Cars debuting with Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing livery in April
Ford Performance, the American carmaker’s specialist division responsible for the GT supercar and the Mustang GT350R, has announced that it will be entering two Focus RS racers in this year’s FIA (International Automobile Federation) World Rallycross Championship.
The company said in a statement the Focus RS Rallycross is a global collaboration between Ford Performance, Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing – which will debut the cars in Portugal in April – and United Kingdom-based M-Sport. The car is powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve, direct-injection, EcoBoost inline-four producing 600 horsepower and 900 Newton-meters of torque, which is mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox and all-wheel drive. The company said it will go from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in two seconds.
“RS is a worldwide brand with a rich heritage that motor sports enthusiasts know and love,” said Ford Performance Global Director Dave Pericak. “Our RS badge has a natural connection to racing, and we have a passionate, dedicated team on the project. We’re excited to honor the history of Rallye Sport by pushing every aspect of performance and design to the limit.”
RS-badged racing cars include the current Fiesta RS WRC and its line of predecessors: the Focus RS WRC; Escort RS Cosworth WRC; and Sierra RS Cosworth, which also competed in touring car racing in the 1980s. The RS badge has also been used on road-going versions of these racing machines.
Ken Block, who will be driving one of the Focuses in this year’s series, said he is very happy to get official factory support for this season and beyond.
“I’m really happy that for 2016, I’m expanding my relationship with Ford and Ford Performance,” Block said. “It opens up a ton of powerful resources that myself and my team will be able to benefit from in terms of engineering prowess, research, development and racing experience from different fields. I absolutely cannot wait to get behind the wheel and start testing,” he said.
Meanwhile, M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson, who used to field Focus RS rally cars in the World Rally Championship, said the collaboration has produced a very special race car.
“It’s been an extremely exciting, rewarding venture – one we hope yields considerable success,” he said. “I’m confident we have a winning formula for the season ahead.”