Ford will step up its pursuit of unearthing the next generation of WRC stars by becoming an official partner of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship in 2020.
Ford Performance has worked closely with M-Sport Poland in developing the one-litre EcoBoost-powered Fiesta R2T, which is used by all Junior WRC entrants.
Gerard Quinn, senior manager at Ford Performance Europe, said the new partnership would extend Ford's commitment to providing a pathway from the WRC's entry level Fiesta R2T all the way up to M-Sport’s headline Fiesta World Rally Car.
"Ford has been a proud partner and advocate of the Junior WRC from its inception several years ago. Since the foundation of Ford Motor Company we have consistently been at the forefront of making opportunities for talent to flourish in motorsport," he added.
"The Junior WRC provides a valuable opportunity for Ford to be involved in a professional rally series that continues to find world class driving talent. Obviously we are delighted that the Ford Fiesta continues to be the competition car of choice for this exciting programme in 2020."
Junior WRC championship manager Maciej Woda said the new partnership underlined to manufacturers such as Ford the importance of supporting and growing potential world champions.
"Elfyn Evans is a great example of a driver that Ford has been involved with since he started his WRC career in the championship, when it was known as WRC Academy, in 2012, which he won in a Ford Fiesta R2.
"Elfyn graduated to the WRC 2 category in 2013 with a Ford Fiesta R5 and joined the M-Sport World Rally Team full-time for the 2014 season. He took his maiden WRC overall victory in 2017 on Wales Rally GB in an EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC," he added.
2020’s five-round championship retains Sweden, Italy and Finland from 2019, while adding Germany and Chile - the first time the series has included a round in South America.
Entries are now open and more information is available here. (Link to http://bit.ly/JuniorWRC2020).