Tanner Foust, McLaren Racing added to Extreme E lineup in 2022

Foust McLaren Extreme E
Extreme E

The Extreme E Series will have even more star power in 2022 after the announcement that McLaren Racing and Tanner Foust will join the lineup for their sophomore season.

Foust has already made a name for himself on the extreme edge of auto sports, including as the four-time and current Rallycross champion with four X Games gold medals to his credit. He also has two Formula Drift championships under his belt.

From 2007 through 2019 he either medaled or won a championship in seven of 13 seasons, including two years when he doubled down and earned two. Foust was the 2010 Rallycross and X Games champion. In 2007, he won the X Games and was the Formula Drift champion. He is the most recent 2019 Rallycross champion.

“We are thrilled that Tanner has joined the McLaren Racing family of drivers,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown in a release. “He is a top-class, off-road competitor with a wealth of experience and a winning record. Alongside his driving prowess he’s a fantastic personality, who will help us connect with new fans around the world and bring the purpose and important messages of Extreme E to the fore.”

MORE: For Jean-Eric Vergne, Extreme E is about more than racing

In addition to his off-road and rally success, Foust has raced sports cars, participated in the Pike Peak Hill Climb and raced in the challenging conditions of the famous Baja Rally. Foust was part of the USA team in the Race of Champions three times from 2008 through 2010.

Foust McLaren Extreme E
In addition to his racing credits, Tanner Foust has appeared on Hell’s Kitchen and as a host of Top  Gear and as a stuntman. (Photo by FOX Image Collection via Getty Images)

Foust also competes in ice racing and has a degree in molecular biology.

“To be able to race for McLaren is every driver’s dream and the opportunity to compete for the team in this innovative and imaginative racing series makes it even more special,” Foust said. “The concept is unique and the challenge compelling. It will enable me to draw on all my experience and skills, while being part of a positive cause addressing key issues for our planet and society.”

McLaren Racing joins a long list of marquee teams and owners in the Extreme E Series, that includes Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Andretti Autosport and Chip Ganassi Racing.

McLaren Racing will name Tanner’s teammate at a later time and when that happens, she will become the first female driver in the organization’s history.

With two rounds in the books and after being forced to cancel both events in South America because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Extreme E Series will get back in action in Greenland on August 28 for the Arctic Xprix.

Each Extreme E race not only highlights racing competition, but brings focus to an environmental issue that has been accelerated by global warning. For the Arctic Xprix, the climate crisis includes glacial retreat and ice melt leading to sea level rise with three times the warming rate of the rest of the planet.

New Chip Ganassi driver Marcus Armstrong will team with boyhood idol Scott Dixon

Marcus Armstrong Scott Dixon
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images

Marcus Armstrong was a Scott Dixon fan his entire life, and when he was 8, the aspiring young racer asked his fellow New Zealander to autograph a helmet visor that he hung on his bedroom wall.

Next year, Armstrong will be Dixon’s teammate.

Armstrong was named Friday as the fourth IndyCar driver in the Chip Ganassi Racing lineup and will pilot the No. 11 next season on road and street courses.

A driver for the five oval races on the 17-race schedule will be named later.

The No. 11 is essentially the No. 48 that seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson drove the last two seasons, with Chip Ganassi making the change to run four cars numbered in sequential order. Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson drives the No. 8, six-time champion Dixon drives the No. 9, and 2020 IndyCar champion Alex Palou drives the No. 10.

So just who is the second Kiwi in the Ganassi lineup?

A 22-year-old who spent the past three seasons in Formula One feeder series F2, a Ferrari development driver in 2021, and former roommate of Callum Illot and former teammate of Christian Lundgaard – both of whom just completed their rookie IndyCar seasons.

“I’ve always been attracted to the IndyCar championship because it’s one of those championships that’s been really well televised in New Zealand since I was young, mainly because of Scott and his success,” Armstrong told The Associated Press. “As time progressed, as I got closer to F1 and single-seaters, the attraction to IndyCar grew just because of how competitive the championship is – I like to challenge myself and the level of competition in IndyCar is remarkably high.”

Armstrong, from Christchurch, New Zealand, was set to travel from his current home in London to Indianapolis this weekend to meet his new team. He won’t need an introduction to Dixon, the 42-year-old considered the best IndyCar driver of his generation and Armstrong’s unequivocal childhood hero.

Last season, Dixon earned his 53rd career victory to pass Mario Andretti for second on the all-time list. Dixon has driven for Ganassi in all but 23 of his 345 career starts.

“For a long time I’ve been a Scott Dixon fan. I don’t want to make him cringe with our age difference,” Armstrong told the AP.

Despite the two-decade age difference, Armstrong never considered someday racing with Dixon a fantasy.

He convinced his father after winning five national karting championships to allow him to leave New Zealand for Italy at age 14, where he moved by himself to pursue a racing career. Armstrong said as soon as he’d received parental permission, he’d never look back.

Armstrong was in Formula 4 two years after his move to Italy and won that title in his first season. He won four races and four poles in F3 in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, then collected four wins and eight podiums in three seasons of F2.

“Maybe it’s a strength, or maybe it’s a weakness, but I always thought I was capable of doing great in the sport,” Armstrong told the AP. “I think you probably have to succeed in the sport, you need to believe in yourself. I always pictured myself being in IndyCar.

“As Scott’s teammate? I can’t specifically say I saw that. It’s an extraordinary chain of events.”

Armstrong becomes just the latest driver to leave Europe, where F1 is the pinnacle but has only 20 seats each year. Alexander Rossi began the trend in 2016 when the American left F1 and won the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie. He’s been followed by Ericsson, last season’s Indy 500 winner, Romain Grosjean, Illot, Lundgaard, and on Thursday three-time W Series champion and Williams F1 reserve driver Jamie Chadwick was announced as driver for Andretti Autosport in IndyCar’s second-tier development series.

Armstrong said he could have remained in F2 for a fourth season, but he’d been watching IndyCar for so long, and after conversations with Illot and Lundgaard, he decided to make the move to what he believes is the most balanced racing series in the world. He tested for Dale Coyne Racing at Sebring in October.

He doesn’t know if European racing is done for good, just that he wants to be in IndyCar right now.

“I don’t want to think too far into the future, I’m just grateful for this opportunity that is standing right in front of me,” Armstrong said. “I want to perform as well as I can in the near future and just consolidate myself in the fantastic chance that is IndyCar and just do my best.

“I’m not looking at F1 as a landing spot – I am looking at IndyCar, and that’s exactly why I am here.”