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2015 Ford Fiesta R2

2015 Ford Fiesta R2

Ford launched its Fiesta R2 program back in 2010 to help young and inexperienced drivers learn the ropes of rally racing and move their way up the ladder in the sport. From the R2, the ladder moves drivers up to the Fiesta R5 and later up to the RS WRC, but they must first master this lower-powered rig, and dominate all the other drivers that Ford is testing. For the 2015 racing season, Ford has launched a new Fiesta R2, and it debuted the model at the Geneva Auto Show.

This new subcompact rally rig features Ford’s award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, but its wick is turned up beyond its standard 123-horsepower mark. This small-displacement, "relatively" low-powered engine is a great jumping-off point for up-and-coming rally drivers, as it helps them focus on controlling the car rather than reining in a super-powerful engine.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Ford Fiesta R2.

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2015 Ford Fiesta ST Olsbergs MSE

2015 Ford Fiesta ST Olsbergs MSE

“Dominant” is one word that springs to mind when considering the Ford Fiesta’s performance in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship (GRC). Going into the 2014 season, the supermini was responsible for three driver’s championships and three manufacturer’s championships, each claimed consecutively since the series’ launch in 2011. In 2013, the Fiesta won nine of the 10 scheduled races and claimed 22 of the 30 available podium spots. Last year, this American-bred hatchback added to its already impressive record with yet another driver’s championship, another manufacturer’s championship, three race wins, and 18 podiums.

Of the six different teams flying under a blue oval in the 2014 GRC season, Sweden’s Olsbergs MSE was undoubtedly the best. While other Fords contributed to the automaker’s overall series supremacy, it’s only Olsbergs MSE that can currently boast a four-peat championship drive, with Tanner Foust crowned winner in 2011 and 2012, followed by Toomas Heikkinen in 2013, and Joni Wiman in 2014.

The Fiesta has a long history of rally competition success, with different versions of the party-maker entered in series both nationally and internationally. But somehow, it’s the Olsbergs MSE Fiesta that comes out on top every time at GRC.

So, what is it that makes this Fiesta ST so successful? Part of it is the talent behind the wheel, which in 2014, included Patrik Sandell, Brian Deegan, Nelson Piquet Jr., and the new reigning champion, Joni Wiman. The other half of the equation is the team itself, which works closely with Ford to develop the Fiesta ST platform to its utmost potential. Olsbergs MSE is also responsible for a variety of GRC Supercar Lites, which extends its competition knowledge even further.

Like any good racing team, Olsbergs MSE is always in development, constantly building on past successes, solidifying its lead around a competitive field hungry for victory. Simply put, it’s a philosophy that translates into trophies.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ford Fiesta ST Olsbergs MSE.

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2014 Ford Ranger Dakar Rally

2014 Ford Ranger Dakar Rally

Did you know that over 1 billion people tune in to watch the Dakar Rally?

That’s a staggering number for a race that used to run from Paris to Dakar until 2008 and then moved to South America from 2009 until the present time. Next year, the Dakar Rally returns to the spotlight, running from Rosario, Argentina all the way to Valparaiso, Chile.

Ford has always been one of the brands that regularly participates in the rally and for the 2014 installment, the automaker is bringing a pair of Ford Rangers for the 5,281-mile race to Chile.

Mind you, these aren’t your typical T6 Ranger 4×4 Double Cabs that will brave the elements in Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Built and prepared by Neil Woolridge Motorsport, the Ranger Dakar Rally has been carefully tinkered with to be able to withstand grueling terrain. Both pickups were fitted with 5.0-liter V-8 engines, each producing an impressive 349 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and 413 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. These powerful engines mate to a Sadev six-speed sequential transmission that links to a four-wheel-drive setup.

More than just its performance capabilities, the Ranger Dakar Rally pickup racers were also given the full race-spec treatment, complete with modified front and rear suspension, anti-roll bars on both sides of the pickup, and a set of 16-inch Evocorse wheels wrapped in race-spec Michelin tires.

With a grueling race like Dakar, fuel efficiency is very important in ensuring that the racers last the whole 13-day run. Fortunately, these Rangers are more than capable of that task, thanks to a fuel consumption rating that runs between 28 liters/100 km (8.4 mpg) and 90 liters/100 km (2.6 mpg), when driving in sandy racing conditions.

The race begins on January 5, 2014 and runs until the 18th of the same month. It’s still a little ways down the road, but it’s exciting knowing that participating teams are already gearing up for the event in their own way.

Click past the jump to read about the Ford Ranger

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Video: Ford Fiesta ST GTC Rally Car Goes Rallying In Detroit

Video: Ford Fiesta ST GTC Rally Car Goes Rallying In Detroit

Metropolitan cities are fast becoming scenes of some impressive rallying action. Whether its on races or the usual number of promotional events, big cities like New York and San Francisco have played host to these awesome events.

Well, Detroit felt a little left out of all the fun, so in an attempt to bring the Global RallyCross series inside its area code, the city decided to try out one of those promotional rally stunts right at the heart of the city.

The car of choice is the Ford Fiesta ST GTC, which has gained quite a reputation in the rally series as a dominant force, helping manufacturer Ford gain sole possession of the manufacturers’ standings.

If you’re from Detroit, you might recognize some of the sights where the Fiesta ST does its rally business. If you’re not from Detroit, don’t be too dismayed because you’re more likely to enjoy the Fiesta ST than try to see where in the city it’s going.

Either way, the video is a must watch for all rally aficionados. Heck, if you’re not one, this video just might be what converts you into one.

Click past the jump to read about the Ford Fiesta ST Rally Car

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Video: Mads Ostberg Sets New Snow Jump Record

Video: Mads Ostberg Sets New Snow Jump Record

Setting a world record is no small feat, especially when you’re doing it in less-than-ideal circumstances.

That’s why WRC racer, Mads Ostberg, deserves a raucous round of applause after setting a new world-record for the longest ever jump on snow by a rally car. Driving a Ford Fiesta WRC, Ostberg managed to fly his little race car over 60 meters (196.85 feet) in Trysil, Norway.

The World Rally Championship corroborated the record, posting Ostberg’s record-setting jump on its official Twitter account.

While the record is in itself an impressive accomplishment, it still fell way short of the overall jump record of 82 meters (269 feet) that Travis Pastrana accomplished a few years back when he jumped into a barge in the middle of the sea back on New Year’s Eve 2010.

Still, Ostberg’s attempt is impressive in its own right, considering the circumstances he had to deal with in order to set the record. Like we said, give the man his due props.

Check out Pastrana’s record jump after the, well, jump

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2014 Ford Fiesta ST Rockstar Energy Drink Race Car

2014 Ford Fiesta ST Rockstar Energy Drink Race Car

Racer, stunt driver, and television host, Tanner Foust, has had a lot on his plate recently. But even though he’s being thrust to juggle all these responsibilities, the man still can’t get away from doing what he does best: rally racing.

Recently, Foust unveiled his newly dressed Ford Fiesta ST rally car, which made its first public appearance over the weekend at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Dressed in the familiar black and yellow paint scheme of sponsor Rockstar Energy Drink, the new rally car gets a host of added designs. Particularly standing out is the red and orange splash on the car as well as new sticker liveries bearing Foust’s sponsors, including new partners Illest as the new apparel partner, ODYSSEY battery, and Horizon Hobbies, which will produce Foust’s own line of R/C cars.

It is expected that the rally car will be powered by a 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbo four engine with an output of 197 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque.

The model itself is based on the recently launched Fiesta ST Global RallyCross Championship that was first unveiled at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. Foust is one of three drivers that will get the first dibs on the cars with the other two being Brian Deegan and Ken Block.

For now, it’s Foust’s turn to showcase his new rally ride, which he said will focus more on pure rallycross. What that means is that you can expect to see Foust and his new rally car compete in the X-Games, the Global Rallycross Championship and the European Rallycross Championship.

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Video: The Making Of Gymkhana 5

Video: The Making Of Gymkhana 5

Six months after Ken Block released Gymkhana 5, we now have a pretty good idea on how the hooning series was made. It’s a little odd to release a "making-of" video so long after the actual thing was released, but then again, you won’t find any complaints from us.

Besides, there’s always something to learn about extravagant productions like this. If you recall, Gymkhana 5 was set in San Francisco and featured some of the hottest drifts and hooks done on some of the Bay Area’s most famous landmarks.

That video shows off the creativity, the thought process, and Block’s overall talent that went into creating a production like this. All of this work was in the name of giving drift fans something to look forward to every year.

Check out the "Making of Gymkhana 5" and if you’re in the mood, you can hop on over after the jump to watch Gymkhana 5.

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Video: Gymkhana 5 has arrived! (UPDATE)

Video: Gymkhana 5 has arrived! (UPDATE)

The wait took longer than we had hoped, but you know what they say, "to those who wait, there is prosperity."

So we waited...and finally, our patience has paid off. Ladies and gentlemen, Gymkhana 5 has arrived!

As promised, July 9 was the date of reckoning; the day where Ken Block goes back to his roots, away from the Hollywood look of the fourth installment and back to the raw, uncut, thrill ride of a lifetime.

This time around, the stage was set for the urban jungle that is San Francisco. Just as we expected - and hoped - Block absolutely takes the Bay by storm, complete with sick drifts, plenty of burnt rubber, and mind-bending jumps that completely blew us away. Then there’s a Travis Pastrana cameo in there too. We had hoped that he would do a few stunts of his own, but we certainly aren’t complaining on how the finished product ended up looking.

Gymkhana 5, you made our day and hopefully, the wait for 6 won’t take as long.

UPDATE 07/13/2012: Ford has unveiled a series of exclusive new images of Ken Block’s Gymkhana FIVE: Ultimate Urban Playground; in San Francisco. The car featured in this series is a Focus ST developed jointly by Ford’s Team RS in Europe and its Special Vehicles Team (SVT) in the United States.

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Video: Gymkhana 5 draws closer with teaser number 3

Video: Gymkhana 5 draws closer with teaser number 3

Gymkhana 5 will arrive on the 9th of July, which means that we’re going to be treated to three more days of teaser videos.

However, with the way these teasers are being made, we certainly aren’t complaining. Following in the wake of the first and second teasers, teaser 3 gives us yet another sneak peek of Gymkhana 5, complete with plenty of jumping and high-flying action. Just what the doctor ordered.

We also already know that Travis Pastrana will be co-starring in Gymkhana 5, which means that we’re expecting nothing less than an epic showing of hooning madness.

Count the days, kids. Gymkhana 5 is three days away from dropping into our screens. Like we said, we don’t mind waiting for it, but it certainly doesn’t mean that we’re not biting our nails in anticipation. Here’s to hoping we have enough of our fingers remaining by the time the suspense ends this Monday.

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Video: Ken Block's Gymkhana 5 - Teaser 2

Video: Ken Block’s Gymkhana 5 - Teaser 2

July 9th is getting closer and so is the official launch of the Ken Block’s Gymkhana 5. After the first trailer was unveiled at the end of June, today a second trailer has offered us a few more details on the next Gymkhana 5.

As promised, Gymkhana 5 is packed with amazing tricks and this second trailer stars Travis Pastrana and his bike. The video is called "Block vs Pastrana" so we can only imagine all the fun it will bring. Here’s what DC Shoes says: "Now featured on the cover of the September Racer X magazine (on shelves mid-July), the showdown between these long-time friends and DC teammates is nothing less than awesome!"

For those who do not know, the new Gymkhana 5 will feature Block’s trusty Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V. rally racer as it cruises through the streets of San Francisco.

We can hardly wait for July 9th to come!

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Video: RallyCross Driver Comes up a Little Short on his Jump

Video: RallyCross Driver Comes up a Little Short on his Jump

We told you before exactly how awesome RallyCross really is. It’s full of carnage, contact, and even bicycle ramps. Well, on the flip-side of that coin is extreme danger, especially where the jumping part is concerned. At the X-Games RallyCross running this year, there was a jump with a 50-foot gap and clearing that is typically not a problem.

Well, RallyCross rookie, Toomas Heikkinen, found out just what can happen if you take the jump a little too slowly. As Toomas exits his jump, you can tell something just isn’t quite right. Your feeling would be accurate too, as he slams headfirst into the landing ramp, absolutely destroying his car and landing upside down.

Toomas managed to get out of his flipped Ford Fiesta, as it spewed fluids and fortunately got out prior to it catching fire. Also fortunate is the fact that Toomas escaped with his life, though he does have a broken ankle and some abdominal pain, according to X-Games representatives, to deal with. This means that he will likely not compete in the remainder of the X-Games, but you never know about these RallyCross guys.

Our best wishes go out to Heikkinen for a speedy recovery and a successful return from his injury. Since he is doing well, we feel some good video of the crash is in order. There are two different angles of the crash, with the first being the best, and you can just imagine how much that wreck hurt.

The best video is above and the alternate angle is after the jump.

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Video: Gymkhana 5 trailer gives us a hint of what's to come

Video: Gymkhana 5 trailer gives us a hint of what’s to come

Ken Block promised a return to roots for Gymkhana 5 and judging by the first trailer of the highly-anticipated video, the man wasn’t lying.

Not that it needs any more teasing, but Ken Block and his peeps still decided to go that route with Gymkhana 5, providing us with a 37-second appetizer of what we’re all in store for.

Block is already on record saying that Gymkhana 5 will leave the theatrics of Gymkhana 4 behind in order to concentrate on bringing it back to the kind of action-packed, tire-screeching, rubber-burning stunts we’ve become accustomed to.

This time, Block brought his trusty Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V. rally racer to the streets of San Francisco, where it laid waste to a whole load of things, including a barge.

Confused? Check out the video and find out!

Don’t forget, the video debuts on July 9, at which point, we’ll be glued to our monitors waiting in earnest for it to drop.

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