COLOGNE, 30 June 2010 Ė The Fiesta, Ford of Europe's best-selling model, will return to the prestigious X Games event in the United States next month to defend the gold medal won during its games debut last year.

Four specially-prepared Fiesta cars will fly the flag for Ford at the X Games Rally Competition (29 July - 1 August) in Los Angeles. The driver line-up will be led by American action sports icon Ken Block, and also includes 2009 X Games gold medalist Kenny Brack, third-placed Tanner Foust and 10-time medalist Brian Deegan.

The Fiesta competition cars will be prepared and run by Swedish team Olsbergs Motor Sport Evolution, which operates Ford customer competition programmes in both the United States and Europe.

The cars will be based on the hugely-successful Fiesta passenger car, of which Ford has sold more than 830,000 around the world, 730,000 of which in Europe, since it entered the market in October 2008. The Fiesta was the best-selling car across Europe in the first quarter of 2010. Fiesta production for North America recently started in Mexico, with the car now being delivered to dealers and customers across the United States.

"The Fiesta's gold medal-winning debut in the rally competition at X Games last year captured the spirit of the car," said Gerard Quinn, Ford of Europe's motorsport chief. "The best-selling Fiesta road car will also form the basis of Ford's all-new Fiesta RS World Rally Car, our challenger for the FIA World Rally Championship in 2011. Ken Block has been a hugely popular addition to the WRC this season with Ford and I'm looking forward to him leading our Fiesta squad to a strong performance in the X Games."

Block, a three-time medalist at X Games, has cultivated a tremendous following among the action sports community with his Gymkhana videos on YouTube. Block partnered with Ford earlier this year, running dual programmes in the Rally America championship in a Fiesta and the World Rally Championship in a Focus RS WRC.

He proved earlier this season that not only is the Ford Fiesta fun to drive, but it is also reliably fast as he piloted the Monster World Rally Team Fiesta to victory in the 100 Acre Wood Rally in March - the first win for a Fiesta in Rally America competition.

"X Games is one of the most fun and unique events of the year for me," said Block. "I really enjoy hanging out in Los Angeles with all my friends and racing in a very intense and crazy atmosphere. Plus, this year, I get to actually drive the Fiesta at X Games Ė the car that beat me in 2009."

Also returning to X Games in a Fiesta is the man whom everyone will be trying to beat, 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner Kenny Brack, who made a memorable X Games debut last year by winning the rally competition. The 1998 IndyCar Series champion retired from full-time racing in 2006 but still drives competitively in special events.

"I participated in X Games last year as a one-off favour to a friend but I really enjoyed it and when Olsbergs, Ford and the X Games wanted me to return to defend my title, I was more than happy to commit," said Brack. "It felt really good to be back in the host seat in the United States last year and X Games is a phenomenal event. As I look to defend my title this year, I know I will be a target. Last year was great, but this year there will be a different track and I am looking forward to the new challenges."

ROCKSTAR Energy Drink drivers Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan will also return in a Fiesta. Foust took his race-prepared Fiesta five-door hatchback to a bronze medal in last year's X Games, narrowly losing in the semi-final to Brack. He has continued racing a Fiesta in European rallycross with the Olsbergs MSE team. Foust is an accomplished driver, having won in a wide range of motorsport disciplines, including X Games.

"X Games is always a highlight of the year for me," said Foust, the 2007 X Games Rally champion. "It is great heading into the competition knowing that in the Rockstar Energy Ford Fiesta I am going to be in the best equipment in the field. The Fiesta rally car is literally one of the fastest race cars with doors on the planet and I think it is the car to beat. The Fiesta is absolutely perfect for the rally discipline and it has performed well for me in the European Rallycross competition."

Moto superstar Brian Deegan, Foust's ROCKSTAR team-mate, finished last year's X Games in a strong fourth. A 10-time games medallist, including three gold medals for Moto X Best Trick (2002, 2003, 2005), Deegan is in his third year in the rally competition.

"Iím really excited about driving the Ford Fiesta again this year at X Games," said Deegan. "After coming so close last year in my first run with Ford, I look forward to taking home some medals this year with the Fiesta."

This year the X Games rally segment will comprise two competitions, the Super Special that Brack won in 2009, and a European-style rallycross where four cars will race simultaneously against each other. The Ford foursome of Block, Brack, Deegan and Foust will drive their Fiestas in both competitions.

The X Games, considered the premier action sports event in the world, features athletes from across the globe competing in a variety of sports, ranging from skateboarding, motocross, BMX and rally car racing.

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