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Ford’s all-new Fiesta RS World Rally Car made a dream debut by powering to a 1-2-3 finish in Rally Sweden over the weekend. Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team’s Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen won a thrilling opening round of the FIA World Rally Championship by just 6.5sec from Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson. Hirvonen’s team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila were third.
It was Ford’s first podium clean sweep since Rally Sweden in 2008, when Latvala claimed his maiden WRC win and was followed home by Hirvonen and Gigi Galli. Ford Abu Dhabi holds an 18 point lead in the manufacturers’ world championship and Hirvonen’s victory makes him Ford’s most successful WRC driver. This was his 13th victory, edging him ahead of former team-mate Marcus Grönholm.
Eager anticipation built up ahead of the start. New cost-effective, more environmentally aware regulations – based around 1600cc turbocharged, four-wheel drive cars – ushered in a fresh era for the WRC. The first rally for the new-generation cars proved an exciting one with five drivers starting the final day with a realistic chance of victory.
The championship switches to gravel next month for the first of two rallies in the 2011 calendar in the Americas. Rally Mexico is based in León on 3 – 6 March.
Monster World Rally Team’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino came in 14th.
The Monster World Rally Team has announced its full itinerary for the 2011 season, and instead of the usual press release its time for some Russian-Esque dancers just wearing the bear necessities and some rather dubious drum and bass.
The video hints at the cold awaiting for them in the harsh Swedish winter and hope the team dress better than the ladies in the video.
The Video shows off the all-new Monster Energy Ford Fiesta RS WRC that the Monster World Rally Team will be using to contest the Summer X games along with 2011 WRC.
Ken Block also teases us that there will be some secret events being published this year probably causing another youtube craze.
For those interested in more, this is said to be the first video in a three-part series. Part two is scheduled to be released on February 9th.
The Ford WRC are busy preparing for the 2011 season and are looking forward to the competition debut of the Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2011 in Sweden. In the meantime, here’s another quick look back at the highs and lows of 2010.
Powering the WRC prepped Fiesta, there is a fire breathing version of the FoMoCo 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower and 331 foot pounds of torque. The car at the scales in at a 2,645 pounds.
A 12:1 steering rack, massive Brembo brakes and an X-Trac six-speed sequential transmission ensure that the 2011 WRC will be an exciting season.
Here is another Ken Block video from the states, this time a historic outing in a 2.0 litre Cosworth powered MkII Escort.
The rally cars were highly specialised machines. Bodyshells were heavily strengthened.
The BDA engine was bored to 2.0 L and gave up to 270 bhp (201 kW; 274 PS) by 1979. It was complemented by a strengthened transmission, five-speed straight-cut ZF gearbox, five-linked suspension and a host of more minor modifications. In this form, the Escort was perhaps not the most sophisticated of the rear-drive saloon cars that dominated rallying in the late 1970s.
The Next generation Ford Focus ST has been revealed, sporting 500cc less petrol consumption by shelving the 2.5 liter used in the Focus RS and the current ST.
Now the power will come from the 2.0l Ecoboost engine with a reworked manifiold and introduction of better air intake to boost power to 250ps 10% over the current unit.
The new Focus ST features a highly distinctive sports exterior, providing significant functional and aerodynamic benefits and clearly differentiating the ST derivative from other models in the new Focus family. The more sporting design language is particularly evident at the front end, where the twin upper and lower grilles of the standard car are replaced by a prominent new one-piece design.
Representing the sportiest definition yet of Ford’s signature trapezoidal grille, the bold one-piece design is placed higher on the nose of the vehicle, and incorporates a distinctive hexagonal mesh finished in high gloss black.
The front spoiler has a completely new configuration, with a deep central splitter framed by small motorsport-inspired spoiler blades on either side, which sweep round and encompass the fog lamps. The spoiler blades are linked to the rest of the body lines through the grille structure, which is reminiscent of the similar treatment in the current Focus RS model.
The rear bumper and lower fascia is also completely new, with prominent diffuser-style vents on either side which mirror the form of the front spoiler blades. Rear lamps with a dark smoked tint enhance the sporty feel.
The new Focus ST has a high-performance exhaust system, which exits the vehicle through a central dual-pipe outlet. The exhaust outlet has been given a highly-distinctive design treatment with a strong kinetic form which emulates the design themes on the rest of the car.
The car’s aerodynamic package is completed by a highly effective integrated roof spoiler, which has been optimised to deliver improved high-speed stability and reduced drag. With a larger, more exaggerated design than the spoiler on the current Focus ST, it incorporates ducting to the rear screen and has been carefully integrated with the vehicle tailgate and roof.
Wonder if the 2.0l unit will be as tunable as the 2.5l but I can understand seperating the engine from the current Focus RS.
This was spotted in prototype form last week on back of a trailer at the Nurburgring.