Before 2022, there was one consistent in every US rallycross event: Tanner Foust.
Foust was something of a founding father of the discipline’s American incarnation. He competed in every race event from 2011-2021 (89 in total) and holds the records for championship (four across Rally America, Global Rallycross, and Americas Rallycross) and event wins (24).
But as rallycross entered a new dawn this year with all-electric cars and a return overseas for US-sanctioned events, the ever-present Foust has been nowhere to be seen.
“I think that I thought about that when I was trying to get the series going in the beginning and assessing whether or not I should do it,” he said of being the only driver to race in every US rallycross race before ‘22. “I knew I was going to be doing Extreme E with McLaren, but I wasn’t sure about signing on for a very hectic schedule.
“I sort of did my bit where I did 15 trips to Europe every summer, [a] full championship there and full championship in the US, and 150 days of Top Gear filming all in 365 days. So I was on the road more than 300 days for 10 years, so I would rather focus on one championship and come in as a guest driver every once in a while for now.”
Of course, rallycross Stateside is undergoing yet another rebuild under its fourth guise in little over a decade, and having played a part in the three years prior, Foust is content with waiting on the sidelines this time around.
“It really built up with GRC and when it was live on NBC it was incredible value for sponsors and for drivers and teams,” he said. “Now I think it’s starting to find some traction again, but that’s going to be a building process, and when it gets there I’ll definitely be in the mix.”
Foust had been in talks for a fleeting return earlier this month at ERX Motor Park, plans that ultimately fell through. Nevertheless, he’s left the door open to contest the Canadian rounds at the beginning of 2023, rounds that are set to be the first snow and ice races in US rallycross history.
“It’s difficult coming in for just one race, [it] doesn’t make too much sense. But I wouldn’t mind doing the ice races, doing them after the rest of the year.
“But that [calendar] format is different for the way a lot of my sponsors work – they work on a calendar year and they work in the United States. So when you have a series that rolls over both of those borders, it can be a challenge to justify.
“I like where the series is going,” he added. “Again, being a part of many start-ups, I’m sure they’re working out the kinks with both the cars and the tracks, but the future’s wide open for EV racing.”
In the meantime, Foust still has his records shored up.
“I don’t think they’ll be beaten for a while,” he said, adding that he could be tempted to return once if they come under threat.”