Multiple World Rally Championship title winner Marcus Gronholm will take part in the annual Pike's Peaks International Hill Climb in July after the Olsberg Motor Sport Evolution team confirmed it will give the new Ford Fiesta its US racing debut in the event.
The team will field cars for Gronholm and team manager Andreas Eriksson in the event, with the aim being to try and break the ten minute barrier over the 12.4 mile course.
The racing debut of the Fiesta will come ahead of the official launch of the new Fiesta on American soil next year.
“We're pleased to have a top independent team like Olsbergs MSE coming to the U.S. with their Fiesta Rallycross cars to take on the challenge of Pike's Peak,” Brian Wolfe, director Ford North America Motorsports said. “This will be a great chance for enthusiasts here to see in this unique setting what a lot of the rest of the world is already talking about – that the Fiesta is a great road car and a great race car.”
After finishing second in the Swedish championship last year, Olsberg's MSE team debuted its new Fiesta Rallycross car for this season's Swedish and European Rallycross championships, and it scored its first victory in just its second European championship event in Portugal this past month.
The Olsbergs MSE Fiesta Rallycross car is based on the Fiesta hatchback model road cars. The all-wheel-drive Fiestas are powered by a 2.0-liter Duratec Ford engine capable of more than 800 horsepower.
The Fiesta Rallycross car's suspension system is the result of collaboration between Olsbergs Motor Sport Evolution, Öhlins and Ford of Europe's Team RS engineers, who are responsible for Ford's FIA World Rally Championship program.
“We worked night and day all winter to get the Fiesta ready on time for the European championships, and it was great to see it score a hard-earned victory in Portugal at the start of May,” said Eriksson. “We are excited to be bringing the car to Pike's Peak and to be able to see what it can do in such a unique competition. It's a legendary event, and we've already been there to take a look at the challenge we will face.
“I'm convinced we'll be a top contender to break the 10-minute mark and give the Fiesta a proper racing debut in the US.”