As the latest model in M-Sport’s successful range of Ford Fiesta rally cars, the Ford Fiesta R5+ got off to a sensational start at the Coppermines Grizedale Stages in the United Kingdom last weekend. With Matthew Wilson and co-driver Chris Patterson behind the wheel, the car could not have had a better debut – securing victory by almost a minute.
Based on the standard Ford Fiesta R5 which launched earlier this year, the Fiesta R5+ incorporates a modified turbo and air-intake system. The standard 32mm restrictor has also been replaced with a 34mm example which provides the engine with an extra 30hp. Not homologated for FIA championships, the Fiesta R5+ is intended for national series.
Also in action last weekend was Elfyn Evans with the Ford Fiesta R200. Acting as course car on the Coppermines Grizedale Stages, Evans was joined by M-Sport’s Customer Liaison Manager, Richard Millener, in the co-driver’s seat. Had the pairing contested the rally proper, they would have placed an impressive fifth overall – ahead of a number of world rally specification cars and just 21 seconds adrift of the podium.
Both cars will be officially launched at the Autosport Show in the UK in January, after which they will be available for sale from M-Sport.
Matthew Wilson said: “It’s been a while since Chris [Patterson, co-driver] and I have used organisers pacenotes, so it took a while to get back into the swing of things. But once we found our rhythm we really got a feeling for the car and how much performance it can produce.
"We all know how competitive the standard Fiesta R5 is, and this upgrade just adds to that. It’s a great package for national events.”
Elfyn Evans said: “It was great to be out on the stages again last weekend, and I was impressed with the extra power the Fiesta R200 provides. I spent a lot of years competing with the Fiesta R2, and this is a great upgrade – you can really feel the power increase. We were able to set some really strong times, and I think we’ve proved how good the car can be on national rallies.”