Ford team director Malcolm Wilson has said he has 'no doubt' his team will be able to challenge for world titles in 2012.
His comments come after Ford of Europe confirmed today that it will remain in the World Rally Championship next year. It was also announced that Jari-Matti Latvala will be the number one driver at the Ford World Rally Team, joined in the second Fiesta RS WRC by 2003 World Rally champion Petter Solberg [see separate story - click here
Speaking about M-Sport's new two-year deal, Wilson added that it was a real vote of confidence for his company: “The performance of the Fiesta RS WRC in 2011 was strong on all surfaces and I'm genuinely excited about what we can achieve in the future,” Wilson said.
“We want to challenge for world titles and I have no doubts that our car and driver combination, allied to the infrastructure and expertise of our staff at Dovenby Hall, will allow us to do that.”
Meanwhile, M-Sport, which has run Ford's WRC programme since 1997, recently completed its 'ladder of opportunity', adding a first rung to complete a 'structured path to take young and talented rally drivers from the grass-roots to the top level in Ford Fiestas'.
From the entry-level MS1 car, drivers can progress via the increasingly more powerful R2, S2000 and Regional Rally Car models to the top-billing World Rally Car.
“Ford has five different Fiesta models in which drivers with potential can graduate from entry level to the World Rally Championship.
“This ladder is the breeding ground of Ford's future stars, and in the next seasons we will see drivers with ability climb it and begin to emerge at the top,” Wilson summed-up.