Tanner Foust, Scott Speed to race VWs for Andretti in GRC

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These are the “further details in February” Andretti Autosport planned to announce when the team first announced last month it was expanding into Red Bull Global Rallycross.

The team will race a pair of Volkswagen modified Polo rally cars, and switch to the third-generation Beetle later in the year. The latter will feature more than 600 horsepower from its turbocharged and direct-injection EA888 TSI® engine.

Drivers? They’ve got rallying ace and TV personality Tanner Foust in one car (pictured right) and former Formula One driver-turned-NASCAR and rallycross racer Scott Speed in the other.

Foust will drive a car sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink, with Speed in the 7UP entry. 7UP falls under the Dr Pepper Snapple umbrella of brands; that’s a company Andretti Autosport continues its relationship with on the IndyCar side, and now sees active in GRC.

Foust is a two-time GRC champion (2011, 2012), while Speed won a pair of GRC races in 2013.

The season begins in May in Barbados; that weekend is the same as qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, so it would seem to rule out either driver for Andretti’s likely fifth car the team would plan to run at this year’s race.

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.