Swede wins Fiesta Shootout in UK
- 18th November 2011, 8:39am
Reigning Swedish Fiesta SportTrophy Champion Steve Røkland has finished his season on a high by winning the 2011 FST International Shootout, held on Wednesday and Thursday this week at M-Sport in Cumbria.
Røkland from Kongsvinger in Norway beat off stiff competition from 13 other finalists to take the victory at the sixth annual Shootout. He was joined in the final six by fellow Norwegian Petter Kristiansen, Britain’s Jack Rowe and Phil Scholes and Belgian duo Hugo Arellano and Manu Canal.
Røkland’s Shootout prize includes a 12 month work experience contract with M-Sport and their WRC programme. He will also have the chance to work in a number of different areas of the company, travelling to the European WRC events, attending press functions and driving at PR days.
While the 19-year-old driver had been one of the favourites to take the title, he faced stiff opposition over the two day competition. The 14 competitors, who had qualified for the Shootout based on their performances in FST championships around the globe, faced a series of physical, media and psychological tests as well as a final driving challenge over a 3 kilometre loop at Carlisle airport. Kristiansen led the Shootout overnight with Røkland in second place.
Røkland’s ability behind the wheel shone through as he posted the fastest time on Thursday’s test at Carlisle airport at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R2. Fellow Swede Kristiansen set the second-fastest time and Rowe was third.
With all of their scores tallied, the final six candidates were interviewed by M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson OBE and Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team driver Jari-Matti Latvala.
The first part of Røkland’s prize begins tomorrow [Friday 18 November] when he gets the chance to take the wheel of the award-winning Ford Fiesta S2000 with M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team driver Matthew Wilson.
“It feels absolutely fantastic to have won,” said Røkland. “I didn’t think I actually would win because of my younger age but I’m really happy. Petter [Kristiansen] was a very strong candidate and I honestly thought he would have been won over me. I’m really looking forward to the whole experience at M-Sport and I can’t wait to get started.”
M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson OBE said:
“The standard of this year’s candidates was very strong. All the finalists would have been very worthy winners but we felt Steve would benefit the most from the opportunity of working with us at M-Sport. His pace in the car was very impressive and he performed very strongly in all areas of the competition.”
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