2-time Global Rallycross champ Tanner Foust to compete in inaugural World Rallycross season

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The start-up World Rallycross Championship (WRC) continues to bag big names to compete on its circuit in its inaugural 2014 racing season.

First there was Ken Block and Jacques Villeneuve. Now, the FIA-backed WRC has snared 10-time X Games medalist and American Top Gear presenter Tanner Foust.

Signed thus far for four events, Foust will drive a Volkswagen-backed Polo rallycross car for Marklund Motorsport, MotorAuthority.com reported Wednesday.

Foust’s WRC debut will come in early May in Lydden Hill, U.K. In its first season of existence, the WRC will share race weekends with nine European Rallycross Championship events, according to MotorAuthority.com.

Foust was the first American driver to ever win a race in the ERC in 2011, also finishing second overall in the entire series that season.

Foust will also continue to compete in the Global Rallycross Championship, where he’s a two-time champion and finished runner-up in the series in 2013. He’ll drive a customized Beetle in the American-based series for Volkswagen and Andretti Autosport.

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F1 2017 driver review: Esteban Ocon

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Esteban Ocon

Team: Sahara Force India
Car No.: 31
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P5 (Spain, Mexico)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 87
Championship Position: 8th

A shining star in Mercedes’ junior programme, Esteban Ocon vaulted fellow youngster Pascal Wehrlein in the pecking order to secure a seat at Force India for 2017 – and boy, did he live up to the hype.

Ocon arrived at Force India with half a season of racing under his belt after his outings with Manor late in 2016, but wasted little time in settling in, scoring points on debut in Australia after winning a thrilling three-way fight with Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso.

The Frenchman spent much of the year close to teammate Sergio Perez – even if things did get a little too close in Canada, Baku and, finally, Spa, prompting the team to introduce team orders – and impressed the entire paddock with his displays.

While no podium was forthcoming, Ocon was often leading the midfield fight, enjoying three straight finishes ahead of Perez from Japan to Mexico. Given how well Perez is rated on-track in the paddock, to have convincingly beaten him in such fashion did a lot for Ocon’s reputation.

The term ‘Oconsistency’ also came into F1’s dictionary as he set a new record for consecutive finishes from his first race, with his retirement in Brazil ending the streak at 27 grands prix. It was also his first retirement in a single-seater race since the 2014 Macau Grand Prix.

The highlight moment arguably came at Monza, though, when Ocon stuck his Force India third on the grid through torrential rain in qualifying. While he would drop to P6 at the checkered flag, the display nevertheless cemented his place as one of F1’s rising stars.

Mercedes rates Ocon very highly, and with Valtteri Bottas’ future beyond 2018 already being questioned by the paddock, a good season could see the youngster move on up to the top table of F1 for 2019. His progression in the next 12 months will be fascinating to keep track of.

Season High: Lining up P3 on the grid at Monza after a rainy qualifying.

Season Low: Clashing with Perez in Baku, costing Force India a possible podium.