Ford is taking the Fiesta rallying – and this is the first look at the final 2011-spec car in its new livery, unveiled at the Autosport International show in Birmingham. The Fiesta’s first competitive outing will be the Rally of Sweden, which starts on 10 February.
The Fiesta replaces the Focus as Ford’s World Rally challenger, as the WRC rules have changed in favour of smaller cars powered by 1.6-litre turbocharged engines. The new Fiesta features “powered by EcoBoost” branding as a result, as part of its revised livery.
Finnish driver Mikko Hirvonen, who will once again be partnered by compatriot Jari-Matti Latvala and Emirati driver Khalid Al Qassimi in the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, unveiled the newcomer.
Cumbria-based team M-Sport continues to run the Ford rally effort. As well as the three factory cars, the firm plans to run up to seven other Fiestas on events for private teams.
In Sweden, M-Sport will run three cars for the Stobart team, for Mads Ostberg, Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson, the Monster World Rally Team entry of Ken Block, and another car for Dutch star Dennis Kuipers.