Ford used the Frankfurt Motor Show to unveil its new race-tweaked, production-based Focus ST-R, which they plan to make available to compete in a huge variety of series across the globe.
Purpose built for the track by Ford Racing in North America, the Focus ST-R features a 2.0lite EcoBoost engine, uprated brakes and track-tuned suspension. The car, available to teams soon, will be initially homologated for American and Canadian touring car racing, but they hope it will move over to major European series and major international events such as the 24 Hours of NÃ¼rburgring in the near future.
The car is remarkably similar to the new Focus ST road car, with Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsport Business Development at Ford explaining this was no coincedence: “From the beginning, the Focus and new Focus ST were designed to be driver’s cars. The road-going Focus features best-in-class brakes, handling and powertrains and the design and functionality of the various vehicle systems have helped us to develop a global technical specification for teams wanting to race the new Focus cost effectively.
“Ford Racing in North America has taken this effort and developed the new Focus ST-R and is a perfect example of how a great production car inspires a competitive race car for enthusiasts.”
Jamie Allison, Director of Ford Racing, commented: “We're thrilled to be taking the Focus ST-R from concept to reality for motorsport enthusiasts initially in North America and potentially around the world. The previous turn-key race cars we developed for North American racing have been hugely successful, so we are hopeful that the ST-R will be the first such vehicle for global series and as a direct result of the company’s global platform strategy and our technical support program for motorsport applications of Focus and Fiesta models.
“This is a competitive turn key race car that will allow our customers to compete successfully in multiple series around the world with minor modifications. And it shows the on-going alignment of Ford Racing with our Performance Vehicles development group.”
The new Focus ST-R is the latest piece of the puzzle in Ford's global motorsport development programme, which they launched last year. The core aim of it is to provide privateers with affordable, compeititve hardware and technical support as they compete across the globe. An example of this is the global Focus race car development, which is based on international S2000 regulations. Launched by Team Aon in the British Touring Car Championship, the car is being developed before becoming available to privateers across the world.
Capito said: “We’re delighted with the early success Team Aon has achieved with the new Focus in the BTCC and we are looking forward to seeing the ST-R on the track soon in global race series. We expect to see the ST-R competing for wins on a global scale, extending the rich racing and rallying heritage Focus has already gained both on tarmac and on dirt.”
Other examples of Ford's global motorsport programme include the Fiesta Rallycross which this year is dominating the inaugural Global RallyCross Championship, taking the manufacturers’ and drivers' championships, before capturing plenty of medals at the X Games last month. In rallying, the Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car is being driven by the works Ford team and various privateers across the globe, while back on tracks, Frankfurt was also used to showcase Ford's new-generation Formula Ford single-seater, which is the latest incarnation of a 40 year old tradition.