Ford to field three cars in world title bid BIRMINGHAM, England, 10 January 2002 - Ford will blend speed, experience and young talent in a three-car team to tackle this season's FIA World Rally Championship. Double world champions Carlos Sainz...
Ford to field three cars in world title bid
BIRMINGHAM, England, 10 January 2002 - Ford will blend speed, experience and young talent in a three-car team to tackle this season's FIA World Rally Championship.
Double world champions Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya and 1995 title holder Colin McRae with co-driver Nicky Grist will join forces for the third season to head the Ford challenge in new and improved Focus RS World Rally Cars. For all 14-rounds of the world championship, they will be joined by Estonia's Markko Martin and his British co-driver Michael Park, regarded as among rallying's stars of the future.
Sainz, whose car will carry number four, and McRae, who will be number five, will be the Ford Rallye Sport team's two nominated drivers for the season. However under the new championship rules Martin, whose Focus will carry number six, will also be eligible to score points for both the manufacturers' and drivers' championships on each round. All three Focus RS cars will be built and run by M-Sport, the British-based team which has operated Ford's world championship programme since 1997.
Ford will also support two other Focus RS cars on a number of world rallies. Young Belgian ace Francois Duval, another potential star of the future, and Jean-Marc Fortin will drive a Focus RS in Sweden, Corsica, Cyprus, Finland and Sanremo. Germany's Armin Kremer and Klaus Wicha will drive a Focus RS in Monte Carlo, Spain, Greece, Finland, Germany and Britain. Both cars will also be run by M-Sport.
Martin Whitaker, Ford Racing's European director of motorsport, looks forward to 2002 with confidence. "Ford finished second in both the manufacturers' and drivers' series last year, which was the team's best performance since 1993. Our target for 2002 is clear. We must continue to keep moving forward and set our sights on both world titles.
"The contrasting styles of Carlos and Colin compliment the team perfectly and Ford fought off four other manufacturers to obtain the signature of Markko - that's how highly we rate him. There have been some major developments to the Focus RS for the new season and I'm looking ahead to the year with the utmost confidence," he added.