Geneva – The world's first touring race car based on Ford's all-new Focus is making its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show, just weeks before it is scheduled to appear on the track for the first time in the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch.
Developed by Arena Motorsport with technical support from Ford, it is the first car to emerge from a global initiative by Ford to support private teams around the globe in developing one common race car to S2000 specification.
The first application appears on the track only a few weeks after the road-going Focus will be on sale to customers across Europe and North America.
Arena Motorsport's UK-based Team Aon has been a successful long-term competitor in the British Touring Car series with a version of the previous Focus ST model. The new Team Aon Focus touring car is expected to compete in all 10 rounds of the 2011 British Touring Car Championship .
The Team Aon car typifies the flexible approach possible in this programme. Its specification includes running in the 2011 season with a turbocharged 2.0-litre Ford engine to meet current local regulations, rather than the 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine other teams will use in Championships in line with international FIA regulations.
"It is always very satisfying to see privateers taking Ford products and racing successfully with them," said Gerard Quinn, Ford of Europe Motorsport senior manager. "This demonstrates a real level of trust and confidence in our product and when we are able to bring some help as well, that faith can be rewarded with even more success."
Beyond the British race series, the new Focus race car has the potential to run in many national and regional championships globally, such as the China Touring Car.
Touring car activities involving the new Focus in Europe will be funded and run completely by private teams with only technical support from Ford.