M-Sportís first Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car begins testing
Less than six months after announcing the news that it would be producing a Fiesta S2000 rally car, M-Sport has completed the build of the first car absolutely on schedule and has begun an extensive testing programme. It is a remarkable achievement for the design team at M-Sport to have completed this totally new car on time, in what has been an incredibly tight build schedule. The Fiesta S2000 has today been given its initial system checks close to M-Sportís Cumbrian base and will continue testing in the UK before heading to mainland Europe for asphalt and gravel tests in the coming months.

The team of designers and engineers, led by M-Sportís award-winning Technical Director Christian Loriaux, have been able to stick closely to the tight schedule laid out for the them at the start of the project allowing the maximum amount of time for testing the reliability and competitiveness of the new car between now and the end of the year.

Work has progressed so well on the first car that a second body shell is already complete and work to build a second test car should be concluded by the end of October. This will speed up the development process by allowing an intensive course of car and component testing to take place over the coming months using both vehicles and will provide potential customers with a greater opportunity to drive the new car.

Matthew Wilson was at the wheel for the first shakedown and he will be among a number of drivers who will be tasked with testing the vehicle during the condensed development programme scheduled for the rest of 2009.

The team at M-Sport has continued to work closely with Ford of Europe's small car design and development team during the final build process to ensure that Fordís kinetic design elements were incorporated into the dynamic and aggressive looking car.

M-Sportís award-winning design team used the experience gained from the development of the record-breaking Ford Focus RS WRC to produce the Fiesta S2000 rally car, which will be aimed at competitors in the WRC World Cup, IRC and national rally championships around the globe. Its homologation is planned for January 2010 and so will not appear in competition this year.

M-Sport Technical Director Christian Loriaux said:
ďI have been delighted with how the build of the new Fiesta S2000 rally car has progressed according to the schedule that we laid out at the start of this project. This is a totally new car and the entire design and engineering team here have been very focused on providing both a reliable and very competitive car for our customers. A brand new rally car involves thousands of parts and making sure that they are all designed, manufactured and delivered on time is an incredible achievement and takes a lot of team work. Our production and purchasing departments have done a great job in supporting the design team and ensuring the car was completed on time.Ē

M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson said:
ďThe production of a new rally car is always an exciting period for everyone at M-Sport and Iím pleased to see that Christian and his team have finished the build on schedule as planned. The important thing now is that we undertake a strong test and development campaign in order to provide our customers with the best possible S2000 package. Iím sure that this car will also provide a very strong base for Fordís next generation WRC car.Ē

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