Ford's rally future hits the skids after motor giant quits the sport
Last updated at 17:15, Monday, 15 October 2012
Ford’s world rally team team has announced its decision to quit the sport after the final event of the 2012 season.
Next month’s Rally de Espana will be the final time Ford sponsor a car after a review of its European business.
Blaing the “difficult economic environment”, Ford’s long-term rallying partner, M-Sport, based at Dovenby Hall, plans to continue competing 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 2013 World Rally Championship series, and the Fiesta R2 for grass-roots national and regional driver programmes.
Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport’s managing director, thanked Ford for their support throughout a 15-year partnership, which has seen 208 podium finishes, scoring on 156 consecutive events, and 52 wins from 225 starts.
Since 1997 M-Sport and Ford have also won two world titles.
Mr Wilson added: “I am extremely proud of our history with Ford.
“I understand tough decisions have had to be made to safeguard Ford jobs.
“M-Sport 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 to improve and refine the Fiesta even further, ready for the 2013 season.
“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.”
First published at 16:30, Monday, 15 October 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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