COLOGNE, Germany – Ford Fiesta heads a wide variety of Blue Oval models competing in top level motorsport in Europe during 2014.
The driving qualities and strength of the Fiesta road car provide the perfect base model from which to develop vehicles capable of success at the highest echelons of competition.
In rallycross, both the Ford Olsbergs MSE team and Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing Division will compete in the inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship, which starts in Portugal on 3 - 4 May and contains nine European rounds.
The Fiesta ST production car has been transformed into a fearsome 2.0-litre turbocharged racer that boasts 600PS, four-wheel drive and can cover 0-100kph in 1.9 seconds.
Live TV coverage will show the excitement as up to six drivers line up at once to pilot their cars over a challenging short circuit that features jumps, hairpin bends and transitions between gravel and asphalt in one of motorsport’s fastest growing disciplines.
Fiesta remains one of the cars to beat in rallying, where five different models of M-Sport developed rally cars compete in the FIA World Rally Championship – in which 10 of the 13 rounds are in Europe.
In the headline World Rally Car category, Fiesta RS WRCs, equipped with turbocharged 1.6-litre engines which draw on EcoBoost production car technology, remain the most popular car and the model regularly accounts for more than a third of entries.
In the WRC 2 support category, Fiesta R5 and Fiesta RRC, both powered by the same 1.6-litre engines, and the Fiesta S2000 are dominating the category this season. Fiestas have won all four rounds to date, and twice taken clean sweeps of the podium.
And at grass roots level, the WRC-based Drive DMACK Fiesta Cup was oversubscribed with drivers wanting to compete in Fiesta R2 cars in the new cost-effective series.
The Fiesta R5 is widely used in major regional and national series, while the R2 is also the uniform car for national Fiesta SportTrophy series in more than 10 countries.
While engines which use EcoBoost technology power many of Ford’s rallying Fiestas, the same downsized, high-efficiency petrol engines used in road vehicles also provide the driving force for the latest Formula Ford race cars.
This Ford of Europe-supported discipline, which has been a popular category on race circuits for almost 50 years, continues to flourish in Britain.
The Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain features a strong grid for the 2014 season and continues to benefit from being aligned with the popular British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).
In BTCC, Airwaves Racing runs a three car team using an upgraded Focus ST NGTC, while Focus is a winner in China, where the Changan Ford Racing Team has claimed the China Touring Car Championship manufacturers’ crown for five consecutive seasons.
Also outside of Europe, Ford has a full line-up of motorsport activities including:
Rallycross - Ford Olsbergs MSE and Hoonigan Racing Division will again contest the Global Rallycross Championship, based primarily in the United States, with the same Fiesta ST car used in the world series. Ford Olsbergs has won the manufacturers’ crown for the last three years.
Off-road racing - Earlier this season, Ranger successfully completed the Dakar Rally, the world’s toughest motorsport event, with the South African-based Team Ford Racing.
NASCAR - In the United States, Fusion and Mustang compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide series respectively, piloted by drivers from Penske Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, RPM and Wood Brothers Racing.
IMSA Sports Cars - The V6 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine powers Ford Riley Daytona Prototype cars fielded by Team Ganassi and Michael Shanks Racing in the new United SportsCar Championship. The EcoBoost power unit won for the first time in only its second race at the famous 12 hours of Sebring.
“Production models such as Fiesta, Focus and Mustang and production technology such as EcoBoost possess core qualities that make them attractive to motorsport teams,” said Ford Racing director Jamie Allison.
“Strength, reliability and high-technology, typified by the fact that you can literally take the same EcoBoost engine foundation that powers our road cars and put it into a competition vehicle, are exactly what teams require,” he added.