Tanner Foust’s parents were in the navy, so he spent a number of years living in Scotland, where he discovered rallying and learned to drive on the country roads near to where he lived. Later on, he moved back to the USA and began to study at the University of Colorado. He spent most of his semester breaks on racetracks, working as a mechanic or an instructor in return for a chance to get behind the wheel.
After having graduated in biology, Foust worked as an instructor for driving on icy roads and as an instructor at marketing events hosted by the automotive industry. During this time, he competed in as many events as he could, regardless of whether they were rallies or drift events. He moved into professional motorsport in 2003 and moved to California soon after, where he worked as a stunt driver in the film industry.
He was soon one of the most in-demand professional drivers in the USA thanks to his unflagging passion for cars. He himself sees it as something of a lucky strike that his career has allowed him to compete alongside big names such as Rod Millen, Colin McRae, Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel.
2005: Rally America PGT national Champion
2006: Summer X Games, Rally America PGT, Formula Drift Championship
2007: Rally America Series / Formula Drift Pro Drift Champion / X Games Rally Gold Medalist
2008: Formula Drift Pro Drift Champion / Race of Champions / X Games Rally Silver Medalist
2009: Formula Drift Championship / Race of Champions / X Games Rally Bronze Medalist
2010: Formula Drift Silver Medalist / Race of Champions / X Games Super Rally Gold Medalist / X Games Rally Gold Medalist / Gymkhana Grid Gold Medalist / US Rallycross Champion
2011: World Record for longest jump in a four-wheeled vehicle / European Rallycross Silver Medalist / Global Rallycross Champion
2012: European Rallycross Championship / World Record for Largest Loop on the Loop in a car / Global Rallycross Champion
2013: European Rallycross Championship / X Games Gymkhana Grid Gold Medallist / X Games Rallycross Silver Medalist
2014: Rallycross World Championship / Global Rallycross Championship
2015: Rallycross World Championship / Global Rallycross Championship
2016: Rallycross World Championship / Global Rallycross Championship
With eight extremely successful years in the world of karting under his belt, Speed switched to formula motorsport in 2001 and succeeded in winning the Formula Russell Championship straight off. In 2002, he drove in the Barber Formula Dodge and in the Star Mazda racing series.
This was around the time when Red Bull was running something of a ‘talent show’ in search of single-seater car drivers: the aim of the Red Bull Driver Search was to get an American driver into Formula 1. Scott Speed demonstrated his talent once again and won the show at the tender age of 19. With Red Bull’s support, he crossed the Atlantic to take part in the British Formula 3 Championship, and won the German and the European Formula Renault in 2004.
He switched to the GP2 series in 2005, where he regularly made it onto the winners’ rostrum and finished the season in third place overall. He got his first taste of Formula 1 that same year, when he was allowed to get behind the wheel of the third Red Bull Racing vehicle during the training sessions at the events in Montreal and Indianapolis. Finally, a year later, Red Bull gave him a place in the Scuderia Toro Rosso team for the 2006 season – and Scott Speed became the first US American in Formula 1 since Michael Andretti in 1993.
1993–2001: Kart races
2001: US Formula Russel
2002: Formula Dodge National Championship / Star Mazda Series
2003: British Formula 3
2004: Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup / German Formula Renault
2005: GP2 Series / A1 Grand Prix Series / Testdriver for Red Bull F1 Racing
2006–2007: Formula 1 with Scuderia Torro Rosso
2008: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series / NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
2009–2012: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series / NASCAR Nationwide Series
2013: Global Rallycross Championship
2014: Global Rallycross Championship / Formula E
2015: Global Rallycross Champion / Formula E
2016: Global Rallycross Champion