Ford has confirmed it will continue its World Rally Championship program next season. The decision was announced at a press conference in Jyvasklya, Finland this afternoon, ending months of speculation.
M-Sport team boss Malcolm Wilson said: "I'm delighted to continue our partnership with Ford. The announcement is a further vote of confidence in M-Sport and displays the importance in which Ford holds the WRC.
"We have a young and dynamic driver lineup which continues to gain in experience and maturity. The Focus RS WRC has displayed its speed, strength and reliability time and again, while we have the infrastructure in place at our Dovenby Hall base to develop, with Ford's support, the Fiesta S2000 into a car capable of taking the fight to our rivals in 2011.
"We're not in WRC just for fun – we're there to challenge for titles and we'll do everything to win. Throughout 2010 and 2011 we expect to maintain Ford's significant presence in the WRC service park, both through the official 'works' team and via our customers."
Ford's commitment to the championship is expected to prompt a similar announcement from Citroen. While Citroen team principal Olivier Quesnel has made clear that he wants the firm to remain in the WRC, there has not been any official confirmation yet, Quesnel said: "If [WRC] is here, then Citroen will be also."