Ford Focus RS WRC

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Jari-Matti Latvala, winner of the Neste Oil Rally Finland 2010, driving his Ford Focus RS WRC 09 in Muurame shakedown.

The Ford Focus RS WRC is a car built for the Ford World Rally Team by Ford and M-Sport and based on the Ford Focus Climate 2-litre production hatchback, developed to compete in the World Rally Championship. The RS stands for Rallye Sport and the WRC for World Rally Car, the car's FIA specification. The Focus RS WRC was in competition from 1999 to 2010, winning 44 world rallies and two manufacturers' world titles. It was replaced by the Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

Like all contemporary World Rally Cars, the car is heavily modified from the production version, with which it shares only the basic shape and some parts of the bodyshell. The car features four-wheel drive, rather than the front-wheel drive of the road car. The engine used in the 2007 Focus WRC is based on Ford's 2.0 Litre Duratec from other models in the Focus range as rallying rules do not permit the standard 2.5-litre engine of the Focus ST or road going RS. As with most rally cars, the 2.0-litre engine is heavily modified and performance was increased using a turbocharger. The 2009 Ford Focus RS WRC uses a Ford 1998cc Pipo built l4 Duratec WRC engine (four cylinders, 16 valves, bore 85 mm and stroke 88 mm), Pi electronic engine management system, Garrett turbocharger (with required 34 mm inlet restrictor), air intercooler, and a catalytic converter.

The car's transmission is a permanent four-wheel drive with M-Sport designed active centre differential, Pi electronic differential control units, M-Sport/Ricardo five-speed sequential gearbox with electro-hydraulically controlled shift and an M-Sport/Sachs multi-disc carbon clutch. The brakes are 300 mm (11.8 in.) Brembo ventilated discs with Brembo four-piston monoblock calipers for gravel. The weight is a minimum of 1230 kg (2712 lb.), the length 4362 mm (171.7 in.), the width 1800 mm (70.9 in.) and the wheelbase 1800 mm (70.9 in.). The power is 300 horsepower (220 kW) at 6000 rpm and 550 Nm (406 ftlb) of torque at 4000 rpm.[citation needed]

History[edit]


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Carlos Sainz driving an RS WRC 01 at the 2001 Rally Finland.

The first version of the car was built in 1999 to replace the Ford Escort WRC. It debuted in the Monte Carlo Rally with Colin McRae and Simon Jean-Joseph behind the wheels of the two cars. It was immediately on the pace, setting many fastest stage times, but the use of an illegal water pump meant that the two cars were excluded from the event. McRae gave the Focus its first win two events later on the Safari Rally Kenya finishing over 15 minutes ahead of the second placed Toyota of Didier Auriol.

In 2003, Ford released a newly designed Focus RS WRC, named Focus RS WRC 03, for competition during the second part of the season. The car, with most parts redesigned from the ground up, featured a lighter body shell and a new aerodynamically enhanced front bumper and wing. Markko Märtin drove the car to two world rally victories. The 2004 and 2005 Focus RS WRCs were evolutions based on the RS WRC 03. The Focus RS WRC 04 won three events with Märtin at the wheel. By 2005, the car was no longer very competitive and Ford had a winless season.

From the last rally of the 2005 season, Ford campaigned a brand new model, the Focus RS WRC 06, following the launch of the new road-going version of the car. The engine chosen for this Focus was a Duratec motor developed by the French engine specialist Pipo Moteur.[1] The car took twelve world rally wins, starting with the 2006 season opener Monte Carlo Rally in the hands of Marcus Grönholm.

Mikko Hirvonen driving an RS WRC 08 in Germany.

The Focus RS WRC 07 is based on the 2006 model, and according to Ford's technical director Christian Loriaux "the changes on the new car are mainly to save weight and to improve efficiency, driveability and performance at the bottom end of the range."[2] The car debuted very successfully at the 2007 Rally Finland as Ford's Finns Grönholm and Mikko Hirvonen finished in first and second. It later made history at the 2008 Swedish Rally when Jari-Matti Latvala used the car to become youngest-ever driver to win a world rally.

The Focus RS WRC 08 is based on the 2007 model. The Focus WRC 08 was in competition for the first time with its new front aero design at the 2008 Rallye Deutschland. The 2008 version of the Focus RS WRC includes design style changes as well as engine improvements. Style changes to the grill area reflect the looks of the recently previewed Focus RS Mk II road sport car. The 2008 RS WRC was driven to its only victory at the 2008 Rally Japan.

The 2009 version of the Focus RS WRC debuted at the 2009 Rally d'Italia Sardegna, leading Ford to a 1-2. It includes small design style changes. Style changes were made to the lights frame and rear bumper to bring the look closer to the Focus RS Mk II 2009 road sport car. The 2009 Focus RS WRC remained the last of Ford's WRC cars based on the Focus. It was replaced by the Ford Fiesta RS WRC after the 2010 season.

The Ford Focus RS WRC appeared in 173 World Rally Championship events, winning 44 and collecting 142 podium places.[3]

WRC Victories[edit]

No. Event Season Driver Co-driver
1 Kenya 47th Safari Rally 1999 United Kingdom Colin McRae United Kingdom Nicky Grist
2 Portugal 33º TAP Rallye de Portugal 1999 United Kingdom Colin McRae United Kingdom Nicky Grist
3 Spain 36º Rallye Catalunya-Costa Brava 2000 United Kingdom Colin McRae United Kingdom Nicky Grist
4 Greece 47th Acropolis Rally 2000 United Kingdom Colin McRae United Kingdom Nicky Grist
5 Cyprus Cyprus Rally 2000 2000 Spain Carlos Sainz Spain Luís Moya
6 Argentina 21º Rally Argentina 2001 United Kingdom Colin McRae United Kingdom Nicky Grist
7 Cyprus Cyprus Rally 2001 2001 United Kingdom Colin McRae United Kingdom Nicky Grist
8 Greece 48th Acropolis Rally 2001 United Kingdom Colin McRae United Kingdom Nicky Grist
9 Argentina 21º Rally Argentina 2002 Spain Carlos Sainz Spain Luís Moya
10 Greece 49th Acropolis Rally 2002 United Kingdom Colin McRae United Kingdom Nicky Grist
11 Kenya 50th Inmarsat Safari Rally 2002 United Kingdom Colin McRae United Kingdom Nicky Grist
12 Greece 50th Acropolis Rally 2003 Estonia Markko Märtin United Kingdom Michael Park
13 Finland 53rd Neste Rally Finland 2003 Estonia Markko Märtin United Kingdom Michael Park
14 Mexico 18º Corona Rally México 2004 Estonia Markko Märtin United Kingdom Michael Park
15 France 48ème Tour de Corse - Rallye de France 2004 Estonia Markko Märtin United Kingdom Michael Park
16 Spain 40º Rallye Catalunya-Costa Brava (Rallye de España) 2004 Estonia Markko Märtin United Kingdom Michael Park
17 Monaco 74ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo 2006 Finland Marcus Grönholm Finland Timo Rautiainen
18 Sweden 55th Uddeholm Swedish Rally 2006 Finland Marcus Grönholm Finland Timo Rautiainen
19 Greece 53rd Acropolis Rally 2006 Finland Marcus Grönholm Finland Timo Rautiainen
20 Finland 56th Neste Oil Rally Finland 2006 Finland Marcus Grönholm Finland Timo Rautiainen
21 Turkey 7th Rally of Turkey 2006 Finland Marcus Grönholm Finland Timo Rautiainen
22 Australia 19th Telstra Rally Australia 2006 Finland Mikko Hirvonen Finland Jarmo Lehtinen
23 New Zealand 36th Propecia Rally New Zealand 2006 Finland Marcus Grönholm Finland Timo Rautiainen
24 United Kingdom 62nd Wales Rally of Great Britain 2006 Finland Marcus Grönholm Finland Timo Rautiainen
25 Sweden 56th Uddeholm Swedish Rally 2007 Finland Marcus Grönholm Finland Timo Rautiainen
26 Norway 2nd Rally Norway 2007 Finland Mikko Hirvonen Finland Jarmo Lehtinen
27 Italy 4º Supermag Rally Italia Sardinia 2007 Finland Marcus Grönholm Finland Timo Rautiainen
28 Greece 54th BP Ultimate Acropolis Rally of Greece 2007 Finland Marcus Grönholm Finland Timo Rautiainen
29 Finland 56th Neste Oil Rally Finland 2007 Finland Marcus Grönholm Finland Timo Rautiainen
30 New Zealand 36th Propecia Rally New Zealand 2007 Finland Marcus Grönholm Finland Timo Rautiainen
31 Japan 4th Rally Japan 2007 Finland Mikko Hirvonen Finland Jarmo Lehtinen
32 United Kingdom 63rd Wales Rally of Great Britain 2007 Finland Mikko Hirvonen Finland Jarmo Lehtinen
33 Sweden 57th Uddeholm Swedish Rally 2008 Finland Jari-Matti Latvala Finland Miikka Anttila
34 Jordan 2008 Jordan Rally 2008 Finland Mikko Hirvonen Finland Jarmo Lehtinen
35 Turkey 9th Rally of Turkey 2008 Finland Mikko Hirvonen Finland Jarmo Lehtinen
36 Japan 5th Rally Japan 2008 Finland Mikko Hirvonen Finland Jarmo Lehtinen
37 Italy 6º Supermag Rally Italia Sardinia 2009 Finland Jari-Matti Latvala Finland Miikka Anttila
38 Greece 56th Acropolis Rally of Greece 2009 Finland Mikko Hirvonen Finland Jarmo Lehtinen
39 Poland 66th Rally Poland 2009 Finland Mikko Hirvonen Finland Jarmo Lehtinen
40 Finland 58th Neste Oil Rally Finland 2009 Finland Mikko Hirvonen Finland Jarmo Lehtinen
41 Australia 20th Repco Rally Australia 2009 Finland Mikko Hirvonen Finland Jarmo Lehtinen
42 Sweden 58th Rally Sweden 2010 Finland Mikko Hirvonen Finland Jarmo Lehtinen
43 New Zealand 40th Propecia Rally New Zealand 2010 Finland Jari-Matti Latvala Finland Miikka Anttila
44 Finland 60th Neste Oil Rally Finland 2010 Finland Jari-Matti Latvala Finland Miikka Anttila

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "THE ALL-NEW FORD FOCUS RS WRC 06: TECHNOLOGY AND INTELLIGENT SOLUTIONS". media.ford.com. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  2. ^ "Ford Focus RS WRC 07, BP-Ford World Rally Team seeks to take huge steps forward". Auto Racing Daily. Retrieved 23 November 2008. 
  3. ^ "Ford bids a star-studded farewell to its Focus WRC". WRC.com. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Toyota Corolla WRC
Autosport
Rally Car of the Year

2000, 2001
Succeeded by
Peugeot 206 WRC
Preceded by
Citroën Xsara WRC
Autosport
Rally Car of the Year

2006, 2007
Succeeded by
Citroën C4 WRC