More bad news for the WRC as Ford is pulling works support for its team. M-Sport intend to continue running Fiestas in next year’s season:
My intention is that we will continue to push to secure stage wins and overall results on the forthcoming events for Ford and to push forward with the development work that was started in March this year to improve and refine the Fiesta WRC even further, ready for the 2013 season.
I’ve been expecting this may happen for a while although lately I thought Ford would stay with Hyundai now entering. Of course Citroen might leave at the end of next year to do the WTCC with Loeb so 2014 may just be Hyundai vs Volkswagen.
Maybe it’s me, but World Rally really shouldn’t cost what it does to run.
That’s me assuming it’s a financial reason for the teams leaving and not an image thing (Unless we are winning we are not competing). WRC used to be a great spectacle.
It’s a shame, but I’m not surprised. Ford are notoriously non-committal when it cons to providing works support. Here in Australia, they tend to wait until the last minute, and even then, they only pledge the bare minimum.
There’s a pretty spot-on article on Autosport (subs only) about this, basically saying it’s a monumental mistake for Ford to pull out right now. The Fiesta WRC looks like being the class of the field, and Loeb has effectively said he won’t be contesting the title next year. These two facts mean that next year will be the best chance for Ford in probably over a decade to secure both championships. And they’re pulling a plug with a great little race car in the garage. Smacks of Honda pulling out of F1 at the end of 2008 doesn’t it..
@mazdachris It does seem like a silly decision when you look at it like that but I guess the big wigs at Ford would have decided this quite a while ago before they knew of Loeb’s situation. I would expect that their various resources and cash will have been allocated to something else by now.
Very sad, but at least the WRC is getting all its bad news in one season! 2013 could be fantastic if everything works into position.
Speaking of Ford (there’s no other place for this that I can see), Thierry Neuville and Evgeny Novikov have joined Qatar M-Sport alongside Mads Ostberg and Nasser al’Attiyah (Juho Hanninen will compete at selected events).