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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ford to withdraw works support for World Rally Championship

Ford will cease to have a factory presence in the World Rally Championship at the end of the 2012 season.

A statement issued by Ford of Europe on Monday said that the decision had been taken due to the current economic climate, following a major review of its marketing activities in the continent.

"Ford has a long and proud history in the WRC and this was not an easy decision," said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe.

"At this time, however we determined that it was better for the company and the Ford brand to reduce our commitment to the WRC and deploy our resources in other areas."

Malcolm Wilson's M-Sport organisation, which has run Ford's factory squad since 1997 and taken 52 wins plus the manufacturers' world championships in 2006 and '07, aims to continue in the WRC with the Fiesta model in the coming years.

Ford is on talks with M-Sport to provide continued vehicle and engineering support.

Wilson said: "I would like to thank Ford of Europe for their enthusiastic support and the faith shown in the team over the past 16 seasons.

"We understand that tough decisions have had to be made and look forward to continuing our strong technical partnership into the future."

click: autosport.com/news//103466

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M-Sport / Director Malcolm Wilson response:

“I would like to thank Ford of Europe for their enthusiastic support and the faith shown in the team over the past 16 seasons. We understand that tough decisions have had to be made to safeguard Ford jobs, we accept the commercial reality of the situation and look forward to continuing our strong technical partnership into the future.

“M-Sport is extremely proud of our history with Ford since 1997; 208 podium finishes, scoring points on 156 consecutive events and 52 wins from 225 starts in the WRC along with two world titles underlines the dedication and commitment of the whole team in Cumbria.

”My intention is that we will continue to push to secure stage wins and overall results on the forthcoming events for Ford and to push forward with the development work that was started in March this year to improve and refine the Fiesta WRC even further, ready for the 2013 season.

”We will also continue to work closely with our colleagues at Ford Racing towards the launch of the Fiesta R5 for March 2013 and the improvements that we are working on for the R2 car which will continue to the form the basis of a series of national and regional young driver programmes in the future.

“Confirmation of our key championship programmes for 2013 is our first priority and a challenge that the team here is very much looking forward to. After that we can review all options and determine the right direction for the future”

click: m-sport.co.uk/index.php/news/1259-m-sport-press-release



teh weasel is stunned !!
 

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Ford to Withdraw as a title sponsor from the FIA World Rally Championship after 2012 Season

COLOGNE, Oct. 15, 2012 -- Ford of Europe today announced that it will withdraw from the FIA World Rally Championship as a title sponsor after the 2012 season.

The company said it made the decision as part of a review of its European business in the current difficult economic environment.

“Ford has a long and proud history in the WRC and this was not an easy decision,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. “At this time, however we determined that it was better for the company and the Ford brand to reduce our commitment to the WRC and deploy our resources in other areas.”

Ford’s long-term rallying partner, UK-based M-Sport, plans to continue competing in WRC with the Fiesta. Ford is in discussions with M-Sport to provide continued vehicle and engineering support, including for the recently announced Fiesta R5 for the new-for-2013 WRC-2 series, and the Fiesta R2 for grass-roots national and regional driver programmes.

“We have great respect for M-Sport and Malcolm Wilson, who have run the Ford WRC team since 1997, and there is no organization with more expertise and commitment to winning,” de Waard said. “Working together, we have reached a point where the Ford Fiesta has become the car of choice in rallying, and we want to see this continue in the future.”

Ford also said it wished to thank its rallying fans, drivers, the FIA, and its many WRC partners, including team main sponsors BP and Castrol, for their support and commitment.

Said Malcolm Wilson, managing director of M-Sport: “I would like to thank Ford of Europe for their enthusiastic support and the faith shown in the team over the past 16 seasons. We understand that tough decisions have had to be made and look forward to continuing our strong technical partnership into the future.”

- Ford Media
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson plans to make the Ford Fiesta RS WRC even faster ahead of the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship season firing into life on Rallye Monte-Carlo in January.

Following Ford’s announcement that it will not be sponsoring an official team in the series next season, Wilson has vowed to press ahead with a number of tweaks to the car, which will have the Blue Oval’s blessing.

“My intention is that we will continue to push to secure stage wins and overall results on the forthcoming events for Ford and to push forward with the development work that was started in March this year to improve and refine the Fiesta WRC even further, ready for the 2013 season,” said Wilson, who doubles as the director of the Ford World Rally Team.

“We will also continue to work closely with our colleagues at Ford Racing towards the launch of the Fiesta R5 for March 2013 and the improvements that we are working on for the R2 car which will continue to the form the basis of a series of national and regional young driver programmes in the future.

“Confirmation of our key championship programmes for 2013 is our first priority and a challenge that the team here is very much looking forward to. After that we can review all options and determine the right direction for the future.”

Wilson continued: “I would like to thank Ford of Europe for their enthusiastic support and the faith shown in the team over the past 16 seasons. We understand that tough decisions have had to be made to safeguard Ford jobs, we accept the commercial reality of the situation and look forward to continuing our strong technical partnership into the future.

“M-Sport is extremely proud of our history with Ford since 1997; 208 podium finishes, scoring points on 156 consecutive events and 52 wins from 225 starts in the WRC along with two world titles underlines the dedication and commitment of the whole team in Cumbria.”

Roelant de Waard, vice president, marketing, sales and service, Ford of Europe, said: “Ford has a long and proud history in the WRC and this was not an easy decision. At this time, however we determined that it was better for the company and the Ford brand to reduce our commitment to the WRC and deploy our resources in other areas.

“We have great respect for M-Sport and Malcolm Wilson, who have run the Ford WRC team since 1997, and there is no organisation with more expertise and commitment to winning. Working together, we have reached a point where the Ford Fiesta has become the car of choice in rallying, and we want to see this continue in the future.”

click: wrc.com/news/17671

...:)
 

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Man this stinks! I'm really sad to hear this. I'm really happy that M-Sport is pushing ahead, but but... bah!

WRC is the whole reason I have a Focus. And I was so impressed with Ford that they stuck it out in the past couple of years when most of the other manufacturers pulled out.

Sucky economy.
 

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+1 on people who got interested in hot hatches because of WRC, and the ST once I knew I wanted a hatch. Well, that and Top Gear.

This is sad, because I think the WRC is to hatches what Formula 1 is to sports cars and NASCAR to muscle cars.
 

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I hear you mate , any who if you check out in non stnation (OT) theres a WRC Rally thread
Thanks for the link, I had somehow missed that thread.

NASCAR to muscle cars.
I wish! It certainly was, long ago.

...OK Tom, calm down, this is not the place to get fired up over NASCAR rules... :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Volkswagen signs Latvala

Jari-Matti Latvala's "experience, aggression and exceptional speed" convinced Volkswagen Motorsport that the Finn was the ideal candidate to partner Sebastien Ogier in its factory line-up from the start of the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship.

Following his five-year stint as a works Ford driver, Latvala will switch to Volkswagen to pilot one of its all-new Polo R WRCs from January’s Rallye Monte-Carlo onwards.

The news, confirmed as Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila complete their preparations for this week’s Rally Italia Sardegna with Ford, will create one of the strongest driver line-ups in next season’s world championship.

“We’re proud and highly pleased to have gained Jari-Matti Latvala for our World Rally Championship project,” said Volkswagen Motorsport director Jost Capito. “He’s one of the most distinguished WRC drivers in the field and has experience, aggressiveness and exceptional speed. I’ve known Jari-Matti since his early days in rallying and have been watching his development very closely. He’s a true reinforcement for our team.”

Capito said the capture of Latvala’s signature was another boost to Volkswagen’s bid for WRC glory from 2013: “The fact that another top-flight driver believes in our success and is switching to our team gives each member of our team an additional motivation boost. In Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala we’ve got an excellent driver line-up for the debut of the Polo R WRC in the 2013 World Rally Championship.”

Latvala, who became the youngest winner of a world championship qualifier when he triumphed on Rally Sweden in 2008, has seven WRC victories to his name and is currently third in the drivers’ standings with two rounds of this season remaining.

“I’m very happy to be driving the Polo R WRC in the World Rally Championship in future,” said the 27-eyar-old Finn. “The determined approach of the Volkswagen team convinced me to accept this challenge. The time at Ford was very valuable for me and I would like to thank everyone who supported me there in the past years - it wasn’t easy for me to say goodbye. At the same time, I see the change as a personal new beginning. I’ve taken this decision in order to make another step towards reaching my big aim: the world champion’s title with Volkswagen.”


click: wrc.com/news/=17675

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Solberg ready to lead M-Sport in the WRC after Ford exit

Petter Solberg says he is ready and able to lead M-Sport's privateer assault on next year's World Rally Championship in the wake of Jari-Matti Latvala's departure for Volkswagen.

Following the withdrawal of Ford as a title sponsor of the team at the end of the year, Solberg is now considering his options.

Currently a Ford driver, Solberg is being chased by both Citroen and M-Sport for next season.

He is rumoured to have a good offer from the French firm, but Solberg says he can see the potential in the Fiesta RS WRC for 2013.

"It's a fast car,' said Solberg, "and it's getting faster. I've been there and I've seen the developments that are coming and this is why I say to you that I would have no problems to stay with the team.

"M-Sport can win rallies and the championship next year, for sure.

"And, as well as this, you know that I know Malcolm [Wilson] and the team at M-Sport and this will just make them dig deeper and go harder at everything.

"I like the car, I have always liked the car and it would be very hard for me to leave. We will have to see."

If Solberg does depart, he would likely be replaced by Spain's Dani Sordo - the only other driver under consideration for the second factory DS3 WRC alongside Mikko Hirvonen.

click: autosport.com/news/103493

..:)
 
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