Just days ago we let you know that Mini pretty much used FIA homologation rules to its advantage by finishing up the 2012 season and calling it quits, now another manufacturer is following suit. There have been rumors floating around since 2011 that Ford Europe was going to pull out of the World Rally Championship and that will become a reality following the 2012 season, as Ford Europe announced that it will pull its sponsorship following the 2012 season.
Unlike Mini, Ford has been a long-running sponsor, lasting 16 seasons. With that long of a history, it is more obvious that Ford’s pull out is mostly due to the crumbling automotive market in Europe. Despite pulling its sponsorship, Ford will provide M-Sport, its WRC partner since 1997, with the Fiesta R5 rally car, along with engineering and vehicle support following its departure. In addition, Ford Europe will still offer the Fiesta R2 rally car for grass-roots national and regional driver programs.
It looks like we are in for a drastically changed lineup for the 2013 WRC season, and we’re not even through the 2012 season yet. Hopefully no more manufacturers pull out this year.
Click past the jump to read Ford’s official press release.
Ford is really banking on the Focus ST taking over where the Focus SVT left of in the U.S. market, and they went a rather creative way to grow its buzz even more. Ford needed a commercial introducing the ST as a performance hatchback to the U.S. market, so what better way than to set up a street race involving two Foci STs. This “street race” was held on closed roads and each car was driven by a professional driver, of course.
That was not the interesting part though, as Ford relied on customers to film the event for them. You’re reading that correctly; no camera crews, no sound team, no directors. Just two Focuses, hundreds of screaming fans and a whole bunch of cellphone cameras, digital cameras and likely a few pieces of professional equipment.
Not only is the commercial bad ass (you can see it above), but just the pure concept really got the public excited for the upcoming release of this high performance econo-hatch.
Of course, Ford did have a hand in editing the videos taken by the fans and we are certain the majority of the shots were taken by semi-professional cameramen with thousand dollar equipment, but some of them were obviously by handheld camcorders and digital cameras too.
Our favorite camera operator was a man sitting in the tree at the 0:35 mark in the video. He obviously didn’t get his shot into the commercial, but he gets a shiny gold star for effort. Good call Ford, good call indeed!
The MK1 Escort was never a real rally champ, given it was an overweight econo-box driven by a tiny little four-banger. However, the MK1 Escort was a bit of a cult classic, as it was kind of like Herby the Love Bug, you never expected it to win, but it dang sure was a cute lil’ thing.
As the rally circuit became more competitive, the MK1 disappeared and hasn’t been seen since. Until now, sort of…
From here we need you to carefully follow a few steps, yeah we know, steps. First, check out the above video of the revived MK1 slinging around a rally course, but make sure to stop short of 2:45 mark, and then come back to this point. Easy enough, right?
As you watched the revived MK1 Ford fly around, did you notice anything odd? Maybe you noticed the fact that the car seemed drastically too small for the scenery? If not, we’ll let the cat out of the bag now, that’s a 1:5 scale radio-controlled model of the original MK1 Escort rally machine whipping around a 1:5 scale rally track. Oh, and the audio; that’s the guys at Headquake RC dubbing the actual sounds from the original MK1 over top of the RC car’s sounds.
Don’t believe us? Scroll to the 2:45 mark of the video and hit “Play.” Now you can hear the sounds of the RC car working hard around the track, which is impressive in its own right. We don’t know which part we are more impressed by, the realistic looks of the 1:5 replica or the filming and dubbing quality to make the illusion that you are actually watching modern footage of the MK1. Nice show, Headquake, nice show indeed.
The Texas Mile Event has come to an end and this year was another one for the record books. We saw the return of some familiar faces and many newcomers to the runway race-track. As you may recall, the entire point of this event is to see how fast your car can go. That may sound simple, but the idea behind much of racing is to beat your competition around a circuit type track. Simply having the fastest car in a straight line race is more closely related to drag racing where such vehicles as Funny Cars and Top Fuel Dragsters hit 200mph in a ¼ mile.
In a place where everything is bigger - Texas, that is - several fans of speed have put together an event on a much longer straight than a ¼ mile. Anyone in a normal car is able to reach their terminal velocity at this event and that is what makes your adrenaline pump. In all honesty, most people don’t hit more than 100mph in their car at any point in time. Number one, it’s illegal and number two, there is usually not enough room to get up to speed and sustain it for any period of time.
This year’s event gave those speed junkies a chance to let their powerful automobiles and motorcycles reach their maximum speed. The highest speed this year was set by a motorcycle doing 278.6mph. To take a full look at the race results continue reading below.
Hit the jump for more details on the Texas Mile Event Recap.
When Ford decided to enter a couple of rally cars at the 2009 X-games we were excited to see the new Fiesta wearing a set of bulging boxed fenders, a WRC style wing and some tarmac spec rollers. Perhaps even a showroom version. The blue oval should be happy that they chose to run an assortment of their Fiestas both new and old because the weekend’s broadcast television action sports etravaganza finale featured a 2010 Ford Fiesta going up against the golden boy Travis Pastrana and his fully built Subaru Impreza WRX STI. The boy and his Subaru had taken the gold the year before but after clipping a little too much off of his last apex, it was Indianapolis 500 winner Kenny Brack who was jumping up and down celebrating on the roof of a car that looked alot like this one.