As Ford Racing just announced, they will be supplying 43 Fiestas to the Team O’Neil Rally School in New Hampshire in order to create the Fiesta Rally School. The O’Neil Rally School will outfit each Fiesta with a roll bar, rally suspension, and off-road tires so that aspiring rally drivers can safely learn the Scandinavian flick and other sideways rally driving techniques.
This partnership further solidifies Ford‘s commitment to using the new Fiesta as their global rally car in 2011 and beyond, where it’ll be seen running in the FIA World Rally Championship and in Rally America with highly skilled hoonage provided by the likes of DC Shoes headman and rallying driver extraordinaire Ken Block.
The 43 donor Fiestas are being repurposed from the 100 European-spec versions that arrived in North America for the Fiesta Movement. The Ford Racing Fiesta Rally Experience will be the only rally experience offered by a manufacturer in North America, which combined with the Ford Racing School of High Performance Driving at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah gives the blue oval an impressive motorsports presence on both sides of the country.
“Ford Racing Fiesta Rally Experience will provide consumers with the opportunity to experience Fiesta in a true rally environment,” said John Felice, general manager, Ford and Lincoln Marketing. “From learning how to drive high-performance Mustangs on the track at Miller Motorsports to driving a Fiesta on a rally road course at Team O’Neil, these driving schools allow consumers to experience our products in unique and different environments.”
“The opportunity to find a second life for nearly half of the cars from the Fiesta Movement is a way to keep alive the legacy these cars have brought to the Fiesta launch in North America,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports. “Fiesta’s nimble driving dynamics and precise handling attributes make it a perfect fit to serve as a rally school car at Team ONeil.”
“Our philosophy at Team O’Neil is to teach drivers how to master front-wheel drive in order to keep speed in the corners, accelerate through the corners, and use the brake to make a turn,” said Tim O’Neil, five-time U.S. and North America rally racing champion. “Fiesta is a strong, light, front-wheel-drive car. The addition of Ford Racing-developed performance parts including an rally suspension, underbody protection and roll bar gives us a great future with these cars.”
For more information on Ford Racing Fiesta Rally Experience and to register, go to www.teamoneil.com