One hundred and ten years after first Ford racing victory
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 15, 2011 – Henry Ford would certainly be proud.
One hundred and ten years after the Ford Motor Company founder brought home a victory in his one and only auto race as a driver, Ford racing teams and drivers around the world brought home victories and championships in the program’s 110th anniversary season.
In Ford’s most visible worldwide programs, Ford Fiesta drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala of the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team finished second and fourth in the World Rally Championship after a spirited battle that went down to the final event. The Ford WRC duo captured three wins during the season. In all, Fiesta had its most successful year in rally, capturing 16 regional and national championships worldwide.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup, Ford Fusion driver Carl Edwards ended up in a points tie for the Championship, but lost the tie-breaker (number of wins). Edwards ended up second and Roush Fenway teammate Matt Kenseth fourth in the most competitive NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in history. In addition, rookie driver Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 for the Wood Brothers, capturing Ford’s 600th win at the Cup level.
In NASCAR Nationwide, Mustang scored its first NASCAR win and Ford driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. captured his first NASCAR Nationwide Driver’s Championship, and helped Ford capture the series’ manufacturer’s title as well.
In NHRA Funny Car drag racing, all five Ford Mustang drivers made the championship playoffs, Ford drivers won 12 times (including Ford’s 200th win in the class), and John Force Racing’s Mike Neff finished fourth and Robert Hight fifth in the championship.
In Rallycross, Ford Fiesta driver Tanner Foust captured the inaugural Global Rallycross Championship and Ford Focus driver Sverre Isachsen captured the European Rallycross Championship, with Foust finishing second. Brian Deegan led a 1-2-3 Ford Fiesta sweep of X Games medals with Foust and Marcus Gronholm.
In off-road racing, Ford continued to showits dominance in desert competition, winning seven total championships in LOORS, Best in the Desert and ABSA Off-Road competition.
In Touring Car, Andy Yan captured the ChineseTouring Car Championship in a Ford Focus, Paul Brown won the SCCA World Challenge GTS title in a Mustang Boss 302S and there were successful winning efforts put forth for Mustang Boss 302R in Grand-Am and Focus in British Touring Car.
“It’s been an incredible year for Ford racing teams and drivers around the world,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing, NorthAmerica. “And we’re proud that we still race today for the same reasons Mr. Ford did – to prove out our products against the best competition, and then to market that success to help the company sell more cars and trucks. There’s no question that our winning racing program worldwide helps lift the favorability of the Ford brand.”
“This has been an outstanding season for the Ford Fiesta in rallying, winning so many championships around the world,“ said Gerard Quinn, Ford of Europe motorsport chief. “In its competitive debut the Ford Fiesta RSWRC took a podium lock-out at Rally Sweden and finished the season in similar fashion at the final round, Wales Rally GB. As a factory prepared rallycar or in the hands of private competitors the Ford Fiesta is proving to have the competitive DNA that has seen Ford so successful in rallying over many decades.“
Here’s a listing ofFord championships and awards for 2011 around the world:
· Tanner Foust, Ford Fiesta – Global RallyCrossSuper Rally Championship
· Tanner Foust, Ford Fiesta – Global RallyCrossRallyCross Championship
· Tanner Foust, Ford Fiesta – Global RallyCrossChampionship Overall Champion
· Brian Deegan, Ford Fiesta – X GamesRallyCross Champion
· Ford Motor Company – Global RallyCrossChampionship Manufacturers Champion
· Brian Deegan, Ford F-150 Raptor – Lucas OilOff Road Racing Series Pro 2 Unlimited Champion
· Brian Deegan, Ford Ranger – Lucas Oil OffRoad Racing Series Pro Lite Unlimited
· Sverre Isachsen,Ford Focus – European Rallycross Championship
· Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford Mustang – NASCAR Nationwide Championship
· Ford – NASCARNationwide Manufacturer’s Championship
· NASCAR EngineBuilder of the Year – Doug Yates, FR9 NASCAR Engine
· SCCA WorldChallenge GTS Championship – Paul Brown, Ford Mustang Boss 302S
· SCCA WorldChallenge GTS Manufacturer’s Championship – Ford Mustang Boss 302S
· Best in the Desert Series Class 7100 – BlakeHenn; Ford Ranger
· Best in the Desert Class 7200 – AlHogan; Ford F-150
· Best in the Desert Class 8000 – Dr. MacraeGlass; Ford F-150
· Best in the Desert Class 8100 – Tim Casey; Ford F-250
· Norwegian Rally Championship – Mads Ostberg,Ford Fiesta
· Swedish Rally Championship – Pontus Tideman,Ford Fiesta
· Finnish Rally Championship (R2 Cup) – JukkaKorhonen, Ford Fiesta
· Australian Rally Championship (2WD) – RazvanVlad, Ford Fiesta
· New Zealand Rally Championship (2WD) – BenHunt, Ford Fiesta
· British Rally Challenge Championship (2WD) –Jack Rowe, Ford Fiesta
· Turkish Rally Championship – Yagiz Avci, FordFiesta
· Austrian Rally Championship (2WD) – PiaSchirnhofer, Ford Fiesta
· South Africa Rally Championship – ConradRautenbach, Ford Fiesta
· FIA African Rally Championship – ConradRautenbach, Ford Fiesta
· Argentine Rally Championship – FedericoVillagra, Ford Fiesta
· FIA Middle East Rally Championship – NasserAl-Attiyah, Ford Fiesta
· Chinese Touring Car Driver’s Championship –Andy Yan, Ford Focus
· Chinese Touring Car Team Championship –Changan Ford Racing Team
· Brazil Prototype S2000 – Ford, Best RacingEngine
· Brazilian Touring Car Championship – Ford,Best Racing Engine
· ABSA Off Road Championship –Ford Ranger TDCi, Manufacturer’s Championship
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.