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Kuipers to Campaign in Ford Fiesta S2000

Posted: March 12, 2010 11:20 AM - 7720 Hits

Kuipers to Campaign in Ford Fiesta S2000

Posted: March 12, 2010 11:20 AM

Dutch driver Dennis Kuipers is the latest driver to announce he will contest rounds of the 2010 World Rally Championship in a Ford Fiesta S2000.  

The 24-year-old from Borne in the Netherlands will contest a seven-round campaign starting at Rally Turkey in April.  He will be partnered by the experienced Belgian co-driver Fred Miclotte as they also take on the WRC rallies in Portugal, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Japan or Spain and Great Britain.  

Kuipers makes the switch to the Ford Fiesta S2000 after previously contesting a number of national European and WRC events in a Ford Focus RS WRC in 2008 and 2009.  

The young Dutchman is hoping the move to the successful new Ford Fiesta S2000 will allow him to develop his experience at the top level of rallying throughout 2010 with a view to taking on a full campaign in 2011.  

Earlier this month Kuipers visited M-Sport’s shakedown location in Cumbria in order to familiarise himself with the car and completed around 75kms in fine crisp conditions.  He intends to test the car again and glean more valuable seat time prior to making his debut at Rally Turkey.  

Kuipers joins a growing list of talented competitors competing under the M-Sport banner in 2010 including Xevi Pons, Bernardo Sousa, and Andreas Mikkelsen.  

Dennis Kuipers said:
“I was really impressed with the car after the test.  From the braking to the speed and handling it was all very, very good and I’m excited to be getting the chance to drive it in the WRC this year.  My main aim is to finish rallies and build up my experience.  It’s all new for us so we can’t expect to go out and be fast straight away.  Once we have done a few events hopefully we will be able to see what the difference is between us and the other teams and learn from them.  There are a lot of good drivers in the championship this year so it will be hard, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”     

M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson said:
“We are delighted to welcome Dennis to the M-Sport family and happy that he has chosen the Ford Fiesta S2000 for his programme in the WRC.  It will be a great opportunity for him to learn in a very competitive environment against some very quick drivers, and also take on some great WRC events such as Finland and Wales Rally GB.  We are looking forward to seeing him develop as the year progresses.”

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Dream Debut for M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta S2000 on Tarmac and Gravel

Posted: January 26, 2010 11:05 AM

M-Sport, the Cumbrian based team behind the development of the Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car, were today celebrating a dream debut which saw the car take international victories on two continents within 24 hours to cement a unique international debut for the recently launched vehicle.  

Victory for Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen on the historic Monte Carlo Rally was supported by victory on the Q-Tel Qatar Rally by Nasser Al Attiyah and his Italian co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini in an Autotek supported version of the newly released car.  

Only homologated by the FIA on 15th January 2010, the Ford Fiesta S2000, developed by M-Sport’s technical team under the direction of Christian Loriaux, took back-to-back victories in what can arguably be described as two of the toughest tarmac and gravel events in the international calendar.  

M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson OBE was keen to point out the contribution made by all of the team towards this historic success:
"This really is a perfect debut for the Fiesta S2000.  The performance of the car on both the demanding stages of the Monte and the incredibly rough stages in Qatar has proven the exciting potential of the car in all conditions. The results are a just-reward for the hard work and dedication that has been shown by everyone involved in the development of the car. Our technical partners have excelled and the fantastic team effort that has seen all the departments at M-Sport pull out all the stops to get these cars to the start-line under difficult conditions must be applauded.”  

This weekend’s result is just the tip of the iceberg for the Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car as M-Sport now begin the daunting task of delivering 22 cars to customer teams over the next six weeks with cars going to Finland, Czech Republic, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, Poland, Portugal, Abu Dhabi and Italy.

M-Sport's Ford Fiesta S2000 successfully completes first phase of testing

Posted: October 20, 2009 2:47 PM

M-Sport's new Ford Fiesta S2000 has successfully completed its first phase of preliminary asphalt and gravel tests in the UK.

After undergoing initial systems checks on Tarmac close to M-Sport's Cumbrian base with Matthew and Malcolm Wilson sharing the driving duties, the car has covered over 1200kms on gravel in Greystoke Forest with Matthew Wilson behind the wheel.

Continuing the close relationship between M-Sport and Ford's product development teams, the Fiesta S2000 will be taken to Ford's proving ground at Lommel, Belgium at the end of the month where it will undergo kinomatic and compliance testing at the company's state of the art facility.

This technology, also used to test Ford's road cars, will be used to assess the stiffness of the suspension and the centre of gravity of the Fiesta S2000.

Since the announcement that M-Sport would be building an S2000 car in April this year, the team of designers and engineers have stuck to a tight schedule allowing the development team to have two cars simultaneously undergoing testing.

Following the testing in Lommel the test programme moves to Spain where the cars will undergo thorough trials on both gravel and Tarmac.

The Fiesta S2000 is due for homologation in January 2010 and will be aimed at competitors in the WRC World Cup, IRC and national rally championships around the globe.

M-Sport Technical Director Christian Loriaux said:
"I am very happy with the way that the first phase of testing has gone. We got the initial shakedown and debugging done to schedule and we have been able to put over 1200kms on the car during four days of gravel testing. To be able to do 300kms per day is very good with a brand new car and a testament to the hard work that the designers and engineers have put in. It is very encouraging that we have already done all this mileage without any major problems. I am looking forward to the next phase of testing continuing in the same vein."

Driver Matthew Wilson said:
"Testing has gone really well so far with minimal problems, and each time I get in the car it is just getting better and better. The general feeling is that, for a car that's come straight out of the box, it is absolutely awesome. I think that is has massive potential and it has been fantastic to drive so far."

M-Sport’s first Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car begins testing

Posted: September 28, 2009 11:35 AM

Less than six months after announcing the news that it would be producing a Fiesta S2000 rally car, M-Sport has completed the build of the first car absolutely on schedule and has begun an extensive testing programme. It is a remarkable achievement for the design team at M-Sport to have completed this totally new car on time, in what has been an incredibly tight build schedule. The Fiesta S2000 has today been given its initial system checks close to M-Sport’s Cumbrian base and will continue testing in the UK before heading to mainland Europe for asphalt and gravel tests in the coming months.

The team of designers and engineers, led by M-Sport’s award-winning Technical Director Christian Loriaux, have been able to stick closely to the tight schedule laid out for the them at the start of the project allowing the maximum amount of time for testing the reliability and competitiveness of the new car between now and the end of the year.

Work has progressed so well on the first car that a second body shell is already complete and work to build a second test car should be concluded by the end of October. This will speed up the development process by allowing an intensive course of car and component testing to take place over the coming months using both vehicles and will provide potential customers with a greater opportunity to drive the new car.

Matthew Wilson was at the wheel for the first shakedown and he will be among a number of drivers who will be tasked with testing the vehicle during the condensed development programme scheduled for the rest of 2009.

The team at M-Sport has continued to work closely with Ford of Europe's small car design and development team during the final build process to ensure that Ford’s kinetic design elements were incorporated into the dynamic and aggressive looking car.

M-Sport’s award-winning design team used the experience gained from the development of the record-breaking Ford Focus RS WRC to produce the Fiesta S2000 rally car, which will be aimed at competitors in the WRC World Cup, IRC and national rally championships around the globe. Its homologation is planned for January 2010 and so will not appear in competition this year.

M-Sport Technical Director Christian Loriaux said:
“I have been delighted with how the build of the new Fiesta S2000 rally car has progressed according to the schedule that we laid out at the start of this project. This is a totally new car and the entire design and engineering team here have been very focused on providing both a reliable and very competitive car for our customers. A brand new rally car involves thousands of parts and making sure that they are all designed, manufactured and delivered on time is an incredible achievement and takes a lot of team work. Our production and purchasing departments have done a great job in supporting the design team and ensuring the car was completed on time.”

M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson said:
“The production of a new rally car is always an exciting period for everyone at M-Sport and I’m pleased to see that Christian and his team have finished the build on schedule as planned. The important thing now is that we undertake a strong test and development campaign in order to provide our customers with the best possible S2000 package. I’m sure that this car will also provide a very strong base for Ford’s next generation WRC car.”

Production of M-Sport’s first Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car underway

Posted: August 12, 2009 1:28 PM

Three months since the news that M-Sport would be starting work on a Fiesta S2000 rally car, the company has announced that it is ready to begin production of the first vehicle.  Construction of the first shell should be completed this week and will allow building of the exciting new rally car to commence.  

The design and development of the Fiesta S2000 rally car at M-Sport’s Cumbrian base has been making good progress and is being completed according to schedule.  Since the announcement of the project in April work has been steadily increasing and for the last month a team of ten designers and engineers have been working around the clock on the project.   

The vast majority of the design has now been completed and the new rally car, based on the top-selling Ford Fiesta road car, has been confirmed as the vehicle which Ford will use to campaign the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship.  The manufacture of S2000 rally car parts is already ahead of schedule with many components already delivered to M-Sport and the remainder in advanced stages of production.  

The design team, led by M-Sport’s award-winning Technical Director Christian Loriaux, has applied the same design philosophy that was behind the record-breaking Ford Focus RS WRC.  The knowledge gained from the development of that car has gone into the design of the new Fiesta S2000 rally car, whilst still working within the new technical regulations laid out by the FIA.  

Refining the design to work within the new parameters, which include a ban on the use of high-cost materials like titanium, Kevlar and carbon fibre, the team at M-Sport has concentrated on developing the best possible weight distribution for the car.  

One of the first areas to be finalised was the roll cage.  Stricter definitions of the roll cage geometry have been laid out by the FIA in order to improve safety and more basic requirements, like an increase in the size of the tube used to construct the roll cage from 38mm to 50mm, have been included in the compulsory guidelines.  

More than 40 different roll cage options were studied, with the priority on increased safety but also taking into account weight distribution and the stiffness of the roll cage, to maximise the S2000’s handling abilities.  

Nearly all of the varying roll cage options were tested on M-Sport’s test rig.  This ‘live’ testing method significantly reduced the amount of time it took for the team at M-Sport to determine the best design solution for the new-look roll cage.  The result is a cage that is 5 per cent stiffer than the current Focus RS WRC design – delivering increased safety without incurring a weight penalty.

  Construction of the engine, being undertaken by Pipo Moteurs, has progressed well and the dyno development work has now been completed.  The comprehensive dyno testing programme has shown that the new engine compares favourably against its rivals and the team at M-Sport is happy with the proposed performance of the engine.  As per the regulations, the engine will have an 8500rpm rev limit and a maximum valve lift of 12mm.  

The first engine is due for installation into the car at the end of August and then work on the construction of the first vehicle will begin in earnest.  Once that phase is complete engine tests will be run to measure performance and reliability.  

The design team at M-Sport have worked closely with the Ford B-Car team to take advantage of the computer-aided design technology embraced in the development of the new Fiesta road car and to integrate many of its kinetic design principles.  

The FIA sporting regulations allow the car to have a maximum width of 1820mm.  This has enabled designers to make significant changes to the aerodynamic design of the narrow Fiesta base car.  A comprehensive aerodynamic study has been undertaken on the updated design which has produced a dynamic and aggressive looking vehicle.  

M-Sport Technical Director Christian Loriaux said:
“M-Sport is a proven leader in roll cage design concepts, and we have put into practice all of our experience in the design for the new M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car.  All of the design has now been completed and our excellent in-house facilities at Dovenby Hall have allowed us to challenge our theories through live testing.  All aspects of the new car are progressing according to schedule and we are very pleased with the progress so far.”  

M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson OBE said:
“The Fiesta S2000 rally car is really starting to take shape now.  We have been spurred on by the announcement last week of Ford’s two-year commitment to the FIA World Rally Championship and the introduction of the Fiesta S2000 as its car to campaign the 2011 series.  Next year sees the introduction of the World Cup for S2000 cars within the WRC and will give privateers and teams alike a real chance to challenge for victory in a new car which has been built with all our technical expertise and experience.”  

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