Record-Breaking Ford Focus Awarded Abu Dhabi’s ‘Spirit of the Rally’
Abu Dhabi, UAE. 16th June 2008: After clinching a record-breaking 100 consecutive FIA World Rally Championship points finishes following BP-Ford Abu Dhabi World Team’s one-two podium domination of Rally Turkey, the UAE-capital branded Focus RS World Rally Car has been awarded the Abu Dhabi ‘Spirit of the Rally Award.’

Recognising parties demonstrating the same values that the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, stands for; respect, innovation, integrity and teamwork, the ‘Spirit of the Rally’ award also acknowledges a positive contribution to the WRC by any of the myriad of parties involved in the sport.

Ford’s seven-year consecutive points scoring run, which stretches back to 2002’s season-opening Rallye Monte Carlo, represents ten drivers’ amassed finishes, countless crew and mechanics’ service park contributions and a stunning 27 wins and 85 podium places in what is the first manufacturer car to reach a century of successive scores since the championship’s launch in 1973.

As the Managing Director of M-Sport – the company which manages Ford Europe’s Motor-sport activity - Malcolm Wilson, also Team Director, BP-Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, paid tribute to the hard work and contribution of all team members since rally legends Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae got the record-breaking sequence up and running seven years ago in the French Principality.

"For the Ford Focus RS World Rally Car to reach the unprecedented milestone of 100 consecutive points scoring finishes is a fantastic achievement for everyone connected with the team. Since January 2002, various driver, co-driver, crew and mechanic line-ups have all played their part in reaching this remarkable century," said Wilson.

"I would like to thank Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority for recognising the hard work and commitment of everyone at both Ford and M-Sport who have endeavoured to make the '100 not out' feat reachable.

"Having been on board with the team for a year come the next WRC round in Finland, our Abu Dhabi partners have fully embraced the WRC and we look forward to starting the next century with you at the end of July," added Wilson.

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority officials commended the car’s consistency and reliability in the most unpredictable of global motor-sports: “To be the first manufacturer to achieve 100 consecutive points scoring rally finishes is a truly remarkable feat in a sport where every corner or crest could result in retirement,” said Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General, ADTA.

“Abu Dhabi is now 16 rallies into our partnership with the team and we have no doubt that this flagship sporting association is spreading the UAE capital’s name internationally and increasing global awareness of the emirate as a world-class destination.

“There were several contenders for the award in Turkey, most notably Urmo Aava – who set two fastest stage times for the first time in his career – but the Ford Focus RS’ contribution to rally for the last seven years makes this a unique opportunity to acknowledge the car’s historic contribution to the world of rally,” added Hussein.

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