M-Sport Rally Sunseeker preview

M-Sport Focuses on national rallying success The title-winning Ford Focus WRC will be at the forefront of the battle for the 2009 ANCRO rally championship. The ANCRO season starts on February 27/28 with the Bournemouth-based Rally Sunseeker...

M-Sport Focuses on national rallying success

The title-winning Ford Focus WRC will be at the forefront of the battle for the 2009 ANCRO rally championship.

The ANCRO season starts on February 27/28 with the Bournemouth-based Rally Sunseeker and one of the leading title contenders who will open his campaign at the event is Steve Perez in his Kick Energy liveried vehicle. He will contest the series using the last rally car that double world champion Marcus Gronholm drove in the FIA World Rally Championship.

The car - which won back-to-back Manufacturer titles in the WRC -- has been developed by M-Sport, the Cumbrian firm that has masterminded Ford's assault on the WRC since 1997.

Perez will renew his rivalry at Rally Sunseeker with long-time friend Paul Bird -- who will also contest the rally in an M-Sport prepared Focus WRC. The drivers have tested their vehicles in the build up to the event in a bid to gain an edge in the forthcoming battle, and both will be keen to ensure they are the one who comes out on top on the final day of the rally.

With two of the biggest names in the ANCRO championship opting to run in M-Sport prepared vehicles it has underlined the status of the Focus as the car of choice for top-level national rally competitors in the UK and Ireland. Among those to have demonstrated its prowess are the McHale family from Dublin, with Austin, Gareth and Aaron all successfully campaigning Focus WRCs over the last few years and Hugh Hunter who claimed overall honours in the 2008 BTRDA Rally series.

The combination of the tried-and-tested Ford machine -- with its proven pace, sharp handling and outstanding reliability record -- and the cost-effective support package offered by M-Sport have all contributed to its popularity among those seeking success on the stages.

-credit: m-sport

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Marcus Gronholm , Steve Perez , Paul Bird
Teams M-Sport