Tanner Foust was left wondering what could have been in Barbados after setting the pace throughout most of the weekend in the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo, only for things to come unstuck in the semi-finals.
The first round of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship took place at the Top Gear Festival Barbados with Foust and team-mate Scott Speed racing the Marklund Motorsport-based Polo as the team continue development work on the VW Beetle, which is set to make its debut at the X Games in Austin next month.
“It was a great start this season with the new team – Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross has put together a strong car for us and we were at the top of the time sheets all weekend,” said Foust. “But the third-round heats weren’t kind to me and my luck never came back around.”
The former two-time champion had been on form throughout most of the weekend until the third heat when he overshot the jump, the impact was strong enough to break the right door off the Polo before two punctures spun him around, resulting in a red flag. With all drivers having completed a joker lap the result was declared and Foust was forced in to the Last Chance Qualifying round.
A strong start in the LCQ saw Foust take an early lead, unfortunately he would face a 10-second penalty after accidentally taking the joker lap twice (the joker lap for GRC is the shorter of the two options as opposed to longer in WRX). The penalty was enough to take Foust out of contention for the final and his weekend would end there.
“In the intensity of competition, when you’re racing another car and focusing on watching their lines, having that car ahead of you dive into the Joker lap can take you by surprise,” said Foust. “I was racing hard and by the time I realized I hadn’t made the turn for the regular lap, it was too late.”
It was the first time in Foust’s GRC career that he has not qualified for the Final.
“The great thing about this weekend was racing with my new team for the first time.” said Foust. “Congratulations to my teammate Scott Speed for pulling through for the win for us. The Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team is going to be tough to beat this year.”
This weekend, Foust travels to Europe for the second round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill Race Circuit to join Marklund Motorsport as he attempts to make it three in a row after bringing home race wins in both 2011 and 2012.