicking off and AutoGuide will be sure to deliver updates with the results!
Although Diajiro Yoshihara is hardly a newcomer to the world of drifting, it was something of a surprise to see this series veteran take home the victory at Road Atlanta this past weekend given that he hadn’t won a Formula Drift event since 2007 and was driving a freshly built Discount Tire and Falken sponsored Nissan 240SX.
Making Dai’s win in Hotlanta even more impressive was his performance in the final pairing against current overall points leader Vaughn Gittin Jr. in his insanely powerful Ford Mustang GT.
The 2010 Formula Drift championship is shaping up to be the most competitive season yet, with Gittin and Yoshihara leading the standings, followed closely by three former series champions, Rhys Millen, Tanner Foust, and defending champ Chris Forsberg. The cream already appears to be rising to the top and the challenge ahead for Falken stablemates Gittin Jr. and Yoshihara is clearly a monumental one.
Still, drifting is an inherently unpredictable motorsport and with so many strong contenders among the top 32 drivers, it’s still anybody’s guess who will come out on top at season’s end. Conrad Grunewald finally finds himself in a competitive machine, the Atlanta crowd pleasing Hankook Tire sponsored Chevrolet Camaro, and after a strong weekend in the dirty south we expect to see him continue to rise through the ranks. Former champ Samuel Hubinette is also driving a new machine this year, the “love it or hate it” Dodge Challenger that seems to polarize drift fans just as strongly as his Dodge Viper and Charger did in previous years.
The quality of the drifting this season has been higher than ever too, exemplified by Tanner Foust’s amazing tail-first entry into a high speed lefthand turn at Road Atlanta, a track he’s always been among the fastest and most aggressive drivers at.
Check out the video after the jump.
Yesterday, a batch of journalists (excluding this one, I’m obviously not cool enough) attending the North American launch of the new Jaguar XJ sedan came upon an interesting roadblock in their pre-determined and very obvious drive route: Top Gear USA had shut down the famous Mulholland Highway and brought out some sports cars to play with. Clearly seen with special “Top Gear” license plates were a Genesis Coupe V6, 2011 Mustang V6, and a Porsche 911 C4S Cabriolet, along with a Mitsubishi Evo X that was apparently pulling camera-car duty. The tire marks in the pavement indicate that Mr. Foust, shown above, was clearly having fun that day, going round and round in circles of smoke, and looks tired, and the shoot appears to be the makings of a good, old-fashioned comparison test between the Mustang and Genesis Coupe.
We are a bit disappointed with their choice of locations, however. Top Gear, with all its money and resources, must be able to find a better, less trafficked, and less obvious road than Mulholland Highway, the best known enthusiast road in the country. Everyone shoots here, from Tanner himself a few months back, to Motor Trend, to this author’s own show, The Smoking Tire. Point being, it’s been done before, time and time again. We’ll reserve judgement until the show airs this Fall, but if the Top Gear boys want to impress, they are going to need to hire some better location scouts, stat. Check out the gallery of spy shots over at Jalopnik.
After a series of delays, The History Channel will finally launch an American version of the hit series Top Gear. Expected to premiere this fall, the series, produced in association with BBC Worldwide, will feature Formula D driver and X Games gold medalist Tanner Foust, alongside comedian Adam Ferrara and renowned NASCAR analyst Rutledge Wood. While the show is expected to follow the format of the original Top Gear, the addition of a NASCAR personality will add some American flavor to a quintessentially British product.
The first season of Top Gear USA is expected to premiere this Fall.
[Source: Top Gear]
Breaking into its seventh season, Formula DRIFT took to the Streets of Long Beach for its trademark season opener. This event is always a fan favorite being one of the only, if not the only, drift event that takes place on actual streets rather than a race track, course or parking lot. Many new cars made their debut at this event, some having great success while others clearly have a lot of bugs to figure out. American muscle prevailed however, as Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s new 2011 Falken Tire / Monster Energy Drink Mustang claimed the top podium spot with its debut.
Rhys Millen and his Red Bull Hyundai Genesis has clearly benefited from an off-season of thorough testing and upgrades as he finished up second place. Two-time champion Tanner Foust found himself in third with his Rockstar Energy Drink / AEM Scion tC. The threesome made for a colorful podium with three different brand of energy drinks being represented.
What made this event even more exciting was the debuts of several new drivers from all around the world seeing their first action in competitive American drifting. “With drivers from 13 nations and 12 current and former drifting champions, Formula Drift continues to grow drifting globally with the most diverse field of competitors than any other drifting series in the world,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula Drift.
Samuel Hübinette’s Dodge Challenger looks to have a few more bugs to work out, but his skill and expertise made sure he wasn’t far from a podium finish. Other new muscle cars included Conrad Grunewald in his Hankook Chevy Camaro and Tony Brakohiapa in the Sam’s Autoboy Ford Mustang. Noticeably missing, and without controversy, was Robbie Nishida’s Hankook Nissan GT-R and Eric O’Sullivan’s Subaru. Both were supposed to be big-name competitors and it must have been truly disappointing for both of these drivers flying over 10 hours to not see any competition.
Round Two of Formula Drift is scheduled to invade Road Atlanta on May 7-8th, 2010. We’ll be keeping a close eye on any testing during the break and will be sure to report on the second event of another exciting season of drifting.