If any Andretti Autosport program serves to
illustrate the benefits of collaboration, it’s Red
Bull Global Rallycross, where it has partnered
with Volkswagen to run a pair of factory
Beetles for two-time champ Tanner Foust
and three-time event winner Scott Speed.
On paper, GRC could scarcely seem
further removed from what Andretti’s
racing in elsewhere. The differences go all
the way down to the surface that the cars
run on: the only time a Verizon IndyCar
Series driver guns it on gravel is when
they’ve overshot a turn at Mid-Ohio.
Foust believes that understanding how to
prepare a car for such a different surface was
one of the biggest challenges Andretti faced,
but notes that the team’s vast road racing
experience proved beneficial, too.
“The Andretti guys needed to attend a few
events and learn from Volkswagen on the
rally side about how to make the car work on
gravel,” Foust says. “But the year they came
into the sport  is the year we went to
a radial tire, so rallycross moved more toward
road racing on asphalt, which Andretti is
exceedingly proficient at, of course.
“The Polo we started the first year with
wasn’t a factory car, but it had good bones.
Yet Andretti’s knowledge of how the radial
tire worked is what made it quick. That sort
CATCHING THE RALLYCROSS BUG
of knowledge and experience is priceless.”
The Beetle that the team will use this year
has been updated over the one that contested
the final events of 2014, and it’s still very
much at the start of its development. That
might seem a disadvantage compared with
other IndyCar crossover teams using
fully-sorted, off-the-shelf Ford Fiestas, but
Speed believes that Andretti and VW’s
partnership will ultimately prove stronger.
“We can build on where we left off at the
end of last year with the Beetle, and there’s
a ton of potential there,” he says. “Other
cars, you’ve kind of got what you’ve got.”
The Andretti/VW combination is a potent
one. VW’s recent success in the World Rally
Championship has been remarkable, and
Foust says that he’s impressed by what he
has seen from the Andretti side.
“The fundamental thing you realize in
your very first meeting with Andretti is its
commitment to winning,” he says. “Michael’s
a pure competitor. If there’s a competitive
edge to be had, that team will find it. It
doesn’t matter if it’s rallycross, or IndyCar,
or whatever, having that as the spine that
everything else operates from – that ideology
of pure success and results and competition
– I think that’s the key that makes them
good at whatever they get involved in.”
Year two of Andretti’s partnership with Volkswagen should see the GRC Beetle program hitting its stride.
GRC races are short, sharp slugfests.
All-wheel drive, 553hp and buckets of
torque will help the Beetle launch from
the start and punch out of slow turns.
TALKING THE TORQUE
A switch from 1.6- to 2-liter turbo power
sees the GRC Beetle’s torque rocket from
387lb.ft to 465 – perfect for rapid starts.
THE TANNER AND SCOTT SHOW, SEASON TWO
Foust and Speed bring the attitude and
the competitive credentials to Andretti
and Volkswagen’s GRC collaboration.
RED BULL GLOBAL RALLYCROSS