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Rockstar Energy Etnies Ford driver, Tanner Foust, walked away with the 2012 Global Rallycross Championship title in the series' season finale, held in conjunction with the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The sixth and final round of the 2012 GRC calendar showcased the series in their first stand-alone event of the season.
The championship title was decided after a full-course restart. The first finale attempt was red flagged after six laps when Ken Block's Monster World Rally Team Ford Fiesta started smoking and was deemed to pose a fire hazard in the infield. Prior to the red flag, Foust had just passed Block for the lead.
“Ken got a good start; I was locked in on his bumper," Foust related. "I found some places where I had to be patient and I knew I could take him, he made the slightest mistake and I made the pass.”
Foust entered the finale event leading Ford teammate, Brian Deegan by six points in the championship standings. “The build-up to each heat is pretty substantial; you get pretty nervous and you get really focused, that's what the nervousness does,” said Foust, who secured his second consecutive rallycross championship.
Deegan kicked off his day posting a tough qualifying round after losing a tire in the first heat, sending him to the Last-Chance Qualifier. “I got a decent start behind Block, (Sverre) Isachsen just rammed through me like he does every time, which blew my tire off the rim," fumed Deegan. "When something like that happens you can't control it. It put me in the Last Chance and I had to do the best I could, dig deep, block everything out and win the LCQ.
Ford Racing won the 2012 Global Rallycross Championship Manufacturers Award after posting a 1-2 finish with Deegan and Foust. Rhys Millen finished third; Samuel Hubinette and Toomas Heikkinen rounded out the top five.
Andretti Sports Marketing pleased with Rallycross debut
The Las Vegas event marked the debut of Andretti Sports Marketing as a Rallycross promoter. With a two-week lead time, ASM assisted in GRC's effort to transition the Las Vegas Convention Center's Gold Lot into a rallycross circuit, complete with pavement to dirt transitions and a 70-foot gap jump featuring 10,000 tons of dirt. The 0.6-mile circuit consisted of eight turns and was lined with corporate suites, spectator areas and exclusive VIP viewing.
"Working with the Andretti Sports Marketing team has been a big help to the operational support of GRC," said the CEO of the Global Rallycross Championship, Chip Pankow. "Being our season finale event, we knew we wanted to put on a great show at SEMA. With little notice ASM was able to build a team to help execute the operational side and last night's event was a success."
ASM's debut in rallycross racing was its third event of the 2012 auto racing season, following the Milwaukee IndyFest at the historic Milwaukee Mile, and the Grand Prix of Baltimore.