Ford's new World Rally Championship headquarters in Cumbria was officially inaugurated by Jacques Nasser today (Saturday) when the Ford Motor Company President and Chief Executive Officer made a flying visit to the UK. For its new role, the ...
Ford's new World Rally Championship headquarters in Cumbria was officially inaugurated by Jacques Nasser today (Saturday) when the Ford Motor Company President and Chief Executive Officer made a flying visit to the UK.
For its new role, the Dovenby Hall Estate near Cockermouth, has been completely transformed in a £10 million operation to produce a world-class technical and engineering facility that rivals many Formula 1 racing teams. Ford's Team Director Malcolm Wilson escorted Jacques Nasser on a tour of the 47 hectare (115 acre) estate, together with Ford's Focus rally car drivers Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz, and co-drivers Nicky Grist and Luis Moya - fresh from their recent 1-2 victory on the tough Acropolis Rally in Greece.
Before unveiling a commemorative plaque, Nasser addressed the assembled guests and 110 workforce. "Our new home at Dovenby truly reflects the character of Ford and its rally team with every part of the facility designed and executed to the highest possible standards. It is going to create an excellent working environment for creative engineering.
"I'm sure that in the years ahead, Dovenby Hall will provide the perfect springboard for the Ford Martini team's assault on the FIA World Rally Championship. With the immensely talented people we have attracted and the investment we have made, I'm confident that more rally victories and, with a little good fortune, more world rally titles will follow as the just reward for all our hard work and commitment," he said.
Positioned at the heart of the football field-sized final assembly area, the inaugural plaque reads "This stone was unveiled by Jacques Nasser, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company, to inaugurate Dovenby Hall as the Headquarters of M-Sport Limited and the Ford World Rally Championship Team, 1st July 2000".
After touring Dovenby, the Ford President enjoyed a high-speed ride through a local forest sitting alongside Colin McRae in a Ford Focus WRC machine.
Other Ford Motor Company guests included Richard Parry-Jones, Group Vice-President Product Development, Nick Scheele, Chairman, Ford of Europe and Martin Whitaker, European Director of Ford Racing.