FORD CROWNED WORLD CHAMPION AT FIA GALA CEREMONY IN MONACO

Ford was crowned World Rally Champion for the second consecutive year during the annual Federation Internationale de l'Automobile award ceremony tonight. The Blue Oval was presented with the FIA World Rally Championship manufacturers' trophy.

The trophy, which Ford secured in Ireland last month on the penultimate round, was collected by Ford TeamRS director Jost Capito and BP-Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson. This was the second consecutive season that Ford has won the World Title.

The team ended the 16-round championship in Great Britain last weekend with a 29-point lead after amassing the largest points tally in WRC history with the Ford Focus RS World Rally Car. The Focus RS won eight rounds of the series, motorsport's toughest competition for production-based cars, which spans five continents on surfaces as diverse as snow, dry asphalt and rocky gravel roads.

Drivers Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen and BP-Ford team-mates Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen were also honoured after finishing second and third respectively in the drivers' championship.

John Fleming, President and CEO of Ford of Europe, emphasised what the title meant to Ford. "To win the FIA World Rally Championship, the toughest competition for production-based cars, for a second consecutive season is an achievement of which we are rightly proud. I have attended several WRC events this year and seen for myself the blood, sweat and tears that go into being successful. Winning a title in the WRC demands so many attributes - skill, discipline, communication to name but a few. They all come together under one word - teamwork - and I'm proud of how effectively so many people have united to deliver a second world title and in doing so we have added another memorable chapter to Ford's great motorsport history," he said.

-credit: ford.com