M-Sport’s range of Ford Fiesta rally cars dominated the competitive action last weekend with victories in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) as well as both the Norwegian and Swedish Championships.
Jari Ketomaa made history as he claimed victory on the first ERC event to take place in Latvia. The Finn’s success on Rally Liepāja-Ventspils followed three days of thrilling high-speed competition on ice and snow-coated roads between the two Baltic cities.
While Ketomaa excelled alongside Kimi Räikkönen’s former co-driver Kaj Lindström in a Ford Fiesta RRC, he had to fend off strong performances too from both the 2011 FIA WRC Academy Champion Craig Breen, who finished second, and François Delecour in third.
“I’m really happy with this result after two years of bad luck,” said Ketomaa, who now moves to the top of the ERC drivers’ standings following his triumph.
“We didn’t want to take any risks and knew that we would settle into a rhythm after the first day. The feeling was really good and the conditions on the rally were extreme with very high speeds and lots of frozen gravel. But we never stopped believing in the work we could do. The Ford Fiesta and DMACK tyres worked very well and the team has done a great job."
Elsewhere, Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson piloted their Ford Fiesta RS WRC to victory at Rally Finnskog in Norway. The victory was hard fought as the Scandinavian pairing found it difficult to keep the WRC tyres within the tracks made by the other competitors’ skinnier winter tyres. But they emerged victorious and are now fully prepared for this week’s FIA World Rally Championship round in Sweden.
Also using last weekend to prepare for Rally Sweden, Pontus Tidemand won the first round of the Swedish Championship – Vinterpokalen – in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC. The victory will be a big boost for the young Swede as he makes his WRC debut at his home event.