Ford Wins Second Consecutive World Title With Focus RS WRC

Ford today won the manufacturers’ title in the FIA World Rally Championship
for the second straight season with the Focus RS World Rally Car. Fourth place
for BP-Ford World Rally Team drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen in
Rally Ireland was sufficient to ensure the crown with one round remaining next
month in Great Britain. The team holds a 21-point lead with a maximum 18
available on the 16th and final event.

Rally Ireland’s championship debut proved every bit as challenging as was
expected. The narrow, bumpy asphalt lanes were full of crests and dips and
presented the kind of test not found on any other round of the series. Rain
during the opening two legs of the three-day event provided treacherous
conditions as cars dragged mud onto the already shiny asphalt, and drivers
likened the special stages to driving on ice.

This cross-border event was based in Sligo, and featured tests in the Republic
of Ireland during the first leg before crossing the border into Northern Ireland
on the second day. The final leg covered both countries, ending with a
spectacular test hugging the Donegal Bay coastline which was broadcast live
on television. Drivers tackled 20 stages in total, covering 328.72km of

Hirvonen’s target from the outset was to obtain the points necessary to ensure
BP-Ford’s second consecutive manufacturers’ title. Sixth position or better
would provide the three points required to do that and his role became even
more important when team-mates Marcus Gr

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