Ford’s successful Fiesta R5 swap

Chris Ford has enjoyed an excellent 2019 Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship campaign, having made the swap from a Subaru Impreza WRC S11 to a Ford Fiesta R5 after the opening Rallynuts National Tour of Epynt.

The Lancashire driver is sixth in the overall drivers’ standings heading into this Sunday’s Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally final round and is set to secure the runners-up position in the R5 category, courtesy of some excellent results in the Fiesta, which is prepared by the Preston-based Century Autosport team.

Co-driven by Neil Colman, Chris is looking forward to the season finale on Otterburn – not least because he finished fourth overall the last time he competed there.

“We started the season in our Subaru WRC S11, however, on the first event on Epynt we blew the turbo and we all know that running an older WRC car is expensive and the cost of fixing the turbo alone led us to look at more cost-effective modern cars,” said Chris.

“The Fiesta R5 was purchased, although at the time it was only a basic car. It was upgrade to Evo specification prior to the Down Rally, and now it’s a really competitive machine.

“It has taken some time to get used to the totally different handling of the two cars and on the last event, the Mewla Rally, we were showing some positive progress before picking up a puncture on stage six. With four miles to go before the finish of the stage, the time lost dropped us down to twenty-third, but we managed to eventually climb back up to fifteenth overall by the end of the rally.

“I’m really looking forward to Otterburn. Last time we competed there we came fourth overall, albeit in the Subaru on that occasion, so we would be happy with a top ten finish to again show steady progress and encouragement for next year’s championship.

“I believe that the potential rally schedule for the 2020 Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship will make it a fantastic series.”


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