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 now covered over 1200kms on gravel in Greystoke Forest with Matthew Wilson behind the wheel.
The Fiesta S2000 will now 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.
Following the testing in Lommel the test programme moves to Spain where the cars will undergo thorough trials on both gravel and tarmac ahead of its planned homologation in January.
"I am very happy with the way that the first phase of testing has gone,” M-Sport technical director Christian Loriaux said. “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."