BIRMINGHAM, England, 10 January 2002 -- Ford's wide ranging rally activities will have a new look and a new style for 2002, it was revealed at the Autosport International motor show today (Thursday). Ford is adopting a new name for its motorsport...
BIRMINGHAM, England, 10 January 2002 -- Ford's wide ranging rally activities will have a new look and a new style for 2002, it was revealed at the Autosport International motor show today (Thursday). Ford is adopting a new name for its motorsport activities -- Ford Rallye Sport -- which more accurately reflects the focus of its current competition activity in Europe and around the world. It is also reclaiming the company's traditional corporate colour of blue and the majority of Ford rally cars and their support vehicles sporting will feature 'Performance Blue' -- a new metallic blue colour developed for the forthcoming Focus RS and ST model ranges. Those two new road cars embody the spirit of the Focus RS WRC rally cars and will also re-establish the bloodline between Ford's rally cars and its best-selling family cars.
Ford's new name and colour is an appropriate way to mark the beginning of the exciting new era for the FIA World Rally Championship as Ford and six major car manufacturers bring a total of 30 turbocharged, four-wheel-drive WRC cars to every round and TV coverage is expanded with major terrestrial packages across many European countries.
Ford will be operating a comprehensive programme of rally sport in 2002, from the FIA World Rally Championship with Ford Focus RS WRC cars, through Junior World and National championships with Ford Puma Super 1600 cars to the grass-roots of rallying with the Ford Ka, Ford will be aiming to enhance its reputation as a winning marque.
"The World Rally Championship is clearly Ford's most important global motorsport activity," commented Martin Whitaker, Ford Racing's European director of motorsport. "However, top-class rallying outside the world championship provides a splendid platform on which to demonstrate the speed, durability and advanced technology of Ford products. Additionally it gives us the opportunity to concentrate on a key element of the company's motorsport heritage, producing competitive vehicles for a broad range of customers at all levels of the sport.
"While our main target for 2002 is clear -- winning both world rally titles with McRae, Sainz, Martin and the Focus -- we are eager to show off the key qualities of the Focus and Puma brands to a broad local audience by entering the premier rallies in locations all across Europe. Keeping faith with Ford's traditional policy of encouraging fresh talent in motorsport, we will be supporting the excellent Belgian youngster Francois Duval in both the Junior World Championship with a Puma Super 1600 and selected rounds of the main championship with a Focus RS WRC car.
The introduction of a German driver and a German team to the Ford rally programme is a very significant development for our company and I'm sure that Armin Kremer will make a big impact this season. In the UK at national level we are introducing the British-based 'Ford Rallye Sport Junior Team' and we are also showing a new concept for a low-cost rally training vehicle which we think will have immense appeal to the public and the rally fraternity," concluded Whitaker.
<pre> Ford's rally sport plans for 2002 include:
FIA World Rally Championship 3 Focus RS WRC cars in all 14 rounds FIA World Rally Championship Focus car for Kremer or Duval on 11 events FIA World Rally Championship Additional Focus cars on eight events
Junior World Championship 7 Puma Super 1600 cars on all events Ford Rallye Sport Junior Team 2 Puma Super 1600s on many UK events French Rally Championship 2 Puma Super 1600 cars on all events
Puma 1400 Rally Championship Series of eight rallies in UK Ka Rally Championship In UK, Spain, Belgium, Ireland & Turkey
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