Latvala Dominates Wales Rally GB
Ford World Rally Team duo Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila claimed an emphatic victory in Wales Rally GB, the 10th round of the FIA World Rally Championship. Dominating the event almost from start to finish and coming home nearly 30sec ahead of their closest rivals, Ford’s Flying Finns defended their 2011 triumph as they sealed their second success of the campaign behind the wheel of a Fiesta RS World Rally Car. The result marked the seventh win of Latvala’s WRC career. Following a thrilling duel over the final two days, team-mates Petter Solberg / Chris Patterson finished third, their fifth podium of the season. They missed out on the runner-up laurels by just 0.9 seconds after 324.92km of competitive action.
Six Fiesta RS WRCs in Top 10 in Wales
Adapta World Rally Team’s Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson produced a consistent and composed performance to finish fourth in Wales Rally GB in a Fiesta RS WRC. The Norwegian driver won his first gravel stage in more than three years and overcame an engine misfire on the final day. M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Ott Tänak / Kuldar Sikk retired from sixth on the last day after breaking the front right lower suspension arm of their car on exposed bedrock, gifting the position to team-mates Evgeny Novikov / Ilka Minor. On their WRC return, Matthew Wilson / Scott Martin finished as best-placed British entrants in eighth, ahead of Martin Prokop / Zdeněk Hrůza for Czech Ford National Team in ninth.
Breen Seals Emotional Super 2000 Win
Craig Breen clinched an emotional victory in the WRC’s Super 2000 category in Wales Rally GB to move back into title contention. The result was poignant for Breen, coming just three months after his co-driver, Welshman Gareth Roberts, tragically lost his life in an accident in the Targa Florio in Sicily. The win lifted the Irishman from fourth to second in the SWRC standings, eight points shy of the lead. Breen and co-driver Paul Nagle’s dominance was threatened on day two when an oil leak and power steering pipe leak resulted in 1min 20sec of penalties for a late departure from service and dropped the pair briefly to second.
Third for Cronje in South Africa
Mark Cronje / Robin Houghton finished third in their Sasolracing Rally Team Ford Fiesta S2000 in the Toyota Cape Dealer Rally, round six of the South African Rally Championship. Team-mates Jon Williams / Cobus Very, driving a similar car, were just under a minute behind in fourth. After building up a commanding early lead on the Western Cape’s ultra-fast gravel stages, Cronje / Houghton lost two minutes towards the end of the opening day with a pace note error, but fought back with five fastest stage times out of six on day two to finish barely five seconds adrift of the runners-up.
Fiesta Wins Yalta Rally
Castrol Ford Team Türkiye duo Yağız Avcı / Bahadır Gücenmez won the Yalta Rally in the Ukraine, round 10 of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), behind the wheel of an M-Sport-built Ford Fiesta S2000. The first Turkish driver to triumph in the IRC, Avcı prevailed by more than three minutes, after the lead changed five times during the course of the Black Sea-based asphalt event’s second day. The Fiesta RRC of Yuriy Protasov / Kyril Nesvit and Fiesta S2000 of Mikko Pajunen / Kaj Lindström were also in contention for victory before retiring. Murat Bostancı / Onur Vatansever in a Fiesta R2 finished third in the two wheel-drive class and seventh overall.
Focus Wins China Touring Car Championship
Changan Ford Racing Team secured its fifth manufacturers’ triumph from six races with second and third in round six of the China Touring Car Championship at Guangdong International Circuit. Changan Ford became the only team to have won 25 times since the series began. After qualifying second and third with 60kg of ballast in their Ford Focus cars, Andy Yan and team-mate Rainey He maintained those positions all the way to the chequered flag in the race. Gaoxiang Fan found himself an innocent victim of a collision between two other cars that left him with bent steering, but fought well to finish fourth. Changan Ford Racing Team now requires just three more points in the next round to win the Manufacturer Cup Championship.
18 year-old Ford driver is Latvian Champion
In claiming his fourth victory from six events in Rally Kurzeme, 18-year-old Ralfs Sirmacis became the youngest-ever Latvian rally champion when he clinched the R2 category at the wheel of the OKarte Autosport Academy Rally Team Ford Fiesta R2 he shares with co-driver Maris Kulss. Sirmacis / Kulss overcame a scare on SS8 when they momentarily slid off into a ditch to finish just under 10 seconds clear of team-mates and runners-up Marcis Kenavs / Armands Kenavs. Fellow OKarte Autosport pairing Karlis Nebars / Gundars Berkis placed fourth in a similar car. Kenavs and Nebars will enter the final meeting later this month tied for second in the championship.
Ford Returns to Australian Rally Championship
Ford will return to the Australian Rally Championship in 2013 with the Fiesta R2 and R1 models. The cars will be available to competitors in a variety of kit options via Ford Australia-sanctioned re-seller RSPORT. Details of a new Fiesta SportTrophy to run alongside selected rounds of the championship will be announced in the coming weeks, making Australia the 13th country to initiate the highly successful one-make rally series. The winner will progress to the FST International Shootout in the UK.
Sulzinger on Course for ADAC Glory
Raffael Sulzinger regained the lead of the ADAC Rallye Junior Cup by finishing first in class and eighth overall alongside co-driver Pirmin Winklhofer in the ADAC Ostsee Rallye in Germany.
Richards Fights Back Down Under
Steve Richards / Mark Winterbottom overcame an exclusion and 16th-place finish in their qualifying races to power through to second in their Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Falcon FG in the Sandown 500, round nine of Australia’s V8 Supercars Championship. The Blue Oval also set the pace in qualifying courtesy of Will Davison (Trading Post FPR Ford) and the qualifying races (SP Tools Racing team-mates Luke Youlden and Shane van Gisbergen).
Stenhouse Jnr. Narrows Retakes NASCAR Lead
Defending NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion Ricky Stenhouse Jnr. regained the lead in the title standings after a late charge secured the Ford Mustang driver victory in the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. The result marked the Roush Fenway Racing star’s fifth triumph of the season, and converted a one-point championship deficit into a nine-point advantage with seven races remaining.
Ford World Rally Team Merchandise Offer
Ford Racing has negotiated a special 20 per cent discount for Ford staff (employees, hourly, contractors and retirees) when buying Ford World Rally Team merchandise via www.wrcfordstore.com
*. Simply enter the code FWRT-FORDSTF on checkout. This offer is available until further notice. NOTE: Products will be shipped from the UK, therefore please take this into consideration with respect to shipment timing and costs. * This offer is not available to staff based in Germany. This offer is available to staff based in the UK. For staff based in other countries, please check with your Ford tax/finance manager in your country to determine if this offer meets taxable benefit-in-kind laws before activating the discount.