International Motorsports Roundup For Dec. 12
* Ford’s 2012 motorsport achievements were celebrated at the FIA Prizegiving Gala in Istanbul in Turkey. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila received their award for finishing third in the FIA World Rally Championship for Ford World Rally Team. Craig Breen picked up his trophy for winning the Super 2000 World Rally Championship and Elfyn Evans and Candido Carrera collected the FIA WRC Academy Cup drivers’ and co-drivers’ accolades. Nasser Al-Attityah / Giovanni Bernacchini were crowned FIA Middle East Rally champions and Castrol Ford Team Türkiye’s Yağız Avcı / Bahadır Gücenmez were recognised for their FIA East European Rally Championship success. The Blue Oval was also honoured for its spectacular World Land Speed Records feat with a Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost road car in France in June.
* Driving his VRS Rally Team Ford Fiesta Maxi Rally, Federico Villagra clinched his 11th Argentine Rally Championship with fourth place alongside co-driver Diego Curletto in the final round, the Rally Gran Premio de Mina Clavero y Villa Dolores in Cordoba province. The result makes ‘Coyote’ the most successful rally driver of all time in Argentina, with 18 championships to his name. Competing in a similar car, team-mates Nicolás Madero / Manuel Prieto finished second in the rally to secure fourth in the standings and assure VRS of the teams’ crown.
* Elfyn Evans capped a triumphant campaign with victory in the FST International Shootout at M-Sport’s Dovenby Hall headquarters in the UK. The FIA WRC Academy winner’s prize will be a year’s residential employment contract with the Cumbrian firm in 2013. Evans saw off talented young drivers from across the global Ford Fiesta SportTrophy series’ in a variety of physical, psychological and media challenges followed by a driving assessment in a Fiesta R2. FST Belgium ‘wildcard’ entry Hugo Arellano matched the young Welshman so closely that a second prize was awarded in the form of an M-Sport funded drive in a Fiesta R2 in a round of next year’s European Rally Championship.
* As a reward for their impressive performances in the Fiesta R2-based series this year, FIA WRC Academy competitors Jose Suárez, Brendan Reeves, Pontus Tidemand and John MacCrone were awarded a test in a Fiesta RS World Rally Car. All four drivers enjoyed an hour in the car, learning the tricks of the trade from Matthew Wilson before taking the wheel themselves.
* This weekend’s Formula Ford Sampler Day at Silverstone is a sell-out, with more than twice as many applicants as places in the rush to be amongst the first to drive the new EcoBoost 200 chassis. Eighteen drivers will benefit from several laps of the Stowe circuit in the 1.6-litre, turbocharged EcoBoost-powered single-seater. Also on offer will be talks with Ford designers and engineers, presentation tips and a fitness test. The car will make its racing debut at Brands Hatch on 30 – 31 March in the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain.
* Fourth place for Martos Competicion Team’s Emanuel Moriatis at Santa Rosa in La Pampa province was sufficient to secure him the Argentine Turismo Nacional Clase 3 touring car laurels in a Ford Focus. Fellow Focus driver Pablo Piumetto was third.