Tanner Foust doesn’t feel that Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross have a huge advantage, despite dominating the opening round of the Americas Rallycross championship at Silverstone.
Foust took a pair of heat wins, as well as a semi-final victory on his way to the final, which he led from start to finish, but despite barely being challenged in the main event, the two-time Global Rallycross champion insists that VARX aren’t as far ahead as they might seem.
“The weekend didn’t feel that one sided even though on paper maybe it looks that way,” he said. “The Subarus were really, really quick, in practice and qualifying it was hard to match their times or beat them in the heats. Being behind Timo [Scheider] in his Seat, he was pulling away in the fourth qualifying heat so it’s not like we have a huge advantage on the track.”
A key difference on track was how controlled the Volkswagen Beetle was in the corners. While every other ARX entrant was sliding through turns, the Beetle remained planted.
“I was not expecting it to be like that,” Foust admitted. “I know with the radial tyres we used to drive on in the States, you had to be limiting how much slip angle you had, which was hard for me coming from rally and drifting, so I sort of had to relearn driving a few years ago.”
“Out here, honestly, since I’ve driven in the World Rallycross and driven European reallycross and I know the tyre, I thought that they really liked sliding,” he said. “On some tracks I still think they do but on this super-slippery, polished – it’s not even gravel it’s almost like polished concrete – it does seem better just to take care of the tyre and not let it slip.”
Foust’s win at the home of the British Grand Prix was his fourth in a row, following his hat-trick of victories in Seattle and Los Angeles at the the end of the 2017 GRC season, and while the dirt section of the track at Circuit of the Americas – which is hosting the next ARX round – could throw up some surprises, he feels that the track’s similarities to Silverstone could play into his favour, helping him extend that winning streak.
“That’s four in a row so it kinda gets demoralising for Scott but he did get the [2017 GRC] championship so I think he’s okay,” Foust said. “We’ve taken a look at the track at COTA. It’s fairly similar to this one, if not even a little bit tighter, and we’ll see what the gravel is like.”
“The gravel’s nothing like this so there will be a lot more sideways action a lot more dust – Texas dirt is just dusty and it’ll be exciting to go out there with just the ARX guys the first time around and then later in the year go out there with World Rallycross.”