Ford’s all-new Focus will participate in the 2011 British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), marking its debut in competitive racing. Ford will not provide financial or full works support to the championship but it intends to give access to private teams to its technology. Ford has also expressed its willingness to give technical support.
It’s likely that this arrangement is similar to the set-up in this year’s championship where privateers Team Aon put two current-gen Ford Focuses in the race without getting financial support from Ford.
However, it had access to some resources and technology. Starting 2011, the BTCC will have a transitional phase where it will start the switch from the current S2000 regulations to new cost-saving Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) rules. There will be many components in common, such as the front and rear sub frames. To participate in the championship, the cars don’t have to be homologated.
This means that many new cars such as the Toyota Avensis and the Ford Focus are now able to compete. Ford said that the Focus will be its new global touring car and that it will be developed with private race teams in cooperation with Ford’s global motorsport group.
Jost Capito, Ford’s global performance vehicles and motorsport boss, said that there has been much interest in racing for the new Focus. He referred to it as being “the perfect fit for a global touring car.” He said that by teaming up with private race teams, it’s guaranteed that Focus gets support it requires to “compete and win.”