RAMER: Ford Racing Sno*Drift event report

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RALLY PREPARED STOCK FIESTA WINS 2WD CLASS AT SNO*DRIFT

HILLMAN, Mich. - January 29, 2011 - The Ford Fiesta is fun to drive. This weekend nobody had more fun than Dillon Van Way, an 18 year old college freshman, who drove his rally prepared stock Ford Fiesta to victory in the 2WD class at Sno*Drift, RallyCar's Rally America National Championship season opener. Van Way won the 2WD class by one minute and eight seconds, marking the first 2WD class win for the Fiesta in North America competition.

Van Way's Fiesta was powered by the stock factory drivetrain featuring the 1.6L 16-valve Duratec® I4 engine and the same standard 5-speed manual transmission standard brakes found on Fiesta at any Ford dealer. The only technical modifications made to the class winning 2011 Ford Fiesta was the installation of the mandated RallyCar Series safety equipment and rally spec dampers.

"The goal was to have a clean rally and stay in the middle of the road and let the Fiesta do all the work and not drive out of control, and it worked out great," said Van Way who will celebrate his 19th birthday on Tuesday. "The Fiesta is an excellent car. It is very natural to drive and it does exactly what you tell it to do. There were no surprises. It is super smooth and it is a very capable car. I really didn't have a chance to drive the Fiesta rally car much before this weekend, but when I got the car I fell in love with it so I went out and bought a Fiesta for my street car so I have been driving that and I love it. That daily driving helped me because I had a good feel for where the corners of the Fiesta are and how close I could get to something without touching it and the general feel of the car."

Van way is no stranger to success in RallyCar and the Rally American National Championship. He made the transition from Motocross to RallyCar in 2009 and won the 2WD championship as a rookie driving a 2002 SVT Focus. Last year he finished second in the championship driving the Focus.

"Dillon's success at Sno*Drift underscores how capable the Fiesta is and how Ford engineers have developed an outstanding platform that's ready to race" said Jamie Allison, Director of Ford North America Motorsports. "Not to be overlooked are the efforts of Dillon [Van Way] and Graham [Evans] who not only saw the potential of the Fiesta as a rally car, but who also ran a great race utilizing the drivability of the Fiesta to their advantage under very demanding conditions of Sno*Drift."

"The plan, because Dillon hadn't had much test time, was to take it easy and learn the Fiesta on the open roads," said Graham Evans, who serves as Dillon's team manager. "We focused a lot on making the Fiesta easy to drive with nice plush suspension and it worked out for us."

Van Way and the No. 600 Ford Fiesta will return to competition February 25-26 for Round 2 of the 2011 RallyCar Rally America National Championship, The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood..

-source: ford racing

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Series RALLYCAR