Ford of Europe revealed that it will enter the FIA World Rally Championship in 2012 and 2013 as well. This program will continue to be run by M-Sport, the British-based preparation company that has been its partner for a long time. Since 1997, M-Sport has been successful in running Ford’s WRC activities from its highly advanced facilities at Dovenby Hall located in northwest England.
What Ford considers to be the WRC flagship in 2012 and 2013 will still be the Fiesta RS World Rally Car. During the first and final rounds of this car’s debut season this year, it had swept the podium. Ford based this car on the Fiesta road car.
In 2012, the team will be led by Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila. In 2011, they had topped the global rankings for special stage victories and they also were the winners for last month’s final round of the championship in Britain. Partnering with them are former world champion Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson, who have inked a one-year deal to drive the second Fiesta RS WRC in all 13 rounds for the team.
Solberg, who is 37 years old and comes from Norway, grabbed the world title in 2003 and actually has 13 world rally wins. This will be the second time that he will drive for Ford, which is credited for launching his world rally career in 1999. The group will have the name Ford World Rally Team.
Long-term partner Castrol will be continuing to support the team for 2012 and 2013. Ford’s rallying run is long and successful. It comes in as second in the all-time wins list with 79 world rally wins. Furthermore, its run of 145 straight points finishes dates back to the opening round of the 2002 championship -- the longest in the history of the sport.