'I see a line of cars and they're all painted black', sang Mick Jagger back in 1966, and his words clearly inspired the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, which will run its three Fiesta RS WRCs in a 'sexy, mean and moody' new livery on the Rallye de France next weekend.
Following a concerted campaign by fans on the team's Facebook page, Ford's three cars – for Mikko Hirvonen, Jari-Matti Latvala and Khalid Al Qassimi – will carry the stunning black colour scheme that proved so popular during testing in France back in June in active competition for the first time on the upcoming event.
The design is the same as the Fiesta RS WRCs sported on the opening ten rounds of the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship – except that this time, the car's base colour is black throughout, with white branding on top for Ford and its partners. Ford received a massive vote of approval after the livery was unveiled in the summer, following which a Facebook group was set up to petition the team to use the new look in a rally, and Ford of Europe motorsport chief Gerard Quinn has opted for the Strasbourg-based asphalt round.
“We listened to what our fans wanted and discussed the idea with our partners at Abu Dhabi and Castrol,” he explained. “They were in favour, and I believe this colour scheme – allied to a close-to-the-ground asphalt set-up – brings a sexy, mean and moody look to the Fiesta RS WRC. It was one of the potential liveries we discussed when finalising the design for our cars at the start of the year.”
Aside from the three official entries, six privately-run Fiesta RS WRCs will similarly compete in France for M-Sport Stobart nominated points-scorers Matthew Wilson and Mads Østberg as well as Henning Solberg and Evgeny Novikov, in addition to Ken Block behind the wheel of the Monster World Rally Team car and Dennis Kuipers for the FERM Power Tools World Rally Team.
To see more pictures of the Fiesta's striking new livery, simply scroll down the page.