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Fiesta Debut At Arctic Rally Cancelled

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On: Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 5:43PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Fiesta Debut  At Arctic Rally Cancelled

Many people are not aware that Ford has an Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, and that Ford intended to race the all-new Fiesta RS World Rally Car in the upcoming Arctic Lapland Rally. As it turns out, it doesn’t matter because Ford has recently changed its plans.

Team drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen and team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila were all hopped up and ready to roll in the upcoming two-day snow and ice rally based in Rovaniemi, Finland. They were each going to get a shot at driving the Fiesta for a leg or two around the course. All of this is in anticipation of the big FIA World Rally Championship in Sweden next month. Unfortunately, a bit of a smash up on the second day of testing drove the team straight into the garage and forced them to bail out of the Arctic Rally. The good news is that despite the 150kph (93 mph) smack up, Latvala and Anttila weren’t hurt. The bad news is the Fiesta is a goner. They can fix it before Sweden, but not before the Arctic.

“We will repair the damage to the car before continuing our testing in Sweden later this week,” explained Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson. “We're confident we can complete all our scheduled test work this week, but unfortunately we need to sacrifice our appearance at the Arctic Lapland Rally to do that. I'm sorry for all the fans there who were looking forward to seeing Mikko and Jari-Matti in action in the Fiesta RS WRC, but completing our work in Sweden is the best option to ensure our preparations are completed for Rally Sweden."

Latvala has no problem manning up and taking the hit for the crack up that happened in a sixth-gear crest. “It was my error,” he confessed. “I tried to use the snow banks to slow the car, but it rolled in the road before vaulting the snow banks and hitting some trees. The Fiesta RS WRC stood up to the impact remarkably well and Miikka and I escaped unhurt. The fact that the team can repair it and we can continue to test this week shows just how strong it is.” As with show business in general, the Lapland Rally will go on this week as planned.

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