Ford has run its complete Fiesta RS WRC – the car which will take over from the Focus at the end of this season – for the first time.
The Fiesta RS WRC, which is based largely on the Super 2000 Fiesta, ran with a prototype of the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine which will be used next season. The car is expected to run in its precise 2011 specification in September.
The prototype engine contained the revised turbocharger which is mandatory from next season, along with the 2011 engine block, con-rods, pistons and crankshaft. The next stage of the engine development will be to introduce the electronics which will be incorporated at a test in France later this month.
"We will continue to steadily introduce 2011 components as our test program goes on," said team boss Malcolm Wilson. "We still have much to do before the car's WRC debut in Sweden next February, but I'm hugely encouraged by what we have achieved so far.
"To hear the positive comments from the drivers during the test was fantastic. All the hard work during the design and development process begins to bear fruit when the drivers get behind the wheel."
Wilson, a former British Rally champion and factory Ford driver at WRC level, also drove the car for 50 miles himself.