RAMER: Van Way - Ford interview 2011-01-26

This Week in Ford Racing:
January 26, 2011

This weekend RallyCar's 2011 Rally America National Championship kicks off with the annual Sno*Drift Rally in snowy Atlanta, Michigan. A year ago at this time the big story in RallyCar was the debut of Ken Block's Monster World Rally Team and the Fiesta at this event. This year, Ford fanatics will turn their eyes to the 2WD class where 19-year-old Louisiana native Dillon Van Way will debut his 2011 Ford Fiesta. For Van Way rally racing was a natural migration from his days of competition in motocross and supermoto. Van Way made his RallyCar debut in 2009 driving a 2002 SVT Focus and won the 2WD National Championship. A year later he finished as a runner up in the 2WD competition driving the same 2002 SVT Focus. Van Way saw firsthand the potential of the Ford Fiesta last season and made the decision to switch for the 2011 season. This Week in Ford Racing caught up with the Louisiana State University freshman to chat about Sno*Drift and his new Ford Fiesta.

DILLION VAN WAY, driver 2011 Sno*Drift Ford Fiesta Rally Car

WHAT ABOUT RALLY RACING CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION WHILE YOU WERE ENJOYING SUCCESS IN MOTOCROSS? "Rally is something I wanted to do since I was a little kid. I got my license and I pestered my dad into getting me a car and letting me go racing. It has been something that I always wanted to do."

YOU RAN A 2002 SVT FOCUS THE LAST COUPLE OF SEASONS WITH A GREAT DEAL OF SUCCESS. "I didn't really have a car in mind when I decided to go rally racing, but when we started looking for cars it just seemed like the SVT Focus was the most capable 2WD car out there. The Focus turned out to be great. The other options that we found at the time just didn't seem to be as strong of a car. We wanted something that was reliable and something that we wouldn't have to fix all the time and something that was pretty quick. "

THE FIRST YEAR IN RALLY YOU WIN THE 2WD CHAMPIONSHIP AND LAST YEAR YOU WERE THE RUNNER UP. YOU HAVE A TRACK RECORD IN THE SVT FOCUS AND YET YOU START THE 2011 SEASON WITH A NEW FIESTA. "I think the Fiesta is going to be a change for the better even though we did really well in the Focus. I think the Fiesta is a better car for rally. It is lighter and smaller and with this kind of racing that is going to help out a lot."

AS YOU DEBUT YOUR NEW FIESTA THIS WEEKEND AT SNO*DRIFT YOU ARE RUNNING A STOCK FIESTA WITH RALLY SUSPENSION AND A ROLLCAGE. BY THE TIME YOU REACH ROUND 2 AT THE 100 ACRE WOODS YOU WILL HAVE MADE A COUPLE OF SIGNIFICANT CHANGES. "I think this stock Fiesta is a very capable car. It may be down on horsepower from the Focus we ran last year, but at this first rally in the snow and ice horsepower isn't going to win or lose the race. It comes down to car capabilities and handling, driving and the Fiesta is so light you can do a lot more with it. I think the stock Fiesta will be pretty good for the Sno*Drift round. For some of the other rallies we are going to want more horsepower so starting at 100 Acre Wood we are going to turbo charge the Fiesta and hopefully get more horsepower. The engineers are talking and they think we will end up with 300 to 350 horsepower in the Fiesta. We aren't really sure how much we want to get out of it, but we are going to stay with the 1.6 Duratec engine, but there is definitely power in there. "

THE LAST TIME YOU DEBUTED A NEW CAR YOU WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP. ARE YOU CONFIDENT THAT THE FIESTA CAN BRING YOU SIMILAR SUCCESS? "I really like to think so. I haven't driven the rally car much at all but when I got the car I fell in love with it so I went out and bought a Fiesta for my street car so I have been driving that and I love it. I think it is a very capable car and I like to think we win the championship again. I am excited to be working with Ford on this 2WD Fiesta project. It is very cool that they have shown interest in our program I hope to make them proud."

-source: ford racing

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Series Other rally
Drivers Ken Block