Fiesta R2 impresses in Europe
- 2nd July 2009, 10:01am
The all-new Ford Fiesta R2 rally car has successfully completed the first two dates of its Europe-wide tour, impressing audiences of competitors and journalists alike in Belgium and Poland.
The 15-country tour kicked off in Belgium with an event organised by Floral Racing, which saw the R2 tackle a 3.1km gravel stage at Fordâ€™s proving ground in Lommel.
FST International Shootout winner Matthias Boon, fresh from another Fiesta SportTrophy Belgium victory at the Ypres Rally, gave passenger rides to 20 journalists and potential customers during the event.
Five days later the R2, with its striking livery, attracted attention in Mikolajki, as it was demonstrated on the 2.5km Rally Poland Super Special Stage during Day One of the rally. With Boon at the wheel again, 14 enthusiastic passengers had a taste of the action on the specially constructed stage adjacent to the Service Park.
The R2 has been designed by M-Sport to replace the hugely successful Fiesta ST rally car, which has sold in 27 different countries around the globe and has taken 17 class wins in 22 WRC events since 2006. The new vehicle is targeted at competitors in the Fiesta SportTrophy series, as well as in regional rally championships.
The knowledge gained from the GpN Fiesta ST and the world-title winning Ford Focus RS WRC has been transferred to the creation of the Fiesta R2 under the leadership of M-Sportâ€™s Principal Engineer Chris Williams, who was also responsible for the design of the Fiesta ST.
The five-speed Fiesta R2 rally car is based on the Ford Fiesta Sport (Zetec S in the UK and Ireland) using the 1.6L Ti-Vct 120PS (1598cc) base engine as in regular production. It is built from a standard conversion kit developed by M-Sport.
The R2 now moves on to Turkey, before travelling to Spain and Slovenia then returning to Italy, where it made its debut at Rally dâ€™Italia Sardegna in May.
FST International Shootout winner and R2 driver Matthias Boon said:
â€œThe first two events of the R2 European Tour have been really successful, with a lot of people keen to see the car. I am enjoying driving the Fiesta R2 and it has been great to see how much the passengers have enjoyed the car and their enthusiastic reaction to it. I was honoured to be asked to drive the R2 during the tour and it was especially good to have to opportunity to show the car to so many familiar faces in my home country. To drive on the Super Special Stage at Rally Poland was also a great experience. I am looking forward to visiting many more countries with the R2 in the coming months.â€
Further information regarding the Fiesta R2 and European Tour dates can be found on the website www.FiestaR2.com. You can also follow the R2 Tour on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FiestaR2Tour and on the Fiesta R2 fan page on Facebook. The full specification of the conversion kit and its price will be announced before Neste Oil Rally Finland on Wednesday 29 July.
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