End of an Era
Ford hosted a special media dinner in Salou ahead of the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Rally de España. The event was held in celebration of Ford’s long and illustrious history in the WRC, and was well-attended with more than 100 media colleagues and senior FIA officials. During a friendly and relaxed evening, a number of speeches were made and warmly received, and feedback following the dinner has been overwhelmingly positive. A short video from the event can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VUa5epnlJU&list=UUB8V3Xphfkmh8QKsXtsFiQg&index=2&feature=plcp
Second for Ford in Spain
Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila ended Ford’s official WRC participation with a podium finish in the mixed-surface Rally de España to secure third in the drivers’ standings on an emotional weekend for the Blue Oval. Following a difficult start in treacherous conditions, Latvala moved from fifth to second and set about chasing leader Sébastien Loeb. Driving his Ford World Rally Team Fiesta RS WRC, the Finn reduced the gap from more than 35 seconds to just seven by the finish, also claiming three bonus points for a Power Stage victory. Team-mates Petter Solberg / Chris Patterson finished 11th after hitting a rock submerged in a water-filled rut on day one, sending the pairing plummeting to 41st. The Spanish outing marked Ford’s WRC farewell.
Adapta World Rally Team duo Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson completed a strong campaign with fourth place in a Fiesta RS WRC in Rally de España to clinch the same position in the drivers’ standings. Østberg led after the opening day, but slipped back after going off the road on day two. M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Ott Tänak / Kuldar Sikk looked set for a strong result but the Estonian pair crashed on the final day whilst chasing a podium. Evgeny Novikov / Ilka Minor finished 10th after incurring a 10-minute penalty for using tyres that did not conform to the regulations. Czech Ford National Team’s Martin Prokop / Michal Ernst finished 15th, with Daniel Oliveira / Carlos Magalhães 20th in the Brazil World Rally Team car.
Breen Storms to S2000 Title
Craig Breen / Paul Nagle capped an emotional year by winning the WRC-supporting FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship in Rally de España. They finished an impressive sixth overall in a Ford Fiesta S2000. The result marked Breen’s second title triumph in as many years, having claimed the inaugural FIA WRC Academy crown in 2011 alongside his late co-driver Gareth Roberts, to whom he dedicated his SWRC success.
Suárez Claims Maiden Win
José Suárez secured the runner-up spot in the FIA WRC Academy with his breakthrough victory in the Ford Racing-supported series on home soil in Rally de España. The win enabled Candido Carrera to lift the co-drivers’ crown. With all crews competing in identically-prepared Fiesta R2s, Pontus Tidemand / Stig Rune Skjaermoen made the early running on the opening day’s gravel. They won five stages out of six only for a double puncture to hand the advantage to Suárez. A sterling recovery earned Tidemand second. Recently-crowned Academy champion Elfyn Evans finished third, alongside new co-driver Seb Marshall.
FIA Chooses Fiesta R2s
M-Sport prepared Fiesta R2s will continue to be the car of choice in the renamed FIA Junior WRC Championship, formerly the FIA WRC Academy, in 2013. The series, which remains the entry-level step on the WRC ladder, will be open to drivers under the age of 26 and will be contested over six European WRC rounds. The champion will be given the opportunity to enter a minimum of six events in the 2014 FIA WRC 2 Championship at the wheel of a Fiesta R5.
Stenhouse Jnr. Closes on NASCAR Crown
Ricky Stenhouse Jnr. moved one step closer to defending his NASCAR Nationwide Series crown in his Roush Fenway Racing Ford Mustang with third in the penultimate round, the Great Clips 200 at Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona. With his chief title rival crashing out, Stenhouse will carry a 20-point lead into the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida on 17 November.
Focus RS WRCs Win
Edoardo Bresolin / Rudy Pollet won the Ronde Balcone delle Marche in Italy in a Ford Focus RS WRC. Marco Tempestini / Anton Avram, in a Fiesta RS WRC, and Massimiliano Tonso / Guido D’Amore, in a Fiesta S2000, both finished third in their class. Elsewhere, driving a Ford Focus RS WRC, Mirko Puricelli / Domenico Pozzi finished second in class in the Monza Ronde by Vedovati Corse in Italy, ahead of Alberto Sassi / Gabriele Romei in a similar car in third. Nigel Mummery / Fiona Scarrett finished third in the Neil Howard Memorial Stages in the UK in a Ford Focus WRC.
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.