SLIGO, 19 NOVEMBER 2007
Ford yesterday won its second consecutive world title by securing the manufacturers' crown in the FIA World Rally Championship with the Focus RS World Rally Car 07.
The BP-Ford World Rally Team finished Rally Ireland this afternoon with a 21-point lead to secure the prestigious title with one event remaining in the 16-round series.
The team led the gruelling championship, which spans five continents on surfaces as diverse as snow, asphalt and gravel, since the third round in Norway in February. It has secured enough points to claim the title for 2007, even though one round in Britain remains.
Marcus Grönholm and Timo Rautiainen triumphed in Sweden, Italy and Greece during the first half of the season while team-mates Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen won in Norway – all in the 2006-specification Focus RS World Rally Car. Grönholm secured a debut victory for the Focus RS World Rally Car 07 in Finland as the second part of the season got under way and added another victory in New Zealand in September after the closest finish in WRC history. Hirvonen added his second victory in Japan last month.
John Fleming, President and CEO of Ford of Europe, emphasised the team achievement and what the title meant to Ford. “Winning the world championship in 2006 with a new car was a superb achievement, but to defend that title successfully this year and secure the championship with one event remaining is outstanding and raises our accomplishments to new heights.”