Ford has taken the wraps off its new Ford Fiesta RS WRC as it will compete in the 2011 World Rally Championship, complete with a new striking livery.
Driver Mikko Hirvonen and Ford of Europe motorsport chief Gerard Quinn were present at the Autosport International Racing Car Show in Birmingham on to unveil the livery. The team also confirmed their new name and logo. They will compete under the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team banner in 2011, a subtle change from previous years with the loss of BP from the title.
Abu Dhabi remains a title sponsor for the team, with its branding featuring heavily on the car. Emirati driver Khalid Al Qassimi will continue to drive a third car for the team alongside main drivers Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala.
Despite the loss of BP from the team's name, the company's lubricants brand Castrol will continue to feature prominently on the car's livery, specifically the Castrol Edge range of advanced oils.
“The preview version of the car we unveiled in September at the 2010 Paris Motor Show was dramatic in its blue and grey livery, developed specifically for the show by Ford of Europe’s design team,” said Quinn.
“But now we have a fully finished car in a really eye-catching new livery plus a new team name, and excitement is building throughout the squad as we prepare for the opening round in Sweden next month.”
He added: “Ford’s designers and product development engineers have worked closely and efficiently alongside the expertise of our partners at M-Sport. The aim was, of course, to produce a car capable of challenging for world championship titles, but one which also reflects the much-admired ‘kinetic design’ styling cues synonymous with Ford’s current road vehicles.”
The Ford Fiesta RS WRC will make its competitive debut at Rally Sweden on 10-13 February. Testing of the car continues in Sweden next week.