Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust has a new tire partner onboard for his return to three Formula Drift rounds in 2016. Nexen Tire will back Foust and supply tires for the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Volkswagen Passat for the select Formula Drift season.
“The cars on the Formula Drift circuit are some of the wildest motorsport builds on the planet right now and maximizing grip is a critical part of having the right package,” said Foust, who will compete in the Atlanta, Seattle and Texas rounds this year. “I’m excited to be working with Nexen in 2016 with a very competitive tire.”
The driver made his first appearance under the new partnership at the Leadfoot Festival, a special invitational celebration of cars and speed hosted annually in New Zealand by celebrated rally champion Rod Millen.
Foust returns to Formula Drift in the rear-wheel drive converted Volkswagen Passat that he debuted last year. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Volkswagen Passat is a powerful performer, producing more than 900 nitrous-boosted horsepower from its V-8 engine. A specially designed eight-into-one sequential collector produces a distinctive supercar exhaust note that has made the car popular with fans.
“We’re delighted to welcome two-time Formula Drift champion Tanner Foust to Nexen Tire,” said Paul Jho, senior motorsports manager for Nexen Tire. “Tanner is a multi-talented driver who represents the performance potential of our products across the spectrum and is a great fit for our brand. I couldn’t be happier to be working with him.”
Foust returned to his Formula Drift roots last season for the first time in five years following a shift from drifting to rallycross that saw him score a pair of U.S. titles and numerous wins and podiums worldwide. The only driver ever to win back-to-back Formula Drift championships (2007, 2008) his return for three events in 2015 saw him score a trio of qualifying scores in the Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Passat and win two battles. He said he is happy to be back.
“It’s a great feeling to know I’ll have a chance to reconnect with drifting again this year,” said Foust. “I’m having a lot of fun out there and I’m enjoying the process of experimenting with setup and developing this new car.”
The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Volkswagen Passat features a four-speed dog-engagement transmission, a Tilton clutch, AEM Infinity-10 fuel injection, RS-R suspension and an extroverted APR Performance swan-mount wing. Top drift vehicles like Foust’s routinely produce close to 1,000 horsepower and are designed with so much steering angle that the front wheels are capable of turning nearly backwards.
Drifting is a high-skill, high-powered motorsport with an emphasis on car control skill. Drivers compete in knockout heats on a closed course, sliding sideways in trials judged on speed and style. With origins in Japan, it is one of the fastest growing forms of motorsport in the world. In addition to the select Formula Drift rounds, Foust is preparing for a packed racing schedule this season. Full details on Foust’s 2016 competition calendar will be unveiled in the weeks ahead.
ABOUT TANNER FOUST
Tanner Foust is a versatile and multi-talented driver known for his supreme car control and a proven track record of podium placements, national championships and world records. He is a three-time U.S. rallycross champion (2012, 2011, 2010) who has also won four X Games gold medals (2013, 2010, 2007), and two Formula Drift championships (2008, 2007).
He has held multiple world records including for the astonishing Hot Wheels Double Loop Dare, which saw Foust drive a car through a 66-foot loop-the-loop. He scored the indoor speed record for TV’s Top Gear USA, and set a distance jump record with Hot Wheels when he made a 332′ ramp-to-ramp leap in a truck at the Indy 500.
His varied race experience also includes multiple years of open wheel competition, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, rally racing, various types of sports car racing and the SCORE Baja. He has represented the USA in the annual Race of Champions three times, teaming with NASCAR star Carl Edwards in 2008, Travis Pastrana in 2009, and Mick Doohan in 2010.
When he isn’t racing, the professional driver also performs in films and on television. He is an on-air host for the U.S. version of the seminal BBC auto show Top Gear, produced by BBC Worldwide Productions and airing on the HISTORY channel.
Foust also handles stunt driving in numerous popular films, TV shows and commercials. He is featured as a stunt driver in Need 4 Speed, as well as other major releases including the Bourne Legacy, Bourne Ultimatum, Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, Dukes of Hazzard, Red Dawn and Iron Man 2.