Tanner Foust did everything he needed to at the final round of the 2019 Americas Rallycross Series at Mid-Ohio, wrapping up his first ARX championship title after the fourth qualifying race. The No.34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle R was fast from the get-go at Mid-Ohio, dominating the first two qualifying rounds, but suffered a penalty for contact with Steve Arpin’s Ford in his Q3 Heat race, which put him on the back-foot for the next round of qualifying. Still, a finish was all that was needed to take the title, while teammate Cabot Bigham led the way with a first-place finish in their Q4 Heat.
In tricky conditions in the first Semi-Final, Bigham struggled for grip and didn’t make the Final. Foust finished second on the road in the other Semi-Final, but was given a dubious five-second penalty for transgressing track limits that dropped him to fourth place and thus out of the Final.
Despite not making the Final, Foust said: “I couldn’t be happier. The vision of racing a Beetle in a chaotic, aggressive sport like this seemed so crazy six or seven years ago—and with the engineering of Volkswagen and the race capabilities of Andretti, they’ve come together to create a Goliath that has taken the whole sport of rallycross by storm. Five straight championships, and this iconic shape is still undefeated. It’s just a real honor to race this car and it’s incredible to follow up on its legacy as the Beetle bows out of production. Hopefully, there’s more fun stuff to come.
“It’s extra sweet to win this year. There is no doubt it was an uphill climb since we were running on a smaller budget than before, committed to the series late, and were running against two programs that completely revamped their cars and started from scratch with huge budgets.”
The Beetle R first competed in Rallycross in North America at the end of the 2014 season, which Foust and Scott Speed had started in Volkswagen R Polos. The following year, 2015, was the first of five straight Rallycross titles for Volkswagen, Andretti Rallycross and the Beetle. Since then, the Beetle has taken three Global Rallycross driver titles, two Americas Rallycross driver championships, two Global Rallycross manufacturer wins and an ARX team title.
“What an incredible way to finish the Beetle’s rallycross career,” said Scott Keogh, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “We’re thrilled that Tanner has won the title in his sixth season driving for Volkswagen and Andretti Rallycross. Everyone who works for the company will be delighted because he is such a great ambassador for the sport and the brand.
Jost Capito, Managing Director Volkswagen R, added: “Tanner has been an integral part of our North American Rallycross program since the beginning. His expertise and skillset are not only apparent in his personal victory but also translate into our product development processes. Watch this space.”
Coverage of the ARX of Mid-Ohio round will air on CBS Sports on Wednesday, October 9th at 9:00 PM (ET).