WRC

Ford reaffirms WRC commitment

Ford reaffirms WRC commitment at Rallye Monte Carlo On the eve of the Rallye Monte Carlo, Ford TeamRS director Jost Capito reaffirmed Ford's continuing commitment to the FIA World Rally Championship to some 200 guests of the BP-Ford World Rally...

Ford reaffirms WRC commitment at Rallye Monte Carlo

On the eve of the Rallye Monte Carlo, Ford TeamRS director Jost Capito reaffirmed Ford's continuing commitment to the FIA World Rally Championship to some 200 guests of the BP-Ford World Rally Team at their 2006 season launch event. Speaking to media and guests, including Max Mosley, President of the FIA, and Gabriele Cadringher, FIA Director General of the Manufacturers' Commission, Capito made the following key points during his speech:

* 2006 is the second season within a four-year commitment from Ford to the FIA World Rally Championship. This commitment is now even more significant to the sport than everybody thought when it was made at the end of 2004, because of the decisions which other manufacturers have made since then about their own intentions. Fords heritage, as one of the mainstays of the WRC, is clearer than ever. Ford remains faithful to its commitment, and we continue to see the WRC as a perfect stage from which to demonstrate the values of our products. We decided on our continuing WRC participation on a business case and it works for us because we use our resources in a most efficient way in co-operation with our partner, M-Sport.

* We appreciate the co-operation with the FIA, event organisers and other manufacturers to develop the Championship in ways to increase its value and attractiveness as a sport.

* A first step in the right direction is the FIA's decision to make WRC a winter championship, running from August to May from 2007 onwards.

* As a next step, we need to develop a format for WRC rallies that keeps the spirit of rallying as an endurance sport, but which also offers an exciting finish to events on Sunday afternoons that will attract broadcasters to live coverage. This is absolutely vital for Ford to stay in the Championship for the long term.

* We will make a proposal for rallies to conclude with a super special stage on Sunday afternoon in a major stadium. It would be a test that reflects the standings of the rally from Friday to Sunday, but still would have an impact on the final results. It would be easy to understand by the general public and not only by rally enthusiasts who understand the regulations in detail.

* Together with the FIA, ISC, organisers, manufacturers and drivers, we will develop a detailed proposal which I hope will lead to the approval of the FIA World Council during this year. I am happy to talk about the concept in detail in individual discussions with the media during this weekend and at upcoming events. We need the support and understanding of the media to achieve the necessary changes.

* In the 2006 WRC, six manufacturer brands will be seen on events, and here in Monte Carlo there will be 23 WRC cars starting the event.

* We are looking forward to a competitive and exciting season. Three world champions will fight for the crown in three different cars and covering two different tyre manufacturers. There are also three youngsters within the three Manufacturer 1 teams who will challenge their prominent team mates and challenge each other.

* It is great that we have seven Ford Focus RS WRCs participating at the Rallye Monte Carlo. That shows that the Focus RS WRC is appreciated for the same reasons that all our customers appreciate their Ford cars: driving dynamics and reliability. It also shows that the FIA is doing a great job with the manufacturers to stabilise the WRC regulations and take decisions to reduce costs to allow private teams to participate. A motorsport series is only healthy when private teams participate.

-ford-

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Series WRC
Teams M-Sport