DEARBORN – Anticipation is building among Focus Global Test Drive participants – bloggers and consumers, hailing from 13 countries where the all-new Ford Focus will soon be available – as they prepare to convene in Madrid later this week.
These cause-minded consumers – many of whom will receive $10,000 (U.S.) to be donated to their favorite charity – will be the first members of the public to test drive the new Ford Focus, in exercises and dynamic driving challenges that highlight features and attributes of the newest car from Ford, which will eventually be sold in 122 counties.
Participants will gather at the National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) on the outskirts of Madrid, which offers multiple road surfaces and challenges for putting the all-new Focus through its paces. A world-class testing facility originally founded in 1942, INTA features high-speed tracks, road courses and proving ground roads replicating every conceivable obstacle a driver might face, anywhere in the world.
Test driver briefings and dynamic driving exercises will be co-hosted by veteran race driver and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Justin Bell, teaming up with Tanner Foust, U.S. Top Gear HISTORY television personality, stunt driver, rally competitor and Formula D drift champion.
The lucky test drivers will be among the first outside of Ford to experience the all-new Focus on a closed-track environment. Companions will get to accompany them for the ride of a lifetime, Ford engineers will get rapid unfiltered feedback from a diverse, global cross-section of prospective customers, while individual charities designated by each driver will benefit significantly.
To apply for participation in Focus Global Test Drive, friends and fans from around the world were invited to submit a video application – via the Ford Focus Facebook page – explaining why they should be among the first to experience the all-new Focus and why their charity of choice is a worthy cause.
Focus Global Test Drive allows participants to “start more than a car” by raising funds for their preferred charities. In addition to the initial $10,000 (U.S.), participants will have the chance to raise even more money for their charities by participating in post-event activities in their own hometowns.
Drivers are thrilled
Award-winning filmmaker Jason Pollock will be one of the influencers behind the wheel in Madrid. Pollock, whose film The Youngest Candidate was co-produced by David Letterman and Lawrence Bender, has served as an advisor for many high-profile clients and individuals including Michael Moore and Ashton Kutcher. With more than 83,000 followers, Pollock is one of the 140 most influential people on Twitter, according to a report in The New York Times.
“Social media is a powerful tool when used for philanthropy and to highlight innovative products like the new Ford Focus,” Pollock said. “I’m thrilled to be participating in this historic social media event and to be raising money for my father’s FREE Partnerships.” FREE Partnerships is a nonprofit in Rochester, N.Y. that works to support community organizations that are partnering with schools.
Event participants hail from 13 different countries around the world, yet share a common goal of raising funds for their preferred charity.
“As both a representative from Community Coalition and as an automotive enthusiast, I’m ecstatic about this opportunity,” said Joshua Busch, a Focus Global Test Drive participant from Los Angeles. “Our objective is to help kids with limited support prepare for college, so we’re thrilled that Ford cares about our passion enough to see that deserving students have access to resources that will help ensure academic success.”
Katie Meyler, of Bernardsville, N.J., represents More Than Me, a charity that brings diverse groups together to provide financial help for girls from Liberia to attend school. Focus Global Test Drive offered Meyler the chance to meet and network with exciting people doing great things to make the world a better place.
“Although I come from a Ford family, I’m a city dweller who rides a bicycle named Violet, so the car-on-track experience will be a real stretch for me,” Meyler said. “More importantly, $10,000 will send lots of Liberian girls to school, as opposed to life on the street.”
For a full list of Focus Global Test Drive participants and the charities they support, visit the “Global Drive” tab on the Ford Focus Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fordfocus).
All-new Ford Focus
The all-new Ford Focus is the result of a global product development program bringing together Ford engineers and technologies from around the world. Focus will be manufactured in Ford plants around the world, from Asia to Europe and North America. Consumer availability begins early this year. For more information on Focus, go to http://www.newfordfocus.com.