BRENTWOOD, England - M-Sport World Rally Team’s Ford Fiesta RS WRCs will be sporting a new-look next later this week when Mikko Hirvonen and Elfyn Evans power through the high-speed forests of the 64th Neste Oil Rally Finland.
As rallying’s spiritual home, there is perhaps no batter backdrop on which to debut the Fiesta’s long-awaited facelift and the M-Sport crews will be looking to celebrate the reveal with a similarly celebratory performance.
Based on the road-going Ford Fiesta ST – Ford’s fastest-ever production Fiesta which combines contemporary style with the Blue Oval’s state-of-the-art EcoBoost technology – the new-look world rally car highlights the valued technical support which M-Sport continues to receive from the Ford Motor Company.
Head of Ford Racing in Europe, Gerard Quinn, said: “Ford and M-Sport continue to enjoy a strong working relationship and it’s great to see this captured in the new-look Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
“The Ford Fiesta ST has received considerable success and recognition since its launch last year. It’s a pleasure to see that M-Sport’s collaboration with the Ford styling team has resulted in our latest production model being represented alongside our state-of-the-art EcoBoost technology in the FIA World Rally Championship.”
Neste Oil Rally Finland is one of the FIA World Rally Championship’s (WRC) most anticipated and prestigious events. Success on the fast-paced stages will be hard-fought. The route is blisteringly quick and precision driving and pacenote delivery is essential.
The high-speed straights are interspersed with series of jumps and a good set-up with a car that handles well can be a driver’s most treasured possession. Blind crests conceal tricky bends and split second decisions can make all the difference as crews look to position their cars correctly before take-off and landing.
Fiesta ace Mikko Hirvonen, who will be competing in front of his home crowd in Finland, said: “ WeFinns are very proud of this event – of its history and its heritage – and we all want to see a Finnish driver on the top step of the podium again.
“I would love to be that Finn, but we know that this will be a close-fought rally with a lot of very tough competition. I’d like to go for the win, but if I come away with a podium I would still be very happy with the result.
“If we have a perfect rally then there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be pushing for the victory, but you have to be on the pace from the very first corner. The key is confidence. The stages are so fast and technical with lots of hidden corners over crests and you need to be fully committed throughout the entire weekend.”
Team-mate Elfyn Evans said: “Knowledge and experience is important on every rally, but here it’s even more so as you have to get the crests just right. The high-speed means that there is a very fine line between setting a great time and going over the limit. But if we relax and settle into our own rally, I think we’ll be on course for another positive result.”