M-Sport press release
Work at M-Sport’s Central European base in Poland has been in full swing as staff prepare the Ford Fiesta R2’s for use in the 2012 edition of the FIA WRC Academy. With the 2011 fleet returned to Krakow late last year, an intensive rebuild has been on-going to get the Fiestas in tip-top shape ahead of the first round in Portugal next month.
Based on the Ford Fiesta Sport model and built from a standard conversion kit developed by M-Sport, the Ford Fiesta R2 forms the back-bone of the WRC Academy. With a 165hp engine kit to enhance performance, five-speed sequential gearbox with limited slip differential, AP brakes and Reiger suspension, the Ford Fiesta R2 has sold almost 200 cars and secured class victories around the globe.
The Fiesta’s highly competitive yet cost-effective nature makes it the perfect model to represent the WRC Academy for the second consecutive year.
The closing date for FIA WRC Academy entries ahead of the 2012 Vodafone Rally de Portugal is 27 February.
FIA WRC Academy Champion Holds S-WRC Lead
2011 FIA WRC Academy Champions, Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts, finished second in the S-WRC at Rally Sweden this weekend to maintain their lead at the head of the Championship - 18 points clear of double J-WRC Champion, P-G Andersson.
Putting his WRC Academy scholarship to good use, Breen’s achievements showcase the potential successes future WRC Academy graduates can expect. Providing the most promising young drivers with tuition on the world stage, the feeder series prepares competitors in a number of disciplines. As well as improving driving style, the WRC Academy also prepares young drivers physically and mentally with tuition from mentors with experience of rallying’s top echelons.
There was no doubting Breen’s ability behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta R2 last year, but much of his success so far this season comes from the mature and composed approach he has adapted for each event – something the Irishman admits has much to do with his time in the WRC Academy.
Now, as the S-WRC moves towards Breen’s preferred surfaces on gravel and asphalt, the 22-year-old will be looking to apply his training and eke out an even bigger advantage at the head of the S-WRC Championship.
2011 FIA WRC Academy Champion, Craig Breen said:
“The [FIA WRC] Academy helped me tremendously. To do a full season and learn the characteristics of all the rallies and how to drive them was a great experience for me and really helped. More importantly, especially here in Sweden which was not a part of the [WRC] Academy last year – it [the WRC Academy] taught me not to get carried away; to plan the event properly and remember that anything can happen.
“We had a lot of help and advice last year, but the thing that has helped me the most, is to remember that an event is a long three days and that anything can happen. You need to keep yourself positive and focused and the Academy really helped with getting me into that mentality.”
FIA WRC Manager, Michèle Mouton said:
"Craig is a great ambassador for the WRC Academy. After a sensational debut in the series last year he has stepped up into a S2000 car and, in the opening round of the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship in Monte-Carlo, he won the category. Everything he learnt during his year in the Academy has clearly helped him develop and we all wish him every success for the remainder of the season."