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 Ford Racing to Show Focus ST-R at L.A. Auto Show; Global Ford Motorsports Development Strategy Continues to Grow

DATE: Will be calculated from "Release Start Date" field.

 

DEARBORN – The new Ford Focus ST arrives on American soil next year, and already Ford has a race-tweaked production-based Focus ST-R in the works for small car speedsters.

Closely resembling the Focus ST road car, the Focus ST-R is distinctive under the skin as it is purpose-built for the track by Ford Racing in North America as a fully prepared competition car. It features a powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost® engine, FIA-regulation roll cage, uprated brakes and track-tuned suspension.

The Focus ST-R will be available to teams soon, beginning in North America, to race in a variety of series. It appears this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The all-new Focus ST-R has been crafted by engineers at Ford Racing – with technical support from Ford’s Global Performance Vehicles group – to allow it to compete in a huge variety of series, including Grand-Am ST, World Challenge TC and the Canadian Touring Car Series. Ford also hopes teams will race the car in key European motorsports series and major events such as the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.

Its linkage to the new Focus ST road car is not by accident.

“From the beginning, the Focus and new Focus ST were designed to be drivers’ cars,” said Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsport Business Development. “The road-going Focus features best-in-class brakes, handling and powertrains, and the design and functionality of the various vehicle systems have helped us to develop a global technical specification for teams wanting to race the new Focus cost-effectively. Ford Racing in North America has taken this effort and developed the new Focus ST-R. It’s a perfect example of how a great production car inspires a competitive race car for enthusiasts.”

Focus ST-R will be available to order from Ford dealers in North America by hardcore professional drivers, amateur racers and track-day enthusiasts as well. Ford’s vision is to broaden availability to more regions in the future.

“We’re thrilled to be taking the Focus ST-R from concept to reality for motorsports enthusiasts initially in North America and potentially around the world,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “The previous turnkey race cars we developed for North American racing have been hugely successful, so we’re hopeful the ST-R will be the first such vehicle for global series and – as a direct result of the company’s global platform strategy and our technical support program – for motorsports applications of Focus and Fiesta models.”

Because the Focus ST-R is a production-based road race car, it features stock body panels and production parts where possible.

“People who buy one will get a fully prepared race car that will only need communications equipment and the customer’s decals to go racing,” added Allison. “We’ve already had significant interest in this vehicle from numerous established race teams.”

For North American customers, the Focus ST-R is the latest in a long line of turnkey race cars offered by Ford including the Mustang FR500C, Mustang FR500S, Mustang Cobra Jet, Boss 302R and Boss 302S.

Development work on the Focus ST-R also will result in a range of Ford Racing parts to be made available to racers and enthusiasts around the world.

Focus role in Ford’s global motorsports strategy
The Frankfurt Motor Show debut and this month’s Los Angeles appearance of the Focus ST-R is part of an aggressive motorsports presence for Ford as its strategy to support motorsports development across its core global vehicle platforms gains traction. Ford is applying engineering and development expertise for vehicles like Focus ST-R to spur success in competition similar to that being enjoyed by the Fiesta in RallyCross and X Games.

“Just as we are developing performance cars from our vehicle platforms with global customers in mind, we’re taking the same platform approach with motorsports,” said Capito. “The intent is to leverage our central motorsports engineering expertise to get competitive hardware in the hands of private teams and racers all around the world, and the Focus ST-R is the latest proof.”

The global Focus race car development – a major plank in Ford’s new global motorsports strategy – is based on international S2000 regulations. 

Ford launched its global motorsports development program last year. At its core is technical support for privateers who choose to compete with global Ford vehicles with access to affordable, globally competitive hardware. 

“We expect to see the ST-R competing for wins on a global scale, extending the rich racing and rallying heritage Focus has already gained both on tarmac and on dirt,” Capito added.

 

  

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11/3/2011 12:00 AM