FORD FIESTA S2000 HELPS SOLBERG REIGN IN SPAIN FORD Fiesta S2000 drivers Henning Solberg and Dennis Kuipers dominated their class at Rally de EspaÃ±a this weekend finishing first and second place in their category. M-Sport's ...
FORD FIESTA S2000 HELPS SOLBERG REIGN IN SPAIN
FORD Fiesta S2000 drivers Henning Solberg and Dennis Kuipers dominated their class at Rally de España this weekend finishing first and second place in their category.
M-Sport's award-winning car was fitted with a new 2011 spec exhaust for the FIA World Rally Championship's penultimate event and the new addition helped Solberg and Kuipers finish an impressive eighth and 11th overall respectively.
"The car has been fantastic this weekend," said Solberg.
"We played about with the set-up but it was running perfectly on Saturday afternoon after we altered the rear ride height. The new exhaust made a huge difference -- it felt like a mean version of the World Rally Car and it had a lot more power."
Spain marked the first time that Solberg had driven the new generation rally car competitively on gravel but this did not phase the Norwegian pilot as he finished the first day leading the N4 class by over three minutes.
"My target is always to finish as well and as high as I can - I wanted to try and beat as many of the World Rally Cars as I could. Today [Sunday] I was pushing to try and catch Khalid [Al Qassimi] for seventh position and I was so close. If the last stage hadn't been so short I think I could have caught him", said Solberg.
Fellow Ford Fiesta S2000 driver, Dennis Kuipers finished Rally de España and produced his best result piloting the car on tarmac this year.
"It's definitely been a challenge driving on such fast asphalt roads this weekend. We had an issue with the brakes but the brake bias was changed at service which helped for the afternoon," said the 24-year-old.
"I found it difficult to judge where to go fast and when to go slower but it was a good weekend for us overall. Our best result on tarmac before this was 13th in Bulgaria - so it's great to go two places better in Spain and get a good result for our final asphalt rally of the WRC season," said Kuipers.
Ford Team Principal Malcolm Wilson said:
"Henning has once again impressed in the Ford Fiesta S2000 car. He set some very fast times this weekend and has shown incredible pace with the ability to close in on the World Rally Cars.
"Dennis has also demonstrated excellent progress in the Ford Fiesta S2000 this year. He has shown that he is a very capable driver and to finish so high up the leaderboard after such a difficult event is of great credit to Kuipers," added Wilson.
The Ford Fiesta S2000 car will return to Wales Rally GB next month where Xevi Pons and Jari Ketomaa will battle it out for the Super 2000 World Rally Championship (S-WRC) title.