Ford has rebuilt the car that Jari-Matti Latvala rolled down a mountainside in Portugal last year, and the Finn will use it again in next weekend's World Rally Championship opener in Sweden.
Latvala rolled 12 times and ended up 200 yards from the road in the horrifying 2009 accident, which occurred while he was leading the rally. Both Latvala and his co-driver Miikka Anttila escaped unhurt, and the car turned out to be repairable once it was returned to the M-Sport team's base and stripped to a bare shell.
"The accident looked horrific but, structurally, the shell stood up to the pounding remarkably well," said team boss Malcolm Wilson. "It underwent rigorous checks to ensure there were no weaknesses and the decision was taken to rebuild the car for future use. Crew safety is our prime concern in the build of any rally car and our increased efforts in this area are reflected in the fact that Jari-Matti's car lives on."
Latvala said he had no concerns about using the car again. "When I saw the car being rebuilt, I could see some places where the welding was new," he said. "That made me think back to the crash, but I really have no problems about climbing into the car again. The team has done an amazing job to rebuild it and I can't wait to be back out competing again in Sweden."
Ford of Europe motorsport boss Gerard Quinn added that there was a "strong environmental aspect" to the decision to rebuild the Focus WRC.
"In the past a car that suffered such a heavy accident would likely have been scrapped," said Quinn. "In this case, the basic shell has been recycled and key components such as the engine and gearbox have been used again in other rebuilds."