A concrete manifestation of the automaker's stepped-up involvement in the world of small-bore motorsport, the Ford Fiesta ST GRC Race Car made its debut in Chicago. Envisioned as a perfect vehicle to help foster additional interest in the production version of the high-performance 2014 Fiesta ST model that goes on sale this spring, a trio of these factory-blessed competition-spec Fiesta ST GRCs will contest the 2013 Global RallyCross Championship as well as be entered in Global X Games RallyCross events on several continents.
Current two-time defending GRC manufacturer champion, Ford has moved to maximize its chances for success with the new Fiesta ST contingent by signing a multi-year partnership agreement with the reigning king of the GRC hill, Olsbergs MSE. Based in Sweden, the international operation also brings with it a pair of ace pilots: two-time defending GRC driver's champion Tanner Foust and 2011 X Games RallyCross gold medalist Brian Deegan. Like the outgoing GRC Fiestas; this new-era successor will be a full-race exercise wrapped in Kevlar and carbon fiber composite bodywork. Each will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder Duratec engine that cranks out 550-600 horses which gets sent to each tire via a custom Olsbergs MSE full-time all-wheel-drive system and can send the Fiesta ST GRC streaking from 0-60 mph in 2.0 seconds.
"Olsbergs MSE has a good history developing extreme/RallyCross cars, and with the longer-term manufacturer relationship with Ford and its technical support, together we will develop even stronger RallyCross cars," said Andreas Eriksson, Olsbergs MSE team principal. "The partnership is exactly what Olsbergs MSE needs to continue to be a winning team in the coming years.
Rounding out Ford's 2013 Fiesta ST GRC effort will be another Blue Oval legend in the GRC/X Games realm, Ken Block. Star of the "Gymkhana" video series, the silver medalist at last year's X Games will drive a single semi-privateer entry for his newly re-launched Hoonigan Racing Division team.
The 2013 Global RallyCross Championship currently is currently scheduled to include five North American events as well four X Game dates that also will feature RallyCross competition. Beyond the established race in Los Angeles, the Summer X Games RallyCross teams will visit new venues in Brazil, Spain and Germany.
"Global RallyCross has been a great series for us to demonstrate what Ford's small performance cars can do," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "With great drivers and teams, and now a formal manufacturer partnership with Olsbergs MSE, Ford Racing's commitment to Global RallyCross is quickly growing. We're excited about the debut of the Fiesta ST GRC car this year, and it will be fantastic to see Ford's global performance car compete in four countries around the world this season."
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