A difficult track on the grounds of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and fierce competition from its rivals tested Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross in Ottawa, but by the end of the weekend, the team had recovered to collect another 1-2 finish in Race 2 on Sunday.
After a red flag and restart for a first-lap incident in Sunday’s Final, Tanner Foust leapt to the lead and never looked back, taking his second win of the season and second podium finish of the weekend. Scott Speed—who had enjoyed a similarly strong take off during the race’s initial launch—got shuffled back on the restart and spent most of the race stuck behind a slower car. On the final lap, the driver of the No. 41 ORAFOL Beetle GRC took advantage of a competitor’s mistake, earning a last-gasp second-place finish.
“This has been a tough weekend for everyone on the team, but we didn’t give up and it paid off in the end,” said Foust. “The Beetle GRC had a lot to contend with, but it handled this rough track beautifully and took us to two more important podiums.”
The Beetle GRCs continued their sterling form in qualifying, earning 1-2 lockouts in each of the weekend’s sessions. A Beetle GRC has led at the end of every qualifying session so far in 2017, proving the car’s ultimate speed when faced with a clean and open track.
“This wasn’t an easy weekend for my side of the garage, but we made a good recovery on Sunday to get back up on the podium,” said Speed. “It seems like we’ve been the king of last-lap passes this season, which is a super exciting way to race, but I’m hoping for a normal event where we can lead from the front next time out. We lost a big bunch of points from the lead we had coming into Ottawa, but I know we’ll get back on it and keep our comeback going strong.”
With victory on Sunday, Foust assumed lead of the championship for the first time this season, leapfrogging his teammate who encountered difficulties and was unable to run Saturday’s Semifinal and Final races while Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross mechanics attended to his car.
As the second half of the season begins, Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross has claimed four victories from six races, scoring an additional five podium finishes during the same period. Foust reflected on the team’s results so far and its position and the midway point of 2017.
“This a great spot for us to be at the season’s halfway mark,” said the driver of the No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle GRC. “There are still plenty of races to go, but we’ve got the cars, crew, and drivers to get it done, so I’m looking forward to a strong second half of the season.”