BIRMINGHAM, England, 10 January 2002 - Ford Rallye Sport announced the formation of a new 'Junior Team' at the Autosport International motorsport show today (Thursday). The new team is intended to provide an adaptable umbrella of support under...
BIRMINGHAM, England, 10 January 2002 - Ford Rallye Sport announced the formation of a new 'Junior Team' at the Autosport International motorsport show today (Thursday). The new team is intended to provide an adaptable umbrella of support under which talented young drivers can flourish. It represents an additional top rung at a national level on Ford's Ladder-of-Opportunity. For its first season the team will support the running of two Puma Super 1600 rally cars for 26-year old David Henderson from Durham - winner of the closely-fought Puma 1400 championship of 2001 - and runner-up 20-year old Guy Wilks from Darlington.
"Ford is presenting David with a ready-to-rally Puma Super 1600 car, a £20,000 contribution towards his budget to kick start his 2002 activities and advice on which events to enter," explained Ford Business Manager, Alan Rose.
"David will concentrate on the Pirelli British Rally Championship but is free to enter other rallies in the UK and Europe that are best suited both to his budget and his need to acquire a wider experience of a variety of events to further his career in the long-term. The aim of Ford's Ladder of Opportunity - where newcomers to rallying start competing in Ka cars, progress to Puma 1400 and then perhaps to Puma Super 1600 rally cars - has always been long-term and not solely UK focused.
"With the likely cessation of the Formula Rally series, it is not yet clear how Super 1600 cars will be promoted in UK rallying during 2002. Consequently our commitment is to David and Guy rather than a specific rally series and we will not impose a rally programme on them. Their Pumas will be run by MSR Motorsport based in Thirsk, North Yorkshire - the company which prepared Henderson's winning car last year.
"With the growing popularity of the World Rally Championship, the new Junior World Championship for Super 1600 cars, and the adoption of the Super 1600 formula for many national championships, including France and Italy, we must increasingly adopt a pan-European view," concluded Rose.